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Category Archives: 2 Timothy

2 Timothy 1:13-14

Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 1:13-14

Dear God, I wonder what it was like to be a disciple of Paul. I mean, the guy was in prison and seemed to completely accept the idea that that is where you had him. Society considered Paul a radical to the extent that it put him in jail and ultimately killed him. I never thought of it before, but that fact had to be sitting in the back of Timothy’s mind all of the time. Would that be his fate as well? Would listening to Paul’s teaching and loving you land him in prison? What kind of a life can one build with that?

I have to admit that I just can’t relate to this, and I’m grateful for it. My faith in and worship of you doesn’t cost me very much in terms of material things. In my community, I am able to live out my faith without disruptions to my marriage or my work. I’m not looking over my shoulder to see if someone is ready to throw me in jail, so listening to Paul’s teaching through scripture has only upside for me.

Father, maybe my faith in you costs me more than I realize, but right now, sitting here, it feels like an amazing gift. I’m sorry for when I let you down, get petty, or try to promote myself over others. I’m sorry when my ego takes control. I want to be all yours so that I only think of your glory and not my own.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

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Posted by on September 4, 2019 in 2 Timothy

 

2 Timothy 4:2-4

Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

2 Timothy 4:2-4

Dear God, verse 3 hardly seems prophetic. I cannot imagine a time when most people would not follow their own desires and look for teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. That’s just how we roll.

During the last presidential election, I saw everyone, including me, seeking out an echo chamber that would affirm our point of view on the candidate. Whether it was only getting news from specific news sources we knew probably saw things the way we saw them, visiting with friends who were going to vote like us, or only following people on social media who believed like we did, it was a surprise for one side that one candidate won the popular vote because “everyone they knew” was voting for the other person, and it was a surprise to the other group when the other person won the electoral college.

I use this as an example because I think social media and its ability to customize what we consume from the Internet is helping to only entrench all of us into only hearing what we want to hear and causing us to lose the skill of listening to an opposing argument without being offended. Then, when it comes to putting ourselves into a position where someone comes along to speak your truth, it becomes even harder for us to hear them because our hearts are even harder and our ability to process an opposing view is diminished.

Father, I like to think I am more evolved and open minded than that, but I fell into the same trap during the last election that a lot of other people did. I love to think that I am smart and wise, but the truth is that I need to hear from the Holy Spirit, I need to be challenged, I sometimes need to receive rebuke, sometimes I need to repent, and sometimes I need to change my perspective, paradigm, or opinion. So I submit this prayer, that you will give me what you need me to have, teach me what you need me to know, and motivate me to do what you need me to do.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2018 in 2 Timothy

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 

Dear God, it’s interesting to note that at this point Paul was referring to Old Testament scripture only and didn’t realize that his own letters would one day be considered Scripture. I wonder if that would have scared him a little or made him doubt his statement here. I know he was confident about himself and his place in your church, but I doubt he would have been confident enough to say that his writings should be taken to be Scripture. It’s a reminder that these books were written by real people, and while I believe they are divinely inspired and useful to teach me, the writers probably have more in common with me than I realize. 
But to get to the point of Paul’s message here, Scripture can only be useful if we actually use it and use it effectively. There are many ways to do this. Some just sit down and read it. Some take copious notes. Some participate in Bible study classes that guide them through it. Some read commentaries. And some, like me, use it as a jumping off point to journal prayers to you. 
Father, teach us to use your Scripture to know you and to find the relationship with you that we need. Be glorified in me and speak to me in these times with the words you want me to hear so that I might be the man you need me to be in any given situation. 
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Amen 

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2017 in 2 Timothy