Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2 Timothy 1:15-18

Summary retelling of 2 Timothy 1:15-18

Paul tells Timothy that all who were in Asia (that is, Asia Minor) turned away from Paul’s teaching.  Onesiphorus is one disciple who did not turn away.  Instead, Onesiphorus came to Rome, searched for Paul, and encouraged him while he was in prison.  Paul then asks God to remember the sacrifice and service of Onesiphorus in judgment – for he not only helped Paul but also the church in Ephesus.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
This is a dark moment in Paul’s life.  He’s in Rome – arrested – and unable to go about and preach.  Members from his former churches are refusing to come to Rome and offer words of defense for him.  We know that a false Gospel – one based on works salvation – is spreading like wildfire among the churches in Asia Minor.  Things seem to be crumbling in his life.  So Paul turns to Timothy in a search for hope in his life.  Christians cannot dwell in the unhappiness of life forever.  Eventually we must seek out hope wherever it may be found.  This world can be depressing to live in at times, especially for those of us who are in the Lord.  We must learn to continually look for hope.

What things in the world depress you?  What does the world do that you know would be better if they turned to the Lord instead?  Where do you find your hope? 

Second Thought:
Paul also remembers a saint by the name of Onesiphorus.  Onesiphorus came to Paul’s side when he needed someone.  Onesiphorus came and sought Paul out.  He came and offered encouragement when Paul needed it.  When the rest of the world seemed to falling away, Onesiphorus was there to restore Paul’s faith.

What does this passage tell us about the significance of relationships within our faith?  How does it make you feel to know that even Paul – the great Apostle who wrote more of the New Testament books than anyone else! – needed encouragement?

Third Thought:
Paul asks God to remember Onesiphorus in the Day of the Lord – the day of judgment.  This is a pretty cool thought, although it is easy to pass it by.  We can often overlook this as “words” that Paul says as a “thank-you” to Onesiphorus.  It is easy to hear Paul say these words and just think that he is being cordial.  But I think Paul actually means these words.  If we look to Matthew 6:20 we hear Jesus tell the people around Him to store up treasure in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot beak in and steal.  I think Paul’s words here are a living breathing example of Jesus’ teaching.  Paul is reminding us that it is far better to be rewarded for our actions on the great Day of the Lord than to be rewarded for them here and now.

Why is it better to receive our reward in heaven rather than now?  Do you always live with that focus?  What gets in the way of our ability to live with our mind focused on receiving a reward in heaven rather than receiving here and now?

Passage for Tomorrow: 2 Timothy 2:1-4
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