Paul's Last Instructions
10Timothy, you know what I teach and how I live. You know what I want to do and what I believe. You have seen how patient and loving I am, and how in the past I put up with 11 trouble and suffering in the cities of Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. Yet the Lord rescued me from all those terrible troubles. 12In fact, anyone who belongs to Christ Jesus and wants to live right will have trouble from others. 13But evil people who pretend to be what they are not will become worse than ever, as they fool others and are fooled themselves.
14Keep on being faithful to what you were taught and to what you believed. After all, you know who taught you these things. 15Since childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make you wise enough to have faith in Christ Jesus and be saved. 16Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. 17The Scriptures train God's servants to do all kinds of good deeds.
Having looked squarely at the characteristics of those who are opposed to the gospel and to everything that is good, Paul now urges Timothy to consider three important truths. All of these come out of Timothy’s past experience and push him to re-examine both the reason and the purpose of his present ministry.
“First,” Paul says, “look at my life. I lived with patience and love. I endured trouble and suffering in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. This is the reality of the life I lived because of my conviction that I am God’s servant; evil people have tried to destroy me but they will get their reward.”
“Secondly,” Paul continues, “stay on track with what you have personally been taught and have come to believe. Remember, Timothy, you learned this as a child – this is part of who you are and have come to believe.”
“And thirdly, Timothy, your convictions and mine are based on God’s Word to us, the Scriptures. These words are no ordinary words: they are powerful, they are true and they describe a standard by which we can live well and please God.”
Perhaps you are feeling unsure and tentative in your faith, perhaps discouraged at all that is going wrong in the world and even in the places where you live and work? Take heart from the same things Timothy was reminded of: the good life being lived by those faithful people you know, the good things God has done for you and God’s word which is solid, reliable and which provides you with a grounding and a hope.
Lord God, today I choose to live the way I have learned from faithful people and from the truths of your holy Word. Grant me your grace, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.