God’s Saving Word: Encouragement
2 Timothy 4:1-22: In this concluding chapter to Paul’s letter, Timothy is told to preach the Good News, even in the face of opposition, and to do his work as a servant of God. Paul asks Timothy to visit him in prison and to bring him certain items. The chapter concludes with a series of personal greetings.
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and because he is coming to rule as King, I solemnly urge you 2 to preach the message, to insist upon proclaiming it (whether the time is right or not), to convince, reproach, and encourage, as you teach with all patience. 3 The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends. 5 But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.
6 As for me, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed; the time is here for me to leave this life. 7 I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith.[a] 8 And now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day—and not only to me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear.
9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 Demas fell in love with this present world and has deserted me, going off to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he can help me in the work. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring my coat that I left in Troas with Carpus; bring the books too, and especially the ones made of parchment.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me great harm; the Lord will reward him according to what he has done. 15 Be on your guard against him yourself, because he was violently opposed to our message.
16 No one stood by me the first time I defended myself; all deserted me. May God not count it against them! 17 But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength, so that I was able to proclaim the full message for all the Gentiles to hear; and I was rescued from being sentenced to death. 18 And the Lord will rescue me from all evil and take me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever! Amen.
19 I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and to the family of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus, because he was sick. 21 Do your best to come before winter.
Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia send their greetings, and so do all the other Christians.
22 The Lord be with your spirit.
God’s grace be with you all.
Today’s Key Verse: 2 Timothy 4:5
You must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.
According to verse 2, what is Timothy urged to do? What warning is he given in verses 3 and 4? What instructions is he given in verse 5? What are your thoughts about these words of advice? In what ways do you share your faith with others? Reread verses 6-8. What are your thoughts about these verses? Do you find these words hopeful? Why or why not?
Lord God, inspire and surround me with the wisdom of your Holy Spirit so that I may discern how best to share my faith with others. Speak through my words and my actions so that others will experience the knowledge of your love and salvation. Amen.
And now, join us in praising God for the life-changing Scriptures for the people all across North Central Nigeria. Lord God, last year the support of Bible-A-Month Partners helped to make the first Okun New Testament a reality for waiting believers in North Central Nigeria.
It was the very first Bible translation in the Okun language. Receiving the Scriptures in the heart language of the people is transforming lives and helping them to spread the gospel of Jesus to others. Thank you, Lord, that the people of North Central Nigeria are now receiving renewed hope from your Word. Amen.
Titus 1:1-16: The apostle Paul reminds Titus of the work to be done in Crete.