Lord, I praise You for giving us Your Word so we can truly be equipped for every good work. Help me not to leave my Bible on the shelf, neglecting this precious gift. Help me to hide Your Word in my heart so I can be equipped for Your mission. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read 2 Timothy 3
At the close of 2 Timothy 2, Paul told Timothy to patiently and gently persuade opponents to return and submit to God’s Word. But not everyone will be won this way. After all, Paul said plainly that difficult times are coming because these are the “last days.” In these last days, men and women love what they shouldn’t—themselves, money, pleasure—and fail to love what they should—God and His wisdom. While the moral fiber of our culture (and all cultures) goes from bad to worse, Christians will increase in godliness by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
In Acts, the Holy Spirit is associated with power for Christians to live as witnesses to the truth about the gospel of the kingdom (Acts 1:8). Paul reminded Timothy of this when he connected power for living with the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 1:7). In time, those who truly belong to Christ will be clearly differentiated by their holy lives. There will even be people associated with the church who seem to be godly, but who do not have “power” to live as citizens of Christ’s kingdom. These people will need to be “avoided” (3:5) because they oppose the truth and can harm the church. The good news is that God expects us to be different and provides the means to do so by equipping us with His Spirit.
In addition to the power of the indwelling Spirit, Timothy had two additional advantages to guide him. He had the conduct of Paul that deserved imitation, and he had been taught to believe Scriptures. With the Spirit of God helping him, the Word of God guiding him, and the people of God encouraging him, Timothy just needed to keep following Jesus.
Paul promised that as Timothy followed Jesus, he would suffer persecution because suffering is normal for Christians. All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Yet, as evil people go from bad to worse, believers in Christ should continue in what they’ve been taught as they’re transformed by the Word of God. After all, every bit of Scripture is profitable for Christians, and God’s Word is given to us so that we may be “complete,” that is, equipped for every possible good work.
2 Timothy 3:16
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
- Paul showed how the “Big Three” help the Christian live a godly life. The Spirit of God gives us power, the people of God model godly living to us, and the Word of God tethers our hearts to truth. Which of these three do you need more of in your life today?
- Is the Holy Spirit empowering change in your life?
- Are you growing in godliness?
- Are you following the example of godly brothers and sisters?
- Are you diligently studying God’s Word, allowing it to “teach, reprove, correct, and train” you for righteousness?
- Reflect on the balance or unbalance of the “Big Three” in your life. What adjustments do you need to make?
- Study a passage from the New Testament. Discuss this passage with other Christians until you can find someone who has obeyed it in a particular way. Obey it like they did, and then teach what you have learned to another Christian.