2 Timothy 4:9–18 (NIV84)
9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only
Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard
against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not
be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will
rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever 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.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis,
MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2086.
2 Timothy 4 (NIV84)
4In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge
the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For
the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth
and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6 For I am already
being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store 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 longed for his 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.
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.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia
Publishing House, 2009), 2085.
2 Timothy 3:10–17 (NIV84)
Paul’s Charge to Timothy
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch,
Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse,
deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able
to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every
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.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2084.
2 Timothy 3:1–9 (NIV84)
Godlessness in the Last Days
3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient
to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having
a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women,
who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved
minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
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.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran
Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2084.
2 Timothy 2:14–26 (NIV84)
A Workman Approved by God
14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as
one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene.
Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed
with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes,
made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and
peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead,
he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their
senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Paul reminds Timothy that he and his
fellow pastors must remain focused on their task of proclaiming God’s Word. They must not get bogged down in quarrels or give in to the temptations of the flesh (such as temper), but be generous and kind to all. When we keep a tight rein on our tongues,
not allowing ourselves to quarrel or to fall into petty arguments, we also avoid dishonoring Christ’s name with our selfish words. When God’s Word is front and center in our minds and on our tongues, it acts powerfully to create ongoing repentance
and faith. By giving His gift of repentance to us through His Word, our Lord Jesus Christ snatches us from “the snare of the devil.”
I pray: Guard my tongue,
O Lord, that it may be an instrument of Your praise. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2083.