Reading: 2nd Timothy 3:14-17
Verse 14: “Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of.”
As we shift today to our Epistle reading, the word of God continues to be the focus. Paul’s charge to Timothy is to “continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of.” Timothy has been raised in the faith. His grandmother and mother have taught him the stories of faith and have lived their faith out as a model for him. Paul and others have taught and modeled the faith for Timothy. Paul encourages Timothy to keep learning and to keep building on the solid foundation of faith that has lovingly been built in him.
Next Paul points toward scripture – toward the word of God – as that which will “make you wise for salvation.” For Timothy and for almost everyone in his day, the scriptures were taught in oral form. Paul and others with an advanced education likely read from actual scrolls. The priests read and taught from physical copies of the Old Testament. Jesus’ life and teachings were just beginning to be recorded at this time. Letters to churches and to individuals were the only written “scripture” in circulation at the time.
Continuing on, Paul reminds young Timothy that “all scripture is God-breathed and useful.” To hear or study it, to meditate on it, to apply it to ones life, to teach it to others – this is Paul’s charge to Timothy. It is our charge too. The word of God helps our faith to grow and to keep on the right path. It corrects and rebukes us when we stray or sin and it leads us back into right relationship. Be in the word, Paul says, “so that the [woman or] man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” May it be so for you and for me.
Prayer: God, thank you for the written word that I can go back to again and again. I need to. Over and over. These are the words of life. Lead me and guide me each day as I spend time in your word. Thank you. Amen.