2 Timothy 4:1-8 – Keep Calm and Carry On

This week will be our last week in the letters to Timothy. Please read 2 Timothy 4 for Tuesday. This reading opens with Paul’s encouragement to Timothy to be unfailing in his particular calling to preach the word of God, even during the dark seasons of his life. Timothy has been given a particular role that he must always be willing to fulfill. Like Timothy, there are those times in life when we just don’t feel like it (even on Tuesday nights!) and Paul is saying continue on anyway. Paul reminds Timothy that in his teaching he must be unfailing patient. This advice repeats Paul’s earlier guidance that Timothy must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone with gentleness. (2 Tim. 2:23-25). The means is just as important as the message.

In vv.3-4, Paul says that people will turn away from sound teaching and towards a teaching more suitable to their liking. Like 2 Timothy 3:1-5, these verses are often deployed against those with whom we disagree. The idea is that I always abide by true teachings, but they (whoever they may be) have wandered off to find a false teacher more suitable to their liking. But like 2 Timothy 3:1-5, these verses are better employed as a mirror whereby we must ask ourselves whether we too have itching ears. When are those times that we reject sound teaching or a friendly rebuke simply because it’s not something we want to hear?

Paul ends this encouragement (vv.6-8) with a realization of his impending death. Paul knows that physical death is an ever-present possibility. See, Phil 1:212 Cor. 11:23. However, in these verses, he seems to know that this possibility is soon becoming a reality. These last verses give this letter a great sense of urgency since Paul sees his earthly ministry ending and having to be continued by Timothy.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is fajitas. Discussion about 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here.

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. 

Romans 5:3-4

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