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Over the next 20 days, Ben Stuart takes us on a deep dive into 2 Timothy to see exactly what The Apostle Paul had to say in his last days to a young man whom he considered a son. We will tackle perspectives and priorities in our world and the practices that will help us succeed.

Each day will consist of a short video, and we encourage you to spend 5-10 minutes after you watch it meditating on what was taught. Maybe even invite a friend on the journey with you so you both can deepen your faith. Let’s get started.

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11.13.2023

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Over the next 20 days, Ben Stuart takes us on a deep dive into 2 Timothy to see exactly what The Apostle Paul had to say in his last days to a young man whom he considered a son. We will tackle perspectives and priorities in our world and the practices that will help us succeed.

Each day will consist of a short video, and we encourage you to spend 5-10 minutes after you watch it meditating on what was taught. Maybe even invite a friend on the journey with you so you both can deepen your faith. Let’s get started.

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Day 02

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Fan Into Flame

Day 03

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No Shame

Day 04

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Hold Fast

Day 05

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Entrust

Over the next 20 days, Ben Stuart takes us a deep dive into 2 Timothy to see exactly what The Apostle Paul had to say in his last days to a young man whom he considered a son. We will tackle perspectives and priorities in our world and the practices that will help us succeed.
Each day will consist of a short video, and we encourage you to spend 5-10 minutes after you watch it meditating on what was taught. Maybe even invite a friend on the journey with you so you both can deepen your faith. Let’s get started.

Today, we are going to explore 2 Timothy 1:1-2, which Billy Graham called “the Gospel in miniature.”

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 1:1-2. Paul is writing a letter to a young Timothy in a very difficult day. In the letter, he will encourage Timothy and let him know that it’s his turn to lead, but Paul is helping to guide that process.

Paul calls himself an Apostle. Originally, the word apostle was referring to a cargo ship that got things from place to place. Later, the word became a reference for an emissary from another kingdom carrying a message from one king to another. Paul views himself as an emissary carrying a message from Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One.

How did he get this role? By God’s will, it was given to him. Will is the intention, desire, and the pleasure of God.

What is his purpose? To give the message of the promise according to the life of Jesus Christ. It’s a promise of life, and that life is in Jesus.

Timothy isn’t his biological child, but it’s a very special and close relationship that Paul takes on a fatherly role. In his letters, Paul always greets with grace and peace, but he adds mercy to the greeting for Timothy. Mercy is help provided for the one who needs it. Timothy is in a rough spot and needs help. Mercy arrives in the form of a letter from Paul. Over the next 20 days, we’ll see what Paul wants to convey.

What's next?

In two verses, Paul mentions Christ Jesus three times. As Paul contemplates his own identity and life, he is surrounded by his King Jesus.

Day two focuses on the very first command that Paul gives Timothy. He puts on a display of gentleness in his encouragement of Timothy because he knows how much he is hurting. Instead of scolding him, he comes alongside him and calls him up.

Video

Summary

In 2 Timothy 1:3-7, Paul opens with heartfelt words. As Timothy opens this letter from his hero, he sees the words, “I thank God for you”. Paul wants Timothy to know and see this expression of gratitude. He is constantly thanking God, day and night, as Jewish men were accustomed to doing. He opens the day in dialogue with the Lord and closes the day reflecting on it with Him.

Paul and Timothy traveled many miles and hours together, so the tears that Paul is referring to could be from their parting. He tells him that when he thinks about Timothy crying, he longs to see him because it would fill him with joy.

The family of God brings with it deep relationships. Letters with affection and kind words to someone you’re not interested in romantically or sexually are meant to encourage.

Paul encourages Timothy in his genuine and legitimate faith. He commends his mother and grandmother for instilling it in him. We never hear about his father’s faith.

Paul then gives his first command: fan into flame the gift of God that is in him. He reminds Timothy of the time of ordination when the leaders of the Church laid their hands on him and conferred leadership upon him. He had been given the gift of authority and leadership, but it’s like a fire that has to be tended to.

The Spirit of God is in Timothy, not a spirit of fear: he has the power to overcome obstacles, love that can love God and others no matter what comes, and self-control that gives the power to say no to wayward impulses.

