Saturday, November 19, 2011

I & II Timothy

Paul's two letters to Timothy are quite powerful. It's amazing how the writing itself, the choice and cadence of words can make such a difference in sending a message.

"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." -- I Timothy 6:7

Or how about this one:

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word..." -- II Timothy 4:1-2

Paul's letters are addressed to this guy, Timothy, a young apostle to whom Paul is kind of a father/mentor. Paul writes from prison, a dungeon, actually, and the second letter to Timothy is written not long before Paul is beheaded. The letters are essentially instructions and encouragement on how to be a good Christian leader. They're also personal letters, in which Paul gives Tim some advice about taking a little bit of wine for his stomach troubles, and tells him about his own troubles, but even in those he talks of hope. Paul knows he's in deep sh*t, having been arrested and held for preaching the gospel against the law, especially now that so many of his fellow evangelizers have fled and abandoned the work (this is probably why, of all biblical names today, no one is called Demas, Crecens or Titus, and so many are called Luke). Despite being hated and imprisoned and knowing he may soon be executed, Paul writes about feeling confident in having done all he could for God in this life:

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." -- II Timothy 4:6-8

**NEXT: Titus

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