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II Timothy 2

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I have been emphasizing to you the importance of knowing Me more intimately than you have ever known Me.  As I have forewarned you about the difficult days that are coming it will not be merely knowing ahead of time about what will happen and making preparations of a material nature, and even of determining by your own resolution to endure and stand fast, that will enable you to do so in these fast approaching days of difficulty.  As I have told you before, preparation cannot wait until those times are upon you.  But as I have admonished you again and again as you draw closer to Me now, as knowing Me and having true and deep fellowship with Me continually, will not only bless you in these days, but it is this that will enable you to stand fast when the floods of great trial are upon you.  For if you are truly finding your reality, your comfort and consolation, your peace, your delight, your deepest satisfaction in Me, then when all else around you is being shaken and the forces of darkness are coming against you, you will not be clinging to what is being shaken.  You will not be seeking your comfort and your security in outward things.  As you see these things being swept away, it will be My nearness; the strong and immoveable confidence that you have in Me that will enable you to experience that I am your true reality.  And you will not be moved or overcome by the collapse and disintegration of all that others who do not know Me depend upon.  Instead of seeking some earthly place of shelter, of succor, of security, you will not need to seek, for you will find all that and more in Me.  And as My servant Paul portrayed here the character, the values and the behavior of those who cling to this world, by knowing Me, your lives will manifest that which is far different, that which reflects who I am and the nature of My Kingdom.  It will be your most glorious portion and testimony to declare as did My servant Paul, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

In this portion as My servant Paul is admonishing and instructing Timothy concerning his ministry, a pattern is revealed which you can follow as you serve Me, which also you can admonish and encourage those whom you instruct and influence to follow that same pattern. The first element in this pattern is that the servant of God is to be dependent upon the grace that is in My Son. There are many temptations to depend upon the arm of flesh, whether it be self or whether it be others. But your true dependency must be that grace that is granted to you through My Son. And as you depend upon that grace, be assured that you will find in it the strength that you need to be My servant. And the second element in the pattern is to share what you have learned with those who can be entrusted to teach others.

This means that you must be diligent in receiving instruction yourselves and also in discerning those who are truly faithful and who qualify to receive and to pass along to others that which you have given to them. The third element in this pattern involves discipline. My servant Paul first presents it in the form of three analogies. You are, like a soldier, like a good soldier, to endure hardship and to be single hearted in your dedication so that you may not entangle yourselves with that, which will hinder your service. And he declares that you are, in doing this, to be motivated to please the one who enlisted you. You are also to be dedicated like the athlete who seeks to win by competing according to the rules of the game. This means that your service will have the purpose, the direction and the dedication that the rules of the game require. The third analogy is that of the hard working farmer. And here My servant Paul declares the reward for diligence in the work. And as you walk in discipline, you are to remember that your approval comes from Me, and therefore you are to handle My Word in a manner that is diligent and careful. And this will guard you from going astray in your speech, in your message, in your sense of care and responsibility towards those to whom you minister. And the final element in the pattern mentioned here is that of enduring all things for the sake of those who are called to receive the salvation, which is in My Son. And such involves the continual remembrance that you serve Him, and a willingness to endure and to suffer if that is what results from your faithful service, but also to remember that My foundation stands firm and solid. And you will be able to recognize, as My servant Paul puts it, My seal for those who know Me in truth and who name the name of My Son. The seal will be those who willingly depart from evil, from iniquity.


Bible Devotions From II Timothy 2

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You see here in this portion not only the instruction that My servant Paul gives to Timothy, both for his conduct as a servant to My people and also the disciplines that he is to teach them, but you see in these words the spirit of a true father as he teaches his son. It is not only important for you to embrace the substance of what is taught here, it is also exceedingly important for you to embrace the spirit in which it is taught.

I want you to recognize that there is not a single word of instruction and admonition that my servant Paul writes here that does not come out of what he has personally experienced. He can commend that Timothy will be strong in the grace that is in My Son because he knows what it is to stand strong in that grace. He can admonish him to endure hardship as a good soldier of My Son because he had endured hardship. And you see that he declares here how for the sake of the gospel he suffered trouble as an evil doer, but he had come to understand that such suffering in no way either contradicted My call nor brought an end to its pursuit. And even more did he understand that his endurance would serve to bless those whom I had called to faith in My Son. Surely he was one who carefully handled My Word so that he could not only be personally led by its truth and also teach others, but that he could use that clear and rightful understanding to oppose and correct false teaching and false conduct. And for a man who had been so greatly involved in controversies and disputes, Paul was keenly aware of the necessity of engaging in these with a proper attitude and spirit. For he well understood that if he did so that it would give those who opposed the best possibility of really hearing and coming to repentance. For you see that the one who carries the truth must be careful not to misrepresent it by presenting it in a wrongful spirit. In truth that misrepresentation may well prove to be a great hindrance to the person to whom it is directed in receiving conviction and the gift of repentance. It is in receiving not only the substance of these words, but the spirit in which they are communicated that you will be prepared and enabled to help those like Timothy who are called to serve as good soldiers of My Son. It is so very important for you to remember that it is not only the words that you seek to teach, but also the life and the spirit through which you communicate them that will enable those whom you teach to become the faithful ones who will be able to teach others.

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