10 But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, 11 along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured—and yet the Lord rescued me from them all. 12 In fact, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:10-17
The tension of our time is not new in the grand story of humanity, but it is certainly new to us. It is okay to not be okay during these days. Many people feel as if it is faithlessness to struggle during this tension. I want to encourage you that Jesus not only meets us in our lament and grief, Jesus laments and grieves with us. Do not be ashamed of tears or numbness. It is through surrendering in vulnerability to Jesus that He takes us to the place of faith and renewal.
In today’s passage, Paul tells his dear friend Timothy that as he continues to walk with Jesus, his character and conduct will be constantly met with persecution and suffering. Paul speaks of how he himself endured many trials and how Jesus rescued him from them all.
Paul was rescued by the same Lord who was tortured and was crucified by the tension and chaos of this world. But death could not hold Him. Friends, our Jesus knows the pain, and because He is alive, His presence is power as we endure the pain of our time. Bless the Lord, that is good news!
Paul tells us that people will continue to get worse and worse because deception is their native tongue. However, as humans of holiness, we are able to continue in what we have learned from Scripture and firmly believe. Paul’s words echo what Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
As the tensions and struggles increase, deception will attempt to disciple our way of thinking. But those of us who continue in the Word of God will know the truth and be free of any deception that comes our way. Yes, we may endure much persecution and suffering because we know and believe the truth. To be Christ’s disciples means we will follow Him even to death. However, it also means that we will be led by Him in resurrection!
Godliness is formed in us through the holy fire of God as we continue through faith in Christ. In your vulnerability during this struggle, don’t hold back your tears, but keep the Scripture open. Truth meets us where we are and refreshes our soul with the wisdom of salvation.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How can you continue in godliness during this season?
- Why is vulnerability important as we continue to walk with Jesus?
Sticky Note Relay
Items to prepare: Two pads of sticky notes, each pad a different color (e.g. one yellow pad, one pink pad). Write one word from the verse 2 Timothy 3:16 on one sticky note sheet. Repeat on the second color pad. For example, on one sticky note sheet, write the word, “All” on both colors. On the next sticky sheet, write the word, “Scripture” on both colors. Do this for every word of the verse until the verse is complete on both colors. When finished, stick all the notes on a wall so that the words for both colors are mixed and scattered.
Rules for the game: Split the family into two teams. Assign one sticky note color to each team. When you say, “Go”, one person from each team runs to the wall to find the first word, “All”. Once found, they take it off the wall and bring it back to the team. After the first person returns, the next person runs to the wall to get the next word in the verse. Continue until one team has all their sticky notes in order on the floor.
Pray for our local ministry partners like Project Connect Nashville, Youth Encouragement Services, and Path Project as they address the rise in food insecurity and its related issues across our city brought on by the pandemic. Pray for wisdom in decision making, resources to meet the needs, and open doors to share the hope of Jesus.