Why did Paul bring up his ancestors? Timothy’s family? There is a sense that Timothy wants to shrink back, but Paul takes the road of kindness to propel him forward. Instead of scolding him, he encourages him by reminding Timothy that he is surrounded by a Godly lineage and that in Christ, he can do this! Paul calls him forward and says instead of retreating, remember you don’t have a spirit of fear, but you have power, love, self-control, and a community behind you so you can step out and be a flame for the good of God in the world.

What's next?

Have you ever received a letter from a mentor that said they are thinking of you all the time, and every time you come to mind, they thank God for you? How would it feel to get that? Have you ever sent a letter like that? If you do have deep relationships that you are tucked into, spend some time thanking God for those people right now.

It’s so common to fear rejection and feel the tension of the moment. This was not unusual to the Apostles or any other millions of believers since the resurrection of Christ. In Day three, Paul will encourage us not only to stay the course but to join in the hard part, knowing it will reap a harvest of glory for God.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 1:8-12.

There’s a tension between rejection and knowing you know something big. Both Paul and Timothy are feeling this tension.
Paul encourages Timothy by giving him two commands.

  1. Do not be ashamed.
  2. Share in the suffering of the Gospel.

Paul doesn’t say to preach the Gospel; he says to also share in its suffering. You’re not alone. It’s too important and good not to share it, so don’t be ashamed.

Why say “Don’t be ashamed”? Was it because our Lord was murdered on the cross? Was it because Paul was in jail at the time? Still, Paul urges Timothy, yes, your Lord was murdered, and your mentor is in jail, but join in the suffering.

How do you join in the suffering?

  1. By the power of God. You have the divine power to step into a purpose. He saved us and called us. In verses 9 and 10, Paul is reminding Timothy what he’s a part of. It’s been manifested and brought to life through Jesus. He beat death and brought life.
  2. He called us. In verse 11, Paul recognizes that he was anointed as three things:
    – A herald, he tells the good news.
    – An apostle, an emissary from another kingdom.
    – A teacher helps explain the Gospel and answer questions.
    It’s because of these things that he is suffering, but he is not ashamed.
  3. Know who you believe. We don’t just know the content of Scripture; we know Jesus. He loves us, and He knows us. He is worth suffering for.
    Herald His message to a dying world. He has entrusted us with His Word, so don’t be ashamed.

What's next?

What does it look like to be an emissary for Jesus in our world today? In what ways are you suffering?

How do we make it through difficult days and seasons? We must hold fast to the Word of God and guard the Gospel that we have been entrusted with. In Day four, Ben Stuart will encourage us in our own races when we are facing rejection and distance because we are associated with Jesus.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 1:13-18

Timothy is taking some serious hits. Rejection is real, and association with Christ can be costly.

In this passage, Paul gives two commands.

  1. Follow the pattern.
  2. Guard the good deposit.

We follow the pattern by holding fast. Don’t let go, grip it tighter! As you also take the hits, hold fast to the Word of Truth and let it strengthen you.

How do we hold fast? Grip the Word of God. Grip it in the faith and in the love found in Jesus. Grab onto the Word of Truth and then tuck it into you, guarding and protecting it.

How do we guard it? With the help of the Holy Spirit. He will empower you.

It can be hard to be associated with God in the midst of hard days, but Paul doesn’t shame Timothy for that, he reminds him that he doesn’t have to be ashamed because he has the truth of Christ, the love of God, and the help of the Holy Spirit. He’s not alone, and neither are we. He is surrounded by the Trinity.

He gives Timothy examples of those who had abandoned the faith. As soon as life got hard, they dropped Jesus. But then Paul gives him an example of one who remained faithful. Onesiphorus was a steady companion in Paul’s life and asks for mercy for him on “that day”. “That day” refers to the end of time as we know it and we meet Jesus face to face. Paul is telling Timothy, look, there are others doing it, and you can do it too. God is empowering you, He is with you, and the community of God is around you.

What's next?

Paul was calling Timothy into deeper waters with the Word of God and the community of God.

Day 5 gives us permission to sit back for a second and recognize how we can be strengthened by Jesus every day. Then, we will be encouraged to think about the generations before us that passed the Word to us and about the generations behind us that we have the responsibility of passing the Word along to.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 2:1-2

Have you ever just looked at your Christian life and asked yourself, why am I doing this? What is the goal here?

