Dec 16 2T 3:10-Pm 1:25; Pro 26:25-27:8

In opposition to those who reject God and do all kinds of evil, Timothy has faithfully followed Paul and his teaching of Christ (3:10-12). Did you read that latter portion of verse twelve twice? “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted!” And since it would be sinful NOT to desire such, we all shall be persecuted.

3:16 is important to contemplate. ALL Scripture, even those passage that bored you in Numbers, or Leviticus, or anywhere else, are profitable. They are profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. The goal of all this is that the person of God would be adequate for each day, equipped for EVERY good work! (3:16-17).

Do your duties, and even when doing those that try your patience, be patient! (4:1-2). In 4:6 Paul again references his being poured out as a drink offering (see also Philippians 2:17). Get here as quick as you can, everyone but Luke has deserted me (4:9-11). The latter half of verse eleven speaks volumes. Remember in Acts when Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways because Paul refused to take along John Mark who had deserted them and Barnabas insisted on taking him? (Acts 12:25; 15:37-40). And here we read “Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service!” Thank God for men like Barnabas. “And don’t forget to bring my coat and the books” (4:13). Winter is coming (verse 21) and the coat will come in handy. And preachers always need something to read!

Do you suppose Paul is speaking literally when he says, “I was delivered out of the lion’s mouth”? (4:17c).

Titus: Paul also calls Titus “my true child in a common faith” (1:4). Some of the information he gives is much like that to Timothy and it seems that it is because he has left him in charge in Crete and wants to be sure that he has all he needs to complete his mission (1:5-9). “He must be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (verse 9). The object of the contradiction needing refutation is the sound doctrine of the Gospel, not the opinions of the preacher! “Straighten out those who have screwy ideas. Stamp out the silly myths and superstitions. Many claim to be of us but their deeds and teachings prove otherwise” (1:10-16).

As a friend of mine once announced to an “older” adult Sunday School class and disturbed their retirement, Paul too announces that God retires no one this side of the grave. His retirement program is “out of this world!” (2:1-8). Workers today could learn much from Paul (2:9-10), “not pilfering.” “These things speak and exhort with all authority. Let no one disregard you” (2:15).

Philemon: This book gets its title from the man to whom Paul wrote. Unlike the letters to Timothy and Titus this letter is not to a young preacher. But it does contain instruction. It seems that Philemon’s slave, Onesimus, has run away from home and joined up with Paul and during this time with Paul has become a Christian. Paul is sending the letter back with Onesimus. Paul reminds Philemon of all that he owes to Paul and does not want to order him, but requests in love that he welcome Onesimus back and then send him to Paul as a servant. And don’t miss the fact that Paul is writing yet another letter from prison! “I know that you will do even more than I say” (1:21b). Luke is again with him but mentioned as a fellow worker, not as a fellow prisoner as is Epaphras (1:23-24).

Proverbs: Even when the evil one covers his hatred well, his wickedness WILL be revealed. He will fall into his own traps. Jesus drew on 27:1 in his teaching at Luke 12:16-21. Both a stone and sand are heavy, but the provocation of a fool is worse than both. In many languages the word “heavy” can also mean “difficult.”