December 10

Read 2 Timothy 1 -- 4

There was no hesitancy in Paul's conviction that every detail of his life was by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus . . . who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:1).

The Name Jesus and the Title Christ were used three times in the first two verses of chapter 1. In verse 10, we see the word Savior, which reminds us of His mission to save lost sinners. The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He imparts Eternal Life to all who will receive Him. Everything that we may do in a humanitarian way to help others is incidental to the supreme purpose for which Jesus Christ came -- to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).

The Christian life involves us in being a partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God; who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:8-10). Satan seeks to get us involved in "good" activities that have no relevance to eternal spiritual goals.

Like his Savior, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2), Paul looked beyond prison, beyond the chains, and beyond the execution date, knowing that, if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12).

To deny Christ takes on many forms. Our lifestyle could be a form of denying Him. If, in the midst of a lost world we remain silent in the presence of gross sin, we deny Him. To not do what we should in reaching the lost world with His Word is perhaps the most serious denial of all.

Like Paul, our supreme desire should be to live our few short years in preparation for life eternal. A compromised Christianity supports human greed and lust for comfort, seeking, without restraint, wealth, leisure, and material possessions. What a striking contrast to the "good soldier" who "endures hardness" (suffers hardships) and to whom Paul wrote: No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who has chosen us (no exceptions or substitutes) to be a soldier (2 Timothy 2:4).

Paul urged sanctification in order to be used by the Lord as a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use (2:21). Such a one will, according to his abilities, preach the Word . . . in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke . . . with all longsuffering. . . . For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they . . . shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

Cross Reference:

For 2 Timothy 2:19: See Numbers 16:5.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Rod Blagojevich (IL) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL) · BPM Staff: Rita Guerra · Pray for Bill White and the Bible Pathway International Internet Radio Ministry on M-TAC, Carrollton TX · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Millard Perkins · Country: Kenya (29 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: English and Swahili · Religious freedom · 46% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 17% belief in mystical powers; 6% Muslim; 3% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that people will come to a knowledge of the Lord God (Kings 18:36-37).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 3:3