Paul starts this chapter by telling Timothy to be strengthened. Timothy is watching people walk away from faith, and he’s also seeing those who are holding fast to truth, so Paul tells him to be strengthened in the grace of God. He’s calling Timothy into the game to be a part of what God is doing. Where there is suffering, take the hit. Notice again, Paul isn’t shaming. He calls Timothy his child. “Be strengthened” is passive; do it in a receiving posture, and draw strength every day from the kindness God has given you.

Every day, we have the opportunity to dwell in the Word of God, to be filled up by the Spirit of God, and to be comforted by the inexhaustible grace of our Lord Jesus.

Once you have been strengthened, then entrust reliable people with the Word of God. You have held it and guarded it, and now it’s time to carefully pass it to someone who can take it further than you can.

The Word of God has always been meant to be passed on: parents to children, older priests to younger, Jesus to His disciples. This methodology of receiving, protecting, and passing is the reason we’ve heard the gospel in our day. It works!

Entrust to people who are:

  1. Faithful and Able- they can teach and explain
  2. Reliable- they show up, they want to learn the Bible

The longer you stay in ministry, the better it gets because you get to see a wake of good behind you.

What's next?

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Psalm 71:18

We are in the midst of learning what it is like to be a disciple of Jesus in a difficult day. Ben Stuart is going to show us the practicalities of 2 Timothy that we can use in our everyday lives.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 2:3-7

Paul doesn’t explain himself at all in this passage. He basically says, just think about what I said. I am sure you will figure it out.

Athletes and soldiers are fun to study because they have done the math and counted the cost. They have a purpose, and even though it might be painful and cost them something, they still believe that it’s worth it for them to pursue it.

“He who has a why can bear most any how.” -Nietzsche

Paul is telling Timothy that we have the greatest of all whys, a message that endures! We have the words of life, and they are worthy of our lives. Its purpose is worth the cost and the pain it may cause in our lives.

Paul gives three examples with three categories for how we can share in the suffering.

Each example has a role, a requirement, and a reward.

  1. Soldiers. They don’t get involved with civilian affairs. They are on a mission. Because of this, they get to please the one who enlisted them.
  2. Athletes. They compete according to the rules and adhere to the training. When they do this, they receive a reward.
  3. Farmers. They are diligent in their nonstop hard work. They are the first to get to the crop. They get to enjoy what they have invested in.

Why do we want to join in the game of holding fast to the Word and passing it on to others if there is going to be a cost? Because there are benefits, the world knows nothing of.

This is the greatest of all causes: to be associated with Christ. If soldiers, athletes, and farmers do it for a physical cause, let us do it for an eternal one.

What's next?

What would it look like for you to lean in like a soldier, athlete, or farmer?

In day seven, we are encouraged by some amazing news. Yes, we have to endure. Yes, we are going to suffer. But we serve a risen King, and the battle is already won, so we can’t lose. Knowing this frees us up to continue to proclaim the Gospel for God to call people unto Himself.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 2:8-10.

Why is Paul telling Timothy to remember Jesus? It’s not like he forgot about him. Paul is calling Timothy to remember that Jesus is the greatest cause we could ever have, so he needs to lean in during these trying times, not shrink back.

So far, Paul has compared life with Christ to being a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer. He gave examples of those who remained faithful and those who had not. He has used verbs like fan into flame, set aside timidity, join in suffering, be strengthened, and endure hardship. Now, he gives him our greatest example, Jesus Christ; keep your eyes fixed on Him so you can run with endurance and not lose heart. We have a King who has gone before us. He is not asking us to do anything He didn’t do first.

What are we remembering about Jesus?

  1. Risen from the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 14, Paul said it’s of first importance. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then what’s the point? What we are doing is in vain.
    The death of Jesus accomplished our salvation. He took our sin and buried it. When He rose, He gave us a promise of eternal life with God. Therefore, the resurrection is everything to us. He overcame death.
  2. He’s the descendant of David. Old Testament prophecies said a child of David would come and establish God’s Kingdom. It proved Jesus was truly a physical human who lived, died, and was resurrected. David was also a conquering king. Jesus is even better since He conquered death, so we can have the courage to step out and push back on our sins, fears, and doubts.

