Highlights In Today's Reading:
Encouraged to be a faithful partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel (1:8). Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness (2:22). Beware in the last days. . . . For men shall be . . . covetous . . . more than lovers of God (3:1-4). All the Bible given directly by God as our Guide to gain the best out of our lives (3:16-17).
The ministry of Paul was marked by much physical suffering (II Cor. 11:22-28), but he declared: If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him (II Tim. 2:12). He was in prison many times for preaching the Word of God, but he never considered himself the prisoner of anyone other than Jesus (Phil. 1:1; II Tim. 1:8).
Paul knew that the end of his life was near when he wrote this Book. He was deeply concerned that Timothy, his son in the faith (I Tim. 1:2), be prepared to carry on the work of the Lord as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Tim. 2:3), and then added: No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life (2:4). We know that Christ is concerned for our welfare and will never leave us alone: I am with you alway (Matt. 28:20).
Paul urged Timothy to endure hardness (hardships and sufferings) (II Tim. 2:3), and to endure afflictions (4:5), that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier (2:4). All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (3:12).
How then can we be prepared to face such difficult life circumstances? God wants us not only to know how to endure physical hard times but also emotional stress and pressure that may result from it. Political, job related, or personal situations sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly force us to face strenuous events in our lives.
Our God is never caught by surprise. He has said: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. . . . And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart (Jer. 29:11,13).
The Apostle Paul knew from his own experience what young Timothy needed, as do all who want to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12).
The Holy Spirit also led him to write: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (II Tim. 2:15), and then added: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (II Tim. 3:16-17).
Thought for Today:
Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (II Tim. 3:14-15).
2:4 entangleth himself =becomes involved; 2:23 gender strifes =create or beget quarrels; 3:3 incontinent =without self-control; 4:15 be thou ware =be aware, be on guard.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Jane Elston and Mrs. Olev Torvik • Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. John Boozman (AR), Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (PA, and and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL) • Country: Nicaragua (5 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Limited religious freedom • 95% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord and He will give you peace (Prov. 3:24-26).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 18:34