Wednesday 18 October 2017

Bible Book:
2 Timothy

"At my first defence no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth." (vv. 16-17)

2 Timothy 4:5-17 Wednesday 18 October 2017

Psalm: Psalm 145


You'd think that Paul would be pretty fed up at this point.Since his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-31) he hasdevoted his life to Christ and known real persecution because ofit. He's been arrested and imprisoned, has become an outcast fromhis own Jewish community and to top it all off, his friends havedeserted him and death is near. Only his trusty friend Luke remainsby his side.

Biblical scholars debate whether Paul actually wrote this letter(along with 1 Timothy and Titus) or whether the three were writtenin his name after his death in a Church that had developed wellbeyond what it would have been during Paul's lifetime. But for me,their authorship is, to a certain extent, irrelevant. They are akey part of the New Testament and communicate important principlesfor Church life.

Here, 'Paul' is writing to Timothy, a young Church leader to whomhe has been a mentor. 'Paul' senses that the end of his ministry isnear and longs for his friend to join him and offer him comfort.You'd think that with all he's been through, 'Paul' would be just alittle bitter. Though he mentions those who have done him wrong -Demas who has abandoned the ministry and Alexander who opposedPaul's message - he prays that God will not count their wrongsagainst them. And even though some abandoned him at the time of histrial, he is content that God has always stayed by his side.

One of the most striking elements of this passage is the list ofthe author's many friends and their various activities. It gives areal sense of the close-knit community of which 'Paul' and Timothywere a part. The author's ministry is not over as long as hisfriends continue to carry out theirs, doing "the work of anevangelist" (verse 5) and enduring the suffering they face.

To Ponder

  • What is "the work of an evangelist" ('evangelist' meaningsomeone who shares the good news of Jesus with others)? Do you havea role to play in this? What might it be?
  • Paul prays for those who have done him wrong. How difficultwould this be for you? If you are able, think about those who havedone you wrong and pray for them.
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