Paul encourages Timothy that even though he is in chains, the good news of the message of Jesus Christ cannot be bound. It never stops.

How does Paul tell Timothy to stay motivated?

  1. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He won, therefore, we win.
  2. We can’t lose. Paul is suffering for the sake of the elect. The elect are those God, in His mercy, has called to be saved through faith. God has ordained that people come to know Him, so as you teach, lead Bible Studies, disciple, and reach the lost, it’s all accomplishing His purposes. Endure it because we can’t lose. The word for salvation here means all-encompassing, justified (we are made right before God), sanctified (made more like Him), and glorified (brought into His Presence).When you know you can’t lose, you play with abandon. Endure, suffer, take the hit. The King won, and we can’t lose.

What's next?

Think about the things going on in your life or in the world today, and be honest about what is discouraging you. What headwind are you facing? Do you feel defeated, like you're losing hope, or like it would be easier to shrink back?

Today, Ben Stuart will confront a difficult question that often brings stress and anxiety to us as we read God’s Word. However, the answer doesn’t further our stress. It actually brings us deep comfort if we have placed our faith in Jesus.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 2:11-13.

This is the end of the pump-up speech that Paul is giving Timothy. Paul pens a poem that is full of grace and encouragement to help him know all that he has in Christ.

“If we have died with Him (Jesus), we will live with Him.” Paul is using the same language that he used for our salvation in Romans 6:8 to talk about our conversion. Our association with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection comforts us because by faith, we know our old self, our sins were buried with Him, and as He rose, we rose with Him in the newness of life when we put our faith in Jesus.

“If we endure, we will also reign with Him.” Paul is talking about perseverance. The saints of God, true followers of Christ, will suffer in this life. Jesus us in John 16:33 that we will have trouble in the world, but take heart, He has overcome the world. Enduring is evidence of our salvation, not something added to it. 1 John 2:19 talks about some people leaving the community because it got hard. That part of the community left because they were never really a part of them. Staying when it’s hard is one way to know you have truly trusted Jesus. He promises that when he starts a good work in you, he will bring it to completion. See Philippians 1:6. We don’t just get to be in Heaven with Jesus, we will get to reign with Him. We are co-heirs with Christ. That thought is mind-boggling.

“If we deny Him, He will deny us.” God will honor our decisions, so if we deny Jesus and the nature of His work, God will deny us in the eternal state.

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” This part stresses people out. If we deny Him, He denies us. If we are faithless, He is faithful.

What? The question is, what’s the difference between denial and faithlessness? They sound like synonyms, but they each have very different outcomes.

Think of Judas and Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane. Both denied Jesus, but Satan had entered Jesus, and he did not repent. On the contrary, Peter wept when he realized what he had done. After Jesus rose, he went after Peter and restored him. Why? Because if you have placed your faith in Jesus, He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.

When you place your faith in Jesus, there may be moments of faithlessness. You may violate your integrity and make a mess of things. However, if you are His, you find your way back by His grace. He comes to find you. Denial is not believing in Him or what He did. The Christian stumbles forward. It’s all grace.

What's next?

Ben said that the Christian stumbles forward. It's the grace of God from beginning to end, for He cannot deny Himself.

In the world today, almost every person thinks they are an expert and has an opinion contrary to a truth that is as solid as a rock. Since there is nothing new under the sun, Timothy was dealing with this 2,000 years ago as well. Paul gives some really simple but powerful advice to Timothy that applies to us today and can relieve our need to fight back.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 2:14-19.

Paul turns a corner from encouraging to instructing. He has brought up topics that aren’t up for debate. If you’re with God and have placed your truth in Him, then this is what we all agree on. However, as always, there are going to be people who are going to want to fight about it.

What do you do when people want to teach in the Church, but they also challenge the basic truths of Christianity? Paul says to remind them of the basics. You can’t fight off every argument; just get really good at the basic truths and handle them with care. Know the Word of God. Avoid “irreverent babble”, chasing down every argument just leads to more ungodliness. The fruit of that is anger, lies, and resentment, not the grace, hope, and love of Christ.

