Prayer Focus:Virgin Islands (USA), Wallis & Futuna Is

Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 1-4

Scripture:

Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. (2 Timothy 1:14)

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 )

Observation: 

This second book to Timothy starts with some wonderful words of personal encouragement, a call to be strong and a reminder of where his help will come from. In the “Rebekah paraphrase” of Paul, he summarizes his main points in this – remain faithful, stay focused, be victorious. Of course, the reminder of Christ’s victory doesn’t hurt either. Paul reminds Timothy that God will reward the obedient. (4:8)

Application:

In this particular passage, it’s not just a list of things to do or not do . . . it lays out the purpose and the means. Why must we not fight, why should be be kind to others? So that those who are ensnared might be freed from captivity. As we live life faithfully and are obedient to the things of God our behavior will look different. Offering a kindness when people expect payback, being patient with people when they make mistakes, listening to the other side of the issues and being able to respond, not in accusation but in understanding . . . these things create opportunities for people to question things – their own behavior, yours, why they do what they do … all in the hope that they might see Truth, respond to God’s voice, reach understanding, repentance, acceptance into God’s family.

Nice thoughts. . . tough to do. . . but that’s why I love 1:13-14 – The sound words – the treasure which is God’s Word – the life and example of Christ, the promise of Sonship, our salvation – that is what we are to retain – and the Holy Spirit is how we guard it. When we are tempted to give into exhaustion, anger, fear . . . anything that would inhibit or hinder our ability to live out God’s word – to keep focused on the goal – not just of our own salvation but the salvation of others – it is the Holy Spirit that transforms us, empowers us, chastises and guides us from repentance to obedience. It’s an uphill battle some days to be sure . . . but it’s not an impossible one . . for with God – Nothing is impossible.. . . just ask Mary.

Prayer:

Father I thank you for your Word which challenges and encourages me. I think of the words of the song . . . Desperate. “I’m Desperate, for every word You say. To know You more than I could ever imagine. I want to see Your beauty, let Heaven come to earth”   . . .but do I want that enough to temper or soften my words, to take the extra time and patience to explain? I am so thankful for who I am today. . . thank you for teaching me and sending your Spirit to counsel, correct and guide me . … I am thankful for growth . . but there is so much more of me that needs your hand of mercy and correction. So many times when I fail.  Help me to see not only where I’ve been and what I’ve come from, but where you are leading me and what is possible. For your kingdom and your glory, Amen.

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