Timothy is blessed by the many people and avenues that have nurtured his faith: the teachings of his mother and grandmother and his own reading and study of scripture. His soul is convicted of the truth and power of “the sacred writings.” Leaning in, looking him straight in the eye, Paul tells Timothy that once his spirit has heard beyond the words, once God has convicted him, once his heart has engaged and yielded, Timothy now shoulders a sacred responsibility to live and share God’s message of salvation hope.
People in our lives have shared the power and strength, the call and conviction, the grace and hope found in scripture. They have shared those places where God has met them. We have been blessed and spiritually uplifted by those who have taught and reminded us what it means to live a faithful life. Their witness enables our witness; we accept the task of persistence in “favorable or unfavorable” times. And we acknowledge that we will endure suffering for the sake of our conviction.
In the midst of a difficult season, I found myself surrounded in a church Bible study by new friends who ignited questions and wonder in my soul. My spiritual hunger bewildered me. My pastor played “Paul” to my awakening “Timothy.” My companions fed my soul, answered my questions, and became the nurturing faith family that propelled my faith to turn a corner and come home, forever changing my life.
I soon became convicted and called; nothing less would satisfy my soul. Convicted to stand strong with eyes focused on God while ridiculed. Called to preach in the face of manipulation of the sacred word. Commissioned to share hope in the midst of darkness and to speak truth that eternally changes lives.
For the blessings of those who have loved us into the arms of Jesus, thank you, Lord. Amen.
Christians want help in understanding the signi cance of the Bible. Psalm 119 delights in the instruction of Yahweh. The text of the Torah is valued, not as a legal document but as an occasion for meditation and for the shaping of values, intuitions, and sensitivities. Scripture in Second Timothy is the gift of God and a guide for the practical life of God’s people. Its instructive role equips believers for every good work. Jeremiah 31 anticipates the time when God will write the law on the hearts of the people and reminds readers that at the core of “the law” is the covenant relation God establishes: “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The parable of the persistent widow directs us to the companion of Bible study: prayer.
• Read Jeremiah 31:27-34. In what sense do you perceive God’s guidance coming from within you?
• Read Psalm 119:97-104. How immersed are you in God’s word? How does scripture guide your decisions?
• Read 2 Timothy 3:14–4:5. Who in your life has been a coura- geous teacher leading you toward God? How has he or she helped sustain your faith?
• Read Luke 18:1-8. How have your attitudes toward prayer changed? How does this passage help you to view prayer in a new light?
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