Paul gives the example of two men who were saying the resurrection had already happened, so there’s really no future hope for you, it’s just a higher spiritual mentality. Paul clearly states this is a departure from the truth. The resurrection and our future because of it is a central tenet of our faith. Because Jesus died and rose, we believe we will. Someone can disagree on nonessential issues, but on the centrality of the resurrection…there’s no budging. They don’t get to be a teacher on this team and then try and change the message; they don’t have the right to.

You can believe whatever you want, but the Church has a mission, and it’s moving forward. There is no changing the message. We are ambassadors presenting the message as it was given to us.

Paul’s advice: don’t try to fight them or beat them, just get really good at knowing what you believe. Don’t worry about the challenges because the foundation is firm and will always stand. On the foundation is a seal, the Lord knows who is His. God will deal with the opposition; you stay faithful.

What does he mean by “depart from iniquity? Paul is addressing orthopraxy here: we are holy in how we live. We are filled with grace and truth. We study the Word (orthodoxy) and live the Word (orthopraxy). Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.

What's next?

Take time and think through what orthodoxy is and what orthopraxy is. How is it evident in your life? Do you practice both?

We are at the halfway point! Today is a turning point in the book of Timothy. We are moving from all that we know to be true, what we hold fast to and believe to showing that grace to others so that they may come to know Him.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 2:20-22.

This is a pivotal point in the book of Timothy. Paul shows us not just how to be recipients of God’s Grace but vessels of it for others. We’re not just spectators. We are players in the game. We are change agents in the world.

Have you ever been used by God to impact another’s life? John said there is no greater joy than to see your kids walking in truth. See 3 John 1:4. This is the invitation God has given us, and it pleases Him when we walk in His truth.

In order to accept this invitation, there are two things we have to understand: vessels and their uses. Paul brings up gold, silver, wood, and clay vessels. Each of them has its honorable and dishonorable uses. We have to know what those are because the honorable need to be separate from the dishonorable. An amazing mean can be ruined if served in the wrong vessel. That’s the point. The message can get messed up by the messenger.

If you want to carry a good and pure message that is beautiful and useful to the master, you need to be an honorable vessel. How do you do that? You distance yourself from the dishonorable vessels. In this context, it’s those who are denying fundamental truths about the Gospel.

2 Things Paul tells us to do

  1. Change your mind. Don’t put your mind next to ideas that are constantly undermining the truth of God’s Word. We don’t hide from the world, but be careful about what you allow to entertain you. Where does your mind dwell? What you set your mind on shapes your mindset.
  2. Flee youthful passions. Those are things that had zeal not girded by wisdom. Energy with no sense. This is anything we do that’s unhelpful. Instead, pursue Godly ways of doing things

Get around people who love God as much as you do, and then run with them towards beautiful things. Change your mind, and you’ll change your life. Jesus would hang out with anyone, but his inner ring was people who wanted to know and love God.

What's next?

Sit and think about where you let your mind dwell. What entertains you? Can you see how that would impact how you interact with the world?

Day 11 may be a tough pill to swallow, but it is a necessary one. Lean into the truth of God’s Word as Paul clearly directs and guides us in how we engage with a world that is not just challenging us but actively being hostile towards Christians.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 2:23-26.

Paul has been preparing us for the game, now he’s showing us what to do when we get there.

How do you enter into the spiritual conversation when people are all over the map in their views, and some are hostile to yours?

First, Paul says to have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, so if people are fighting over ideas but they have no idea what they are talking about- back away. It only produces more fighting.

In a world where Christians are increasingly questioned and maligned, how do you engage in the public square?

  • Don’t be quarrelsome. We are fighters, not insensitive debaters willing to win no matter the feelings of others.
  • We are kind to everyone. We’re gentle even if people disagree with us.
  • We are able to teach. We are informed and equipped, able to explain. We know our Bible really well. We’ve studied it, and its’ Words are deep within us.
  • We are patient. We patiently endure the evil in the world and endure when we’ve been wronged.
  • We graciously correct our opponents. We step in and let people know where they are misinformed and gently redirect them.

Why do we act like this? Because our Lord acted like this.

People could oppose His ideas, yet He still wanted to save them. He didn’t attack when provoked. We are like seeing eye dogs. We stay still, we’re composed, and we only move when He tells us. We have a higher calling.

Where does that gentleness and graciousness come from? How do we not lose our cool?

