2 Timothy 3:1–9 (ESV)
Godlessness in the Last Days
3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful,
unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having
the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always
learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But
they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
It is interesting
that as I read the first verses, I realize that all these personality traits are here today. The reading says to avoid such people… well then, we need to avoid the world. The passions of the world today are corrupt and ungodly. The
Lutheran Study Bible states: “Although Paul writes these words specifically about temptations that attack the pastoral office, they clearly apply to all Christians. Men like Jannes and Jambres allowed themselves to be enticed, and in so doing they disqualified
themselves regarding the faith. God’s baptismal gift of the Holy Spirit creates within us an ongoing desire for repentance and forgiveness. Although we may regularly fall into sin (such falls are easy for all Christians), God calls us to faith again
through His Word, reminding us of the forgiveness and cleansing that are ours in Christ Jesus.”
I pray: Lord, it is exceedingly easy to be deceived
and so fall into sin. Guard me against all temptation. Amen.
2 Timothy 2:20–26 (ESV)
A Worker Approved by God
in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what
is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness,
faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s
servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and
they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
I have a lot of buddies in the ministry that
want to correct any and everything someone says that is not right. I appreciate the desire to be right, but sometimes it is best to let it go and address the issue later on. If you quarrel with someone, you may never see them again, but if you
build a relationship with them, learning correct theology is a lifelong journey. I smile on the inside when someone tells me that they have always believed this particular issue when you know that several years back…
they didn’t. You know that you have been teaching and they have been learning. Teach in love and peace, not through quarreling. Now reread the last section. “22 So flee youthful passions
and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And
the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the
truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”
I pray: O Lord help me to teach with patience and understanding. Let the Holy Spirit work through your Word to bring about Godly change. Amen.
2 Timothy 2:14–19 (ESV)
A Worker Approved by God
14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present
yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and
their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But
God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
When gangrene sets in, the flesh begins to die. It is an infection that kills skin tissue. You don’t want this infection and it spreads fast. Do not get caught up in arguments
but stand firm in God and don’t waver from His teachings. Two false teachers are mention, Hymenaeus and Philetus, who believe that the resurrection of the dead has already happened.
We are taught that this will happen at Jesus’s Second Coming.
I pray: O Lord, help me to
stay true to your teachings and to give you the Glory. Amen.
2 Timothy 2:8–13 (ESV)
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead,
the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake
of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have
died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
Using several comparisons (solider, athlete, and farmer), Paul calls Timothy to find other faithful men who are able to share in the pastoral office. Christians—including
pastors—need one another, bearing one another’s burdens. Paul describes his love for others with the words “I endure everything for the sake of the elect.” These words also describe Christ’s
love for all people. He bore all things for us, so we would not be crushed beneath our overwhelming load of sin and death.
I pray: Thank You, Lord, that
You bore all things for me. Give me strength and love to help my neighbors bear their burdens. Amen.
2 Timothy 2:1–7 (ESV)
A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
2 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that
is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier
of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
reading is an instruction to Timothy from Paul on training future Pastors: “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” As a pastor, it is comforting to know
that there are other pastors out there… you are not alone. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our congregation that we start feeling alone in the ministry when there are so many others out there. It is important to train faithful men to
share the Gospel and some to even become pastors. It is also good for us to go to Circuit meetings and be in the fellowship of other pastors who probably have gone through your problems (been there, done that, got the t-shirt) and can help you.
I know being a Lutheran down in the South… our kids don’t see many other Lutheran kids. This is one of the biggest benefits of the Youth Gatherings and Higher Things. The youth don’t feel alone and see kids from all over the
country. But when training for the ministry… we are to be focused and to not get side-tracked. Satan wants to side-track us so that we lose focus.
I pray: O Lord, help me to stay focused on the faith and sharing
it with others. Help me to feed my faith on your Word and Sacraments. Amen.