Saturday, October 20, 2012

2 Timothy 2:8-10

Summary retelling of 2 Timothy 2:8-10

Paul once again reminds Timothy to not forget about Jesus Christ – who ultimately was raised from the dead and who is the thrust of true preaching.  Even though our preaching about Christ might make us feel bound in this world, the Word of God is not bound and cannot be bound.  Thus, we who are Christians should look at enduring hardship in this world as a service we do for others who have heard or who will hear and who will believe.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Do not forget Jesus.  It sounds so silly when I put it that way.  After all, isn’t Christianity named after Christ?  How can we possibly forget Christ?  Yet, we do it all the time.  We get so busy doing the work that we forget to talk about Christ.  We get so busy talking about each other’s lives that we forget to talk about Christ at work in our lives.  We get so wrapped up in the tasks of this world that we forget to think how Christ can be shown to the world through the accomplishment of our tasks.  He died for us, so we should not forget about Him.  Yet, often He is pushed into the background.

Do you know what I mean when I say how easy it is to forget about Jesus?  If so, what things in this life help you forget about Him the most?  What things do you do that don’t involve Jesus but you could easily bring Him into them?

Second Thought:
Paul then talks about being bound.  We are bound all the time in this world.  If teachers talk about faith in school they get in trouble.  If we have icons of faith in courts we get in trouble.  People are often made to feel put down when they wear a cross or a Christian T-shirt.  In classrooms if students talk about faith they are sometimes immediately considered less intelligent or even weird.  But God’s Word is not bound.  God’s Word can grow in places that appear at first to be the most inhospitable places you can imagine.  God’s Word is capable of taking root wherever it is proclaimed.  It can change the life of even the most cold-hearted person if they are willing.

Have you ever felt bound because of your faith?  Have you ever seen anyone come to know God that you thought was never going to know God?  Why do you think God’s Word can never truly be bound?

Third Thought:
Paul says that he endures hardship for the sake of the faithful.  Persecution will come.  The true test of a person is how they handle the persecution that does come.  A true believer will endure the persecution and stay loyal in the faith.  The true believer will stay loyal because of God, but also as a sign to the believers around them that it is possible to stand firm.  The true believer will endure persecution so that others who are persecuted (or who will be persecuted later) can have the example to follow.  Perhaps most importantly, a true believer will endure the persecution because it is the example of Christ.  Christ did it for us; we should do it for others as well.

What does persecution feel like to you?  When is it easy to endure?  When is it hard to endure?  Who are some of the people that might benefit from seeing you overcome the persecution that you might receive because of your faith?

Passage for Tomorrow: 2 Timothy 2:11-13
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