Read 2 Timothy 3
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
A Final Charge to Timothy
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
This chapter is split up into two main ideas 1) focusing on what we focus on and 2) where our heart is. The first section begins with the word “but” in verse 1 because it is a continuation from the previous chapter speaking about non-believers. It speaks on the other side of the coin, that not everyone whom we show Christ to will accept Him and follow Him in faith. Paul then goes through a list of where these believers’ hearts lie. Matthew 6:21 says “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The things we love affect our faith, if God isn’t number one in our life, then we are being led in another direction.
The second part of this chapter then directly contrasts the previous one, talking about the example of a life following Jesus. It is meant to be an encouragement to believers to keep pressing forward in their walk with Christ. The list overall states that Paul’s entire life is loving God with his whole heart and following Him. What directly goes with this is the cost of following Christ and that suffering is a part of our faith journey. Paul was beaten and thrown into jail, but he still believed that God rescued him so that he was able to continue to live for God’s glory and to do His mission. It is easy to crave the comfort and desires described in the first section, but Jesus has already gone before us and set the ultimate example of how we are to live. He says in John 15:18, “the world hated me first.” This is the secret to Paul’s confidence: that he is not alone because God is with us and Jesus had already set the ultimate example before us.
Finally, in verse 16, it says “All scripture is God-breathed.” Think about that statement! Every word of this chapter that you just read isn’t a letter written by Paul to Timothy. It’s God speaking through Paul to direct and guide God’s people. Scripture has authority and power; let it change our lives and help us be “equipped for every good work” (v. 17). Reflect and be encouraged by that power today.
- What stands out to you in this passage?
- Reread verses 2-5. Do you relate to any of these characteristics listed? How can you shift your focus from these things to be more focused on God today?
- How does this passage make you feel? What did you learn about God?
Did You Know?
In verse 16, theopneustos is the translation of the phrase “breathed out by God” and was first published by Paul because it was not found in any other Greek text beforehand.
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