  • We keep in mind that maybe God will grant them the gift of repentance, turning their lives to Jesus. They might come to know the truth, come to their senses, and escape the snare of the Devil. These people are deranged and don’t know what they are doing, but just like Jesus hung on the Cross and said, “Forgive them, they don’t know what they do”, we can ask God to have mercy on those who are captive to the darkness. That perspective helps you have composure in a chaotic day.

What's next?

Asking God what we are about to ask Him today might be very hard for you to do. Take a few minutes and allow God to prepare your heart and give you the courage to loosen your grip on how the world has taught you to respond. When someone comes against you for your faith, don't think they are your enemy. Think of them as a captive to the darkness. The Lord is ready to make you a good picture of Himself to the world. Ask Him for help as you go out into it.

What we are going to learn about today will sound like an everyday news story in our current culture…and it may feel hopeless. But God! There is hope that lies ahead. Listen in close as Ben unpacks the beginning of Chapter Three.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

What are the last days? It’s the time frame between when Jesus left and when He comes back. Also called the Church Age, but the point is that it’s our current day.

Things will become increasingly difficult. Why? Because of people. The two greatest commands that Jesus gives are to love God and love others. See Mark 12:30-31. Yet 2 Timothy 3:2 says people will become lovers of self. As humanity abandons a love for God, they will love only themselves. Out of that flows materialism, pride, boastfulness, arrogance, abusiveness, denial of any authority, being ungrateful, and abandoning a fear of God.

2 Timothy 3:3 says that when we abandon God and love only ourselves, then that will play out in the poor treatment of others. People become heartless, unloving, unable to appease, full of gossip, no self-control, brutal, won’t care about doing good, treacherous, reckless, out of control, swollen with conceit, and love pleasure more than God, so they mistreat others.

Paul tells Timothy that this is the world that he is living in. “I want what’s good for me because I love me” becomes “I don’t care about God, therefore I don’t care about you.” When we become heartless, we become ruthless, and the world becomes a dangerous place. We see this so much in our own world today.

The great danger is that there are people who act like this, yet they still want to hold onto a form of religion. They’ll keep religious images, talk about God in general terms, and keep religious language in their life. They want to look like a spiritual person but deny the Spirit’s power.

What does the Spirit’s power look like?

  • Romans 1:16- I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18- The work of the Cross is foolishness to those perishing, but to the saved, it is the power of God.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:22- We preach Christ crucified, the power and wisdom of God.

Philippians 3:10- I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

According to Paul, the power of God is in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We know we are not okay, but Jesus stepped in to make all things right between us and God.

Paul warns us to avoid those who want to discontinue Jesus and continue on their own self-serving path. Those who love Christ stand out in a world that’s brutal. Be that person.

What's next?

The world today is brutal and seems to only get worse by the day. It does not take long to come up with a list of all the atrocities that we know about that are happening right now. However, you were not called to be like the world. You were called to be set apart. Look at the Scripture that Ben highlighted, Focus on the power of the Spirit, and remember that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in you. You were meant to be a light in a dark world.

Fair warning: today is going to start out feeling weird. Listen as Ben rightly divides the word and shows the meaning of the text. Paul has some very important points for Timothy concerning the spiritualism he seems to be surrounded by. We have much to learn from these verses today.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 3:6-9.

There are going to be people who have an external form of godliness but will deny its’ power. Paul has already warned Timothy about that and advises him to avoid those people. The men in this passage embody the type of men that should be avoided.

Paul isn’t taking a shot at women by calling them weak. He’s calling out both men and women who are being deceived. In 1 Timothy, Paul talked about false teachers who were manipulating women into false spiritual ideas while their husbands were away. He’s not saying that women are more gullible. He’s saying these men were manipulating them in their homes. The bigger point is that they were manipulating or being manipulated because they were burdened with sin and led away by various passions.

This happens today as well. People get wrapped up in all sorts of “spiritual” things, but it never helps them. They get to that point because they have let sin into their lives or are chasing passions. Rather than getting help or accountability, they look for a “spiritual” cure because they don’t feel good about their own integrity. Paul warns that people who are at the greatest risk of compromised teaching are those who have compromised morality.

The women Paul talks about are locked up in vague spiritualism and they never advance or become mature believers because they are not focused on the truth of Scripture.

