I love studying the Word of God. But this has not always been the case.
For much of my life I lived satisfied with gleaming as much as I could from the teachings of others. Until I hit a rough patch in my life.
How many of you know that life will give us many rough patches? Seasons of unrest, instability, uncertainty. Seasons that once we overcome them are pivotal because from them we learn who we really are and who we really want to be.
Seasons that once we move to the other side we realize it was a step up. We either are elevated to a new level in our closeness with God and walk with Christ. Or we may even find more troubled than ever before because we are not learning to lean into the Source.
I found myself in this “rough patch”. Somehow I had gone astray and separated from God in the most life-shattering way. It was awful!
I will not go into the long details, however, it went something like this…
…I got angry…
…I tried to fix it in my strength…
…It got bad…
…I tried to manipulate to get my way…
…It got worse…
…I tried to bargain with God…
…It got absolutely awful…
….Then I surrendered…
My surrendering left me in tears, heart-broken, exposed yet ready for God to fix it. Really fix it and fix me.
It was here that I learned the power of God’s word and what it meant to be in a relationship with Him.
In today’s passage, 2 Timothy 3:10-17, we can learn so much. But I’ll share how we can live a godly life, in unbroken unity with God, by heeding two biblical techniques.
Since this is the first full day of 31 Days of the Word I want to quickly cover my approach.
- My posts are not meant to cover everything. And some may not cover most of the rich content found in the selected passages. This is purely due to time because many of the selective passages would yield book-length posts, easily. Thus, I’ll focus on a few insights.
- My posts are meant to encourage. I want to encourage you to read and study the Word for yourself.
- My posts are meant to help us. Because the benefits of knowing and living by the Word of God are life changing and limitless.
In the end, I hope to share a little of what God shared with me during my study time.
Let’s jump in!
How God Equips Us
First Technique. Study the teacher.
Paul was a teacher to Timothy just as he learned from Jesus.
Paul instructs Timothy on what it means to live a godly life in Christ Jesus (v 12). In the passage he shares some of the lessons Timothy witnessed during their relationship:
- His teaching,
- His conduct,
- His purpose,
- His faith,
- His love, and
- Much more.
He expresses how Timothy witnessed the good and the bad. He observed Paul’s character in action. He also saw God deliver Paul from it all including persecutions and sufferings (v 11).
Studying the teacher in this passage would point to Paul and Timothy but ultimately Jesus. By their examples, we can see what unity with God, through living a godly life looks like.
Second Technique. Study the text.
Paul shares a key point with us in verse 15, Timothy studied scripture since his youth. In his learning and studying Timothy knew, from scripture, what God deemed as a “godly life”.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God…” (v 16). It is His instructions to us. Scripture, for Timothy, Paul and for us set the standard. By it:
- We are taught,
- We are censored,
- We are corrected, and
- We are conditioned to act accordingly.
Scripture also makes us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (v 15). This means we are able to discern right from wrong, truth from lies and we are saved from the power and penalty of sin.
One dictionary I own said it like this:
Theologically, it (salvation) denotes (1) the whole process by which man is delivered from all that interferes with the enjoyment of God’s highest blessings, (2) the actual enjoyment of those blessings.
[Source: The Handy Bible Dictionary & Concordance” by Merrill C. Tenney & Alexander Cruden.]
Studying scripture helps identify those things in our life which interfere with enjoying the blessings of God. It also helps us to to get back on track.
Bonus: Study the trail.
This may seem like a stretch but walk with me. There is a trail that connects from the text to the teacher if he or she is living in accordance to God’s word.
- Continue in what you have learned, and
- Continue in what you have firmly believed (v 14).
This is the trail.
Timothy knows the Word. Timothy knows Paul. And Paul’s life reflected the truth Timothy learned from scripture. There is a direct connection.
Furthermore in his acquaintance with scripture Timothy is made wise.
Wisdom gives the ability to discern and judge properly between truth and lies. Between right and wrong. Thus, it wasn’t about Paul being a good person, a patient person, a loving person. But that who his was, what he taught, how he lived all connected back to scripture.
Our unity with God makes us useful to God and prepared for any good work. (See 2 Timothy 2:21.)
The Wrap Up
We are called into relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God makes available to us His Word and the example of His Son, Jesus. This passage shares Paul and Timothy but Jesus was the ultimate example in what is means to live a godly life. Which leads us to unity with God and a state of completion…equipped and useful for any good work. By this our lives give Him glory.
In closing, I believe today’s passage share with us two biblical techniques (and a bonus) that help us remain in unity with God: (1) study the teacher and (2) study the text.
Consider this: Think of a teacher who as impacted your life. Does he/she model godly living? If so, what benefits have you derived from that relationship. If not, what have you learned and does it effect your faith walk? If so, how?
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