Welcome to the Bible Reading Plan! We are so glad you are joining us for this journey through 2 Timothy, a New Testament letter written by the Apostle Paul. Each day, you will read one chapter of the Bible followed by a short devotional, answer a few questions, and if you want, record any observations or insights using the interactive notes section. We believe God will use this resource to grow our knowledge and affection for Him. We know God’s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Sign up with a friend, your Life Group, or your family, and let’s dig in!
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2 Timothy Preview
A few years after he wrote 1 Timothy, Paul penned his second letter to Timothy, his dear friend and partner in ministry. This letter, written around 67 AD, is actually the last letter Paul wrote while he awaited execution by the Roman authorities. Think about that: Paul knew what was around the corner. If you knew you were about to die, what would you tell your closest friends? This letter is precisely that. It’s deeply personal and a glimpse into everything Paul wanted Timothy to cling to and remember.
This letter, which is more personal and less of a theological work than 1 Timothy or Titus, serves to remind Timothy to stand strong in his faith and remain dependent on the Word of God. As the world around them was starting to spiral towards ungodliness, persecution was to be expected. No one knew this better than Paul as he awaited execution. In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul sums up his hope for Timothy: that he will fulfill the ministry God has given him.
As we read these four chapters, be looking for all of the ways this letter is applicable to us today. How can we cling to the Word of God when there’s ungodliness all around us? Are we ready to stand firm in the face of persecution if it comes our way? How do we fulfill the ministry God has entrusted to each of us? These are the questions we should ask ourselves as we read these four chapters.
Read 2 Timothy 1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dear son:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 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. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
Appeal for Loyalty to Paul and the Gospel
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Examples of Disloyalty and Loyalty
15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.
How often do we celebrate the faithful people who have gone before us in life? Maybe it was our parents, a mentor, a teacher, a pastor, or a friend who have taught us the way of Jesus. This letter begins with a celebration of Timothy’s sincere faith and an encouragement to continue to grow. The lives of Timothy’s mother and grandmother gave him a heritage of faith. Paul celebrates and reminds Timothy not only to remember their influence, but to fan into flame this heritage to grow his own faith. What a gift of God!
One way to grow in faith is to understand how suffering can support the gospel. Paul invites Timothy to join with him in suffering for the gospel by the power of God (v. 8). What an interesting invitation! Why is this so important to him?
Paul is a man well-acquainted with the value of suffering. He writes this letter from a prison cell awaiting his execution. This guy knows what he’s talking about when it comes to suffering (see 2 Corinthians 11:16-30 for a highlight reel of Paul’s suffering). He has seen firsthand the benefit of remaining “on mission” even in the midst of difficulty. Because of this, he continually boasts in his weakness, knowing that is where Christ’s power is displayed most clearly. Over and over again, the gospel–the story of Jesus bringing sinners from death to life–gives him perspective and hope to endure. The power of the Holy Spirit working in him makes it all possible. Paul puts his life on display for Timothy and us to learn what faithfulness in the midst of suffering looks like. He reminds us all of this is made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.
The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline (v. 7). This same spirit dwells in us and helps us to endure suffering, grow in the faith, and guard the gospel that has been entrusted to us.
- Who in your life has gone before you in the faith and impacted the way you follow Jesus? Thank God for their influence in your life.
- What does it mean to fan into flame the gift of God?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you steward the gospel well – remembering and proclaiming it every chance you have. What a gracious gift we’ve been given.
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