2 Timothy 4:19–22 (ESV)
Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings
to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers.
22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
Paul gives his greetings to fellow Christians he has known and trained. He cares about them and calls them by name. Reminds me of the passage from this last Sunday which was Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus said
I know my sheep and they know me. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “In closing, Paul asks Timothy to greet the other Christians at Ephesus, whom Paul had earlier grown to love. There is no Christian who lives to himself or herself alone. We are
a family, joined together in Christ! Timothy faces a difficult task, but he does not face it alone. Other Christians in the Body of Christ will shoulder the load with him. God has likewise given fellow Christians to us, whom we will find gathered with us in
worship. Partaking of the Word and the Sacraments in the communion of saints, our gracious heavenly Father will lighten our loads and lift our burdens.”
pray: Thank You, Lord, for my fellow Christians whom I name before You in my prayers. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:9–18 (ESV)
9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For
Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.
12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander
the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand
by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued
from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Paul requests that Timothy visit him
at Rome, confident that his fellow Christian will prove faithful. We should not hesitate to ask others for their help, particularly when our need is great. Probably they are more than ready to give us aid and require only to know our need. The self-sacrificing
generosity that Christians show toward one another comes from only one place: the self-sacrificing love of Christ Jesus, who gave Himself fully for our salvation.
I pray: Thank You, Jesus, that You have given all things for me. Give
me Your Holy Spirit, that I may be bold, both to serve others with self-sacrificing love and to ask for such love from others when I am in need. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:1–8 (ESV)
Preach the Word
charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with
complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and
will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there
is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
We live in a world where we want to hear what we want, not what God wants. Joel Osteen is a prime example of someone who twists and rewords scripture to support his point… even if his point is not scriptural.
People hear what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. There is a difference. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Faced with the thought of his imminent death, Paul impresses upon Timothy the importance of carrying on where Paul will
leave off, preaching the Word faithfully. We should not judge our pastors’ preaching on whether they say the things we personally like to hear. We should judge preaching instead on God’s Word. God’s Word sometimes cuts like a knife when it
exposes our sin. But after the Law comes the Gospel of peace, binding up the wounds inflicted by the Law with the sweet Gospel, which proclaims Christ’s forgiveness for all our sins.”
I pray: Make me an ever-ready hearer of Your Word, O Lord. Do not let me seek preaching that satisfies my sinful desires, but give me preaching that will continually return me to the forgiveness You have given me through
Your Son. Amen.
2 Timothy 3:10–17 (ESV)
All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch,
at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while
evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and
how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
week I had an interesting talk with a barber who is also a preacher. We agreed on far more things than we disagreed. The more we agree with the Bible being the Word of God, the more we agree on theology. Verse 16-17 is vital to the
Lutheran teachings: “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be
complete, equipped for every good work.” The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Paul points to himself as an example for Timothy. He speaks about the great work the Gospel has produced within him. Our fellow Christians want to learn the faith
from us, and they watch us in the same way that Timothy watched Paul. God speaks His Gospel of forgiveness and peace to us, not only through His preached Word, but also through the example and teaching of our fellow Christians.
Luther called this the consolation of the brethren.
I pray: O Lord, allow me to be an example for those
who believe, as was Paul to Timothy. Through Your powerful Word, train me in righteousness, that I may be equipped for every good work. Amen.
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.