Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 3:10-17
A common English phrase is, “As different as chalk from cheese.” There is that sort of difference in the first and second halves of this chapter. The first nine verses are all about darkness and sin, but the second half of the chapter focuses on how we should live and God’s amazing deliverance.
Firstly, the Lord delivered Paul out of all his persecution and trials [verse 11]. He still remembers the persecution in Antioch, where he and Barnabas were expelled from the region [Acts 13:42-52]. In Iconium they had to flee after a violent attempt to abuse and stone them [Acts 14:1-7]. In Lystra Paul was stoned and left for dead [Acts 14:8-20]. Yet, after all this, they still returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, to strengthen the new believers. Nothing can take our life before God’s time if we are walking in obedience to Him.
Secondly, persecution is normal. “All who live godly in Christ will suffer persecution” [verse 15]. Notice the words “all” and “will.” Opposition is not avoidable. If you want to live a godly life, then you cannot please everyone! Simon Peter pointed to John and said “What about him?” Jesus responded, “… what is that to you? You follow Me” [John 21:22]. The week I became a Christian, fifty-two years ago, a Methodist Deaconess, gave me my first Bible text. It read, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” [John 16:33]. Many people just want to feel accepted but following Jesus may mean rejection! Any old fish can swim with the stream but it takes a fish with a backbone to swim against the tide!
Thirdly, It doesn’t matter how deceitful and evil men become, Timothy must continue in the Holy Scriptures that he had known from childhood [verse 14-15]. He had been taught the Scriptures at home, and had also had the amazing experience of learning from the apostle Paul. God’s Word is very powerful. Yusuf Roni was the owner of a large family mosque in Indonesia. A missionary gave him a Bible. He often went out into the fields to read his Bible, and on one of those times Jesus revealed Himself to Yusuf and his life was totally changed. Salvation had come! All Scripture is profitable and it is an essential part of our equipment, making us complete in our walk with Jesus!
What does it mean to you that nothing can take your life until it is God’s time if you are living in obedience to Him? This leads to a second question, are you living a life of obedience to Him?
Why is the desire to be accepted by people a stumbling block to walking with God? What do you make of the statement, “What other people think of me is none of my business”?
If you are parents what are you doing on a daily basis to train your children in understanding God’s Word? Why is this vitally important?