• The Explore the Bible lesson for July 21 focuses on 2 Timothy 2:1-13.
In this world we will have troubles (John 16:33); yet we can take confidence that God has overcome all of them and because he has, we can. Not in our own strength, but in his grace, his gift of goodness and the good news of the gospel, this is how we are to overcome the things of this world.
Future Focused (2 Timothy 2:1-2)
Paul reaffirms his appeal to Timothy to be strong in Christ Jesus and the gospel teaching he has received. He also encourages Timothy to be a committed follower of good godly people and to identify other good and committed godly men and women able to teach and carry forward the word of God. Our faith walk is to be alongside and within a community of believers. We are not called to go about living for Christ in isolation. Rather, we are encouraged to help one another to hold fast to the faith and to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).
How recently have you “spurred another on toward love and good deeds”?
Mission Focused (2 Timothy 2:3-7)
Suffering appears to be a consistent and central characteristic of Christ Jesus. With the help of the Holy Spirit, it also appears it is a characteristic we must embrace. As soldiers, we faithfully pursue the commander’s mission. We press forward as disciplined athletes, sometimes in pain, to the finish. As hard-working farmers, we plant, water, nurture and wait for the harvest. For believers, the harvest is our reward for faithfulness over time. Faithfulness in studying God’s word leads to biblical insights, revelation and obedience to walk out the word of God. Because of the world we live in this walk is not always easy. It is in those times we are to apply the faithfulness, discipline and hardworking characteristics of those previously mentioned.
In what way(s) does Paul’s use of a soldier, athlete and a farmer relate to you?
Christ Focused (2 Timothy 2:8-13)
Paul lets us know that Christ Jesus, descendent of David is the God and Savior he serves and the one whose good news he shares. Although Paul experienced difficulties, and we have setbacks, suffering and pain, God’s word is never held back or chained. The word of God goes forth to save, and because of the gospel we persevere through our difficulties so that God can be glorified.
In our persevering, we are not alone. The word of God hold promises of Christ—eternal life in heaven. Verses 11-13 highlight how we can live and reign with Christ. It also shares if we disown him, he will also disown us. Yet, he promises, even when we are faithless, he is faithful. Praise God! Our faithless equals his faithfulness; our stumbles equal his strength and our hopelessness equals he is hope. There is never a need for us to fall into condemnation, God knew we would have moments of faithlessness, stumbles and hopelessness.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your commitment to us. Help us to remain future, mission and Christ focused. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Lisa M. Rainey, PhD., is a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas.