Suggested Reading: 2 Timothy 3-4
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Key Verse: 2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
What was to be the substance of Timothy’s message? Firstly, The Holy Scriptures (3:15). Secondly, “all Scripture” (3:16). Let us remember that the New Testament had not yet been compiled. “The parchments” to which Paul refers in 4:13b were probably portions of the Hebrew Bible. “The books” Paul asks to have brought to him may have been writings of general knowledge, such as those found in the great library of Ephesus. Even back then, “readers” were “leaders.”
A background reading today might be Acts 19:23-41. As Paul writes what may have been his final letter before his beheading in Rome, he challenges Timothy to concentrate on using Scripture to fight against doctrinal error and moral evil. This is vitally important for us, as it was for Timothy. Paul had the credentials to say these things. He had proven himself by demonstrations of faith, such as found in 1 Corinthians 15:32, “I have fought with beasts at Ephesus.” Paul may have indeed been placed in the arena for the entertainment of the people of Ephesus. God must have shut the mouths of lions once again as He had done to protect Daniel. The book of Daniel may well have been in the parchments Paul wanted. We may want to read Daniel 6:10-28.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, we are living in perilous times right now! These are the “last days.” Therefore, I pray that, as never before, I will effectively “convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” May I preach the WORD everywhere in messages in the pulpit, in the media, as well as in personal one-to-one witnessing. I make this request through Jesus, the One who is in Himself the full expression of Your WORD! I ask for Your grace that I may fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
From my earliest days of public preaching, I sought to fill my speaking with “The Word of God,” the Holy Scriptures. I reached the conclusion that when I did this faithfully, I saw results. God has not promised to bless my verbal wanderings, but He has promised to bless His Word!
I want to thank all who gave me your input for my great-grandson, Myles Neilson. I believe that God has inspired me to put your answers to Myles’ question into a booklet which I hope to print for him to keep and read. He’s in grade one now and reads quite well (I’m bragging here and that is a great-grandpa’s privilege). However, I may simplify the words somewhat. I hope that it’s alright with you that I take editorial privileges. For readers who may not be aware of what happened on this blog on August 28th, click here for Myles’ question (in my “100 Personal Words”) and the 60 responses I received (at the bottom of the blog). If anyone else wants to have a word for Myles, it’s not too late. You can attach your advice to that blog and I’ll read your thoughts before I retire this evening. Thanks so very very much for participating with me in the blog and in Myles’ life.
Yours for the greatest possible effectiveness of God’s Word in our lives and in the lives of everyone we meet,
P.S. Those parchments which Paul wanted brought to him may have included “The Psalms.” God willing, we’ll start these Scriptures in tomorrow’s reading.