Wednesday, October 3, 2012

260 in 2012 DEVOS - Day 198 - 2 Timothy 2: Discipline, Duty, Danger

Three points all starting with the same letter, sounds Baptist - hahahaha. But I do think there are 3 ideas Paul is wanting to communicate to Timothy and this will help me remember! First, he reminds Timmy to continually be strengthened by the grace of Christ – the good news of the Gospel! Never forget that you & I were hopeless until God stepped in and offered us hope! Next is probably the clearest verse on passing the discipleship baton in the new testament: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” From God to Jesus to Paul to Timothy to Reliable Men to Others! How does this happen? Paul gives four pictures of how to be strong in God’s grace in order to pass it on: Teacher, Soldier, Athlete, Farmer. And what is the common thread? DISCIPLINE! All of the occupations require patience & endurance looking for future reward! So, “Remember Jesus Christ….and be strong in grace!” Second, we have a duty: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Of all the great things that God has given us, none is more valuable than His Word! It is both a treasure we are to enjoy & a trust we are to take care of! And again, discipline is required, because spending daily time reading the Bible & praying may at times seem unglamorous or mundane. But in actuality, it is the greatest way to be drawn to God! And as we do so we become “an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” Finally, because our faith is a guarded treasure, there are dangers that lurk to destroy it – some from within and others from the outside. This requires both a turning from and a turning to: “FLEE the evil desires of youth, and PURSUE righteousness, faith, love and peace…” Sexual sin is a huge issue among students (and all people) and one we are called to run from – even though our emotions can often want to take over! Arguing & fighting put our usability in danger as well. The better response keeps our eyes on eternal things: “Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” SO WHAT?! *So, on the scale of laziness – disciplined, where do you land? How about spiritually? Are you keeping up with our daily readings? Takes discipline doesn’t it? (Just ask this guy who gave his word he would write daily devotions to go along with these daily readings! – hehe…) Ask God for help and then find a buddy to hold you accountable! *How are you “correctly handling your Bible?” Can you explain the Gospel to another? If friends have life questions, can you go to your Bible and help them find wisdom & answers. There are no shortcuts here. It takes TIME with God in prayer and His Word. Lord, help us to be devoted to these! *Which is easier for you: fleeing or pursuing? Why? If you do one without the other, can you fulfill verse 21? What “impure” things do you need to ask God to help you rid yourself of today?

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