Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 23, 2012 … “Famous Last Words”

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 358

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Hebrews, Chapters 1-6 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: 2nd Timothy, Chapter 1 : [NLT] … {2nd Timothy, written by Paul from a 2nd imprisonment in Rome during the reign of Nero, is considered to be the Apostle’s last will and testament and a letter of loving concern to his “son in Christ,” Timothy, whom he wanted to grow in leadership and influence as a Pastor of the church in Ephesus. My Parsons Commentary reviews Chapter 1 of the letter in this way:  
“Paul’s introduction is tender, and every phrase exudes the love he has for Timothy (1:1-5). He then reminds Timothy of the qualities necessary for a faithful minister of Jesus Christ (1:6–2:13). Timothy should remember his call and use his gifts with boldness (1:6-12), and keep to the truth (1:13-18).” } …  

Highlight Passages: 2nd Timothy, Chapter 2: [NLT] … {The Parsons Commentary summarized the points in Chapter 2, writing that Paul felt …  
“Timothy should remember his call and … prepare others to follow him in the ministry (2:1, 2), be disciplined and ready to endure suffering (2:3-7), and keep his eyes and mind focused on Christ (2:8-13). Paul challenges Timothy to hold to sound doctrine, reject error and avoid godless chatter, correctly handle the word of truth (2:14-19), and keep his life pure (2:20-26).” } …  

Highlight Passages: 2nd Timothy Chapter 3 : [NLT] … {Next, according to the Parsons Commentary, the Apostle Paul in Chapter 3 ... 
“... warns Timothy of the opposition that he and other believers would face in the last days from self-centered people who use the church for their own gain and teach false doctrines (3:1-9). Paul tells Timothy to be prepared for these unfaithful people by remembering his example (3:10, 11), understanding the real source of the opposition (3:12, 13), and finding strength and power in the Word of God (3:14-17).” 
And those exhortations from God’s word, especially about the truth which became God’s word are cogently pertinent for all Christians today.}  

Highlight Passages: 2nd Timothy, Chapter 4: [NLT] … {Finally the Parsons Commentary reviews the last chapter of the letter, writing:  
“Then Paul gives Timothy a stirring charge: to preach the Word (4:1-4) and to fulfill his ministry until the end (4:5-8). And Paul concludes with personal requests and items of information. In these final words, he reveals his loneliness and his strong love for his brothers and sisters in Christ (4:9-22).” } … 

My Journal for Today: I don’t know about you, but this humble warrior – yes, yours truly - is wrapped in the throws of attempting to be an effective “pastor” and leader myself in a ministry calling from God; and I really identify with the “famous last words” from the Apostle Paul to his mentee, Timothy, a young pastor who was doing all he could in Ephesus to be a church leader during the times of Nero’s attack on Christianity in the 1st Century.

Paul knew that he very likely would not be around very much longer in this world, being imprisoned and under threat of execution by Rome; and so, caring deeply for the young pastor he called “his son in Christ,” Paul was allowed to write this 2nd letter to Timothy, which we know now was his “last will and testament.” And there are many things in this letter, which I hope you’ve read by the link above, which any Christian should take to heart because, in reality, we’re all “ministers” of the Gospel, under Christ’s GREAT COMMISSION, aren’t we?

So, as Paul writes his ”famous last words,” we all should take his exhortations in 2nd Timothy to heart and let God’s truth in this letter apply it to our lives as we live as ministers of the Great Commission [see Matt. 28: 19-20 and Acts 1: 8, witnessing to the Name of Christ and sharing God’s truth with a world starving for God’s love and truth.

My Prayer for Today Lord, You have charged us as Christians just as Paul charged Timothy in this 2nd letter; … so, Holy Spirit, help us to make it happen in Christ’s Name.… Amen

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