Monday, November 14, 2022

          Paul wrote a second letter to Timothy.  Some people believe this was either Paul’s final letter that we have in our Bibles or at least one of his last letters.  He gave some parting words to his “son” in the faith.  He quickly made clear how he felt about Timothy.  He wrote, “I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers” (2 Timothy 1:3).  There may be someone now for whom you would offer an immediate prayer of thanks.  This person may have blessed you in some way recently or their mere presence in your life remains a blessing to you.  They have stood beside you for years and you love and trust them.  The apostle Paul was never reluctant about identifying the people that the Lord had used to bless him in his journeys and preaching.  Timothy was one such man.  And early on in this second letter, Paul wanted Timothy to know how special he was.
            Paul gave Timothy some fatherly advice in 2 Timothy 1:7. We read, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  With God’s power and help, we can live courageously.  The Lord gives us the strength that we would otherwise be lacking by ourselves.  This strength comes to us in the midst of trials and adversity.  We experience this strength when we serve the Lord or speak up for Him.  We also possess the power we need to root out sin, defiance and disobedience from our lives.  God gives us the strength we need to practice the basic Christian disciplines like worship, personal Bible reading, prayer, tithing, serving and spending time in silence before the Lord.  These practices are not ordinarily what we might pursue so we must “discipline” ourselves to pursue them.  But the blessings are ours when we practice the great disciplines of the Christian faith.
            One of Paul’s themes in 2 Timothy is faithfulness.  Generally speaking, he issued a call to Timothy (and to us) to be faithful in all things.  We read in 2 Timothy 3:14-15, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”  The key word is “continue.”  The Christian life is a marathon.  We are running to the finish line which is eternity with the Lord.  We want to prove ourselves faithful with the blessings, opportunities and avenues that the Lord has given to us.  The key word “continue” implies uninterrupted, ongoing action.  We do not succumb to weariness and we do not leave the race.  We press on. 
            It could be that God is encouraging you to continue in your faith in some way.  Maybe you have recently felt some sense of discouragement in your faith.  Maybe you have battled the temptation to quit or to drop out of your race.  Perhaps trials or battles have left you feeling weary and worn down.  Maybe your walk with the Lord has not gone very far recently.  You feel like you are walking in mud or even sinking in quicksand.  It could be time to come back to where you once were, to embrace the key spiritual disciplines of faith we named a bit earlier and trust God to provide you with the power and strength that you need.  Paul reminded us in 2 Timothy that God uses His Word to equip us for every good work.  We can count on this promise and for God’s Word to do what He has promised it will do.  Continue on today!  Do not grow weary and do not let the enemy sideline you.  Reach out to the Lord who will equip you for every good work.  Have a great Monday!  And remember you can worship any time at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis. 
             

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