Who are Jannes and Jambres, and why is Paul bringing them up? They were the magicians who opposed Moses and replicated what he did. The problem was not that they just opposed Moses; they opposed the truth. Paul encourages Timothy not to grow discouraged. People like that never last long. They don’t endure because they can’t keep up with God. It’s hard to fake spirituality over time, but in Christ, we are sanctified over time. The true believer lives by Scripture and the Spirit of God.

How does He sanctify us? We grip the Word of God, find the community of God, live by the power of the Spirit of God, and are formed into His image. Stay anchored to the truth. Be careful that Spirituality is never separated from Scripture or the Spirit of truth.

What's next?

In your life, where are you entertaining sin? Do you have little pet sins that you think you can control and coddle without the knowledge that they can take you out?

On Day 14, Ben takes the time to encourage us as we start taking hits for the Kingdom. Timothy is now out there on his own, but Paul reminds him of the faithfulness of God and how he has been an example for Timothy to lean on. The world is chaotic. We don’t have to be taken in by it.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 3:10-13.

Paul has warned Timothy that things are going to get disorienting around him; he will think everything is veering off course and is out of control, but all he has to do is remember and focus on all the things that Paul has done. Not for Paul’s pride but for all that God has done through him.

Paul is asking Timothy to trust the one he has been following because he’s been following Christ. Paul has been an excellent example and has proven himself worthy of being trusted and has verified that he has a genuine faith. The world has always been crazy, and it came after Paul. Timothy saw a lot of that persecution, but Paul reminded him that God was faithful to everyone.

This is why a believing community matters. They have gone before you, will encourage you, and tuck you in behind them so you can cut through the chaos together. The community is a stabilizing force.

But Paul doesn’t mislead Timothy with false hope: if you follow Christ, you will be persecuted. That’s how it goes. If you’re not swimming against the stream, you won’t be a change agent in society. If they went after Jesus, they’ll come after you. If they’re not…you might not be standing for anything and, therefore, not making a difference.

Now that Timothy is on his own and taking some hits. Paul tells him not to be rattled. Evil people are going to be but follow the faithful. Don’t be worried about the chaos. You have Christ who rules all, and the Lord rescues those who walk with Him. God loves to shine a light in the darkness, and you may be that light.

What's next?

Are you taking hits for your faith right now? Do you feel discouraged or let down by the world and becoming more and more convinced that it's only getting crazier?

Today, we will see the beauty and work of God’s breath on a page, the holy Word of God. Through discipleship, Paul continues to direct Timothy and teaches him how to view Scripture in his life. We are to do the same. We can invite the Word to dwell in us richly and watch God use it nonstop in our lives for the good of God and those around us.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

We don’t have to run aimlessly when things get chaotic. We learn by watching those who have gone before us. We learn who we need to look at to know what to do and are taught what we need to do.

Paul has been warning Timothy that things are going to get chaotic but tells him to continue in what he’s already learned. You know the key truths and move forward in that.

Know from whom you learned these things. Think about your heroes of the faith. Remember how the person in front of you lived by faith, and it will help you when you face uncertainty.

What did your heroes teach you? The Word of God. Timothy would have known the Old Testament. It made him wise for salvation. The Gospel plays out all through those books and tells of a coming suffering servant that will bring us new life again. Timothy has seen how Jesus was told about for centuries before His arrival and that salvation would come through Him.

All Scripture is God-breathed, a term coined by Paul.

It is His breath on a page, He tells us all we need to know about it. It has been consistent throughout history and is worthy of your life. Be rooted in it.

You don’t need to progress beyond the Bible. You progress with the Bible.

It will teach you things you do not know. It will correct you where you are wrong and show you where to go right. It will train you to do right by God and other people. He has given us a word to make us complete and equipped for every good work. The Scripture grows with you as you develop.

What's next?

Do you have 11 minutes? Every morning this week, listen through the entire book of 2 Timothy. There are multiple apps that can assist you with this. If you want, you can even listen to it in a different translation each day and see what God brings to your attention. Allow the Word of God to get deep into you. Let your default thoughts be God's breath on a page. As you dwell in the Word, it will dwell in you and produce good change in a dark world.

Paul comes to the climax of his letter to Timothy and uses some of the strongