The Pastoral Epistles: 2 Timothy 1 (3)
Pray Psalm 71.4-6.
Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
For You are my hope, O Lord God;
You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
Read and meditate on 2 Timothy 1.8-10.
1. Why should we as Christians expect to suffer for our faith? In what ways?
2. What is the “holy calling” to which God has called us?
We remember that Paul was writing to Timothy from Rome, where he was imprisoned for the Gospel. This was nothing of which to be ashamed. Suffering is a given for the followers of Christ (Phil. 1.29). That suffering can take many forms, including persecution, oppression, physical abuse, and even death.
But not everyone who is called to suffer will suffer in such ways. Sometimes it’s just a snide remark or a broken friendship; at other times we suffer by giving ourselves and possessions away for the needs of others, just as the suffering of our Lord Jesus involved Him becoming poor for us. Through the Gospel, God has both saved and called us to a holy calling, and that calling can entail suffering. We must not be ashamed to suffer, and we must not be afraid.
When we remember that suffering comes our way according to the purpose and with the grace of God (v. 9), we can bear up under it, be it ever so severe. That’s what Paul was doing, and he didn’t want anyone to be fretting or fearing about his situation, or that the same might befall them. We must continue our testimony concerning the Lord (v. 8), and keep up the kind of good works that bring life and immortality to light – the changed lives we have in Jesus, which are for the glory of God (vv. 9, 10).
Ours is a holy calling, in which we bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus by our lives and words. And even though the world may scorn, ignore, or abuse us, we know that we are called to bear up and persevere, no matter what.
1. How do you expect to “share with” Paul “in the sufferings of the Gospel”? How should you prepare for this each day?
2. How would you summarize our testimony about the Lord Jesus Christ?
3. God in His grace is always ready to help us in our times of need (Heb. 4.12). How will you need that grace today?
If then he is mighty in calling us, and good, in that he has done it of grace and not of debt, we ought not to fear. For he who, when we should have perished, saved us, though enemies, by grace, will he not much more co-operate with us, when he sees us working? John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on 2 Timothy 2
Let Your grace be with me today, Lord, and help me to be ready to bear witness to Jesus as I…
Pray Psalm 71.1-6.
Seek the Lord to give you strength to bear up under opposition or persecution, and to sustain and bless and use you for His glory today.
Sing Psalm 71.1-6.
Psalm 71.1-6 (Solid Rock: My Hope is Built on Nothing Less)
In You, O Lord, I refuge claim; O let me never be ashamed.
In righteousness deliver me; incline Your ear and hear my plea.
Refrain v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!
From wicked hands redeem me, Lord, from all who wrest and break Your Word.
My hope, my confidence from youth, my praise forever reaches You.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).