We began the week with reading 2 Timothy 1:1-7. Here we find Paul commending Timothy for his genuine faith. Even though they are apart, Timothy is remembered fondly.
“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” (2 Timothy 1:6, NLT)
Paul reminded Timothy to “fan into flames” the spiritual gift he had been given.
Faith must be cultivated and this will take a daily tending. These times we are living are not for the weak in spirit. We need to keep our faith burning brightly so that it will produce power in our lives.
What are you doing to cultivate and strengthen your faith? What encourages you to press on and through the difficult days?
Jesus will help us to fan the flame and persevere so that we learn to fight well.
As we continue in 2 Timothy 2:1-7, we find Paul instructing Timothy, and us, to be strong and endure times which may be difficult.
Paul uses 3 analogies:
- Endure suffering. Good soldiers stay focused and don’t get caught up in the details of civilian life. This doesn’t mean we don’t know what is going on around us. This means that we stay focused on the purpose to which God has called us. Paul is reminding us that much like a soldier is concerned with obeying his commanding officer, we, too, should live in obedience and commitment to the Lord.
- Keep an eye on the prize. Athletes train with the purpose of obtaining the prize for which they compete. To do so requires self-discipline, doing the thing day after day after day.
- Do the hard work. Farmers work long and hard days. Their efforts are often not recognized until the harvest. Some seasons will bear more fruit than others.
Paul calls us to reflect on these three in order to gain insight (verse 7). The study asks: To which one – soldier, athlete or farmer – do you most personally relate? I would add, which do you need to better develop?
We closed the week with 2 Timothy 2:14-19, where Paul brings a sobering and timely reminder for us all:
“Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words.” (verse 14, NLT)
Arguing and splitting of words … it’s all around us on any number of topics. Whether they are good or bad, valid or invalid, true or false, this will only lead to no good. And here is why:
- “Such arguments are useless”
- and they can “ruin those who hear them.”
Paul encourages us to stay away from such worthless and harmful discussions. Our study wisely tells us to instead:
” … endeavor to study the Word of God and know what it says. We will only recognize lies when we have gazed at the truth for so long that any diversion flashes red with warning.”
(Kelleen Little, Faithful Household of God, page 42)
The study asks a powerful question for us all to truly ponder and ask ourselves: How has social media influenced your Christian walk? Do you need to make any changes in the manner in which you express or receive spiritual truths through social media?
avoiding useless arguments and clinging to truth,
we will grow in strength and endurance.