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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson


2 Timothy free Bible notes by Stephen Thompson

Daily Bible thoughts 1053: Tuesday 12th January 2016: 2 Timothy 2:14-19: An Audience of one.

2 Timothy 2:14-19: An Audience of one.(please click here for todays passage)

Christians today don’t always emphasise the sins of speech in the way the Bible does, but we need to understand that what we talk about shapes the people we become (16). ‘’Hymenaeus and Philetus’’ are examples of what can happen (17b, 18). They got into ‘’godless chatter’’ – which means false teaching in the context – and it damaged them; but it also wreaked havoc in the lives of others through them. Whether we speak heretical words, or just idle words, they don’t lead anywhere good. Words matter. If we belong to the Lord we ‘’must turn away from wickedness’’ in all forms (19). This includes verbal wickedness. ‘’Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul.’’ The Message.

Christian leaders have the responsibility to remind God’s people of truth, and to warn against error. ‘’Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people.’’ The Message. Much Christian service is like this. Furthermore, every aspect of a person’s ministry is carried out ‘’before God’’ (14). As a leader it is essential to ‘’Do your best…’’ (15). But this pursuit of excellence is not for its own sake. It is above all for God. I may want to please my earthly employers (and that is a good thing), but most of all I want to live and work for the smile of God. Sometimes, the human verdict on a person’s ministry, whether good or bad, is not the correct one. God is the Judge, and we want to hear His ‘Well done’ most of all. (Think about Jeremiah, for example. By and large he was disapproved of by men, but he was approved by God. We know he was faithful. God will not allow popular opinion to have the final say.) There is a Dave Godfrey children’s song which says, ‘’I’m living for an Audience of One; the Audience is Jesus.’’

In a world where the devil will always be at work to deceive people and lead them into error, Christian ministers must work particularly hard to ‘’correctly’’ handle the Bible (15), then we will not need not be ‘’ashamed’’. The truth sets people free, but false teaching fastens them in chains. So much is at stake in our teaching. ‘’Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.’’ The Message.

It is good to know that whatever people do, God will not be overthrown. His purposes stand firm (19). He knows all those who are truly his, and this belonging to God is manifested in a serious pursuit of holiness.

‘’Meanwhile, God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever.’’ The Message.

Prayer: Lord bless your preachers with clear-sighted understanding of your truth, and help them to always be faithful to follow your instructions.

Daily Bible thoughts 1043: Tuesday 29th December 2015: 2 Timothy 1:8, 15-18: Unashamed

 2 Timothy 1:8, 15-18: Unashamed(please click here for todays passage)

Maybe Timothy had a tendency towards timidity. This was possibly hinted at in (6, 7). Paul told him not to be ashamed:

  1. Of ‘’the testimony about our Lord’’ (8a). It is a dangerous thing to preach the good news of Jesus (12a). It had landed Paul in prison (8b, 17). In the words of a book title, Christians are called to ‘’Risky Living’’. Anyone could be ashamed when they consider the potential cost;
  2. Of Paul himself ‘’his prisoner’’ (8b). If you live in a culture where certain of your fellow-Christians, or fellow-leaders in the church, are being imprisoned, it might seem easier to distance yourself from them. You could be putting yourself in danger if you stand by them. Paul knew what it was to be abandoned by many who fled ‘like rats from a sinking ship.’ ‘’I’m sure you know by now that everyone in the province of Asia deserted me…’’ The Message. But there was a man by the name of ‘’Onesiphorus’’ who was of a different order. He was someone who possessed a servant heart, and instead of giving Paul a ‘wide berth’ he actively sought him out. He wanted to identify with him and help him. So Paul was encouraging Timothy to follow in his footsteps, and not be like ‘’Phygelus and Hermogenes’’ and the rest. ‘’But God bless Onesiphorus and his family! Many’s the time I’ve been refreshed in that house. And he wasn’t embarrassed a bit that I was in jail. The first thing he did when he got to Rome was look me up. May God on the Last Day treat him as well as he treated me. And then there was all the help provided in Ephesus – but you know that better than I.’’ The Message.

In the call to be unashamed, Timothy had the example of Paul who was himself so courageous, in spite of all his sufferings (12). Paul would not ask of Timothy that which he was unprepared to give himself. He led by example.

We need to hear these words in our day. There are forces at work in society that would want to silence the church. We could easily be tempted to keep our heads down, to play it safe. May we never be ashamed of Jesus. If we own Him on earth, He’ll own us in heaven.

Prayer: At times I feel quite uneasy, and even scared on occasions, as I see the walls coming in. Help me Lord Jesus to be unembarrassed to say that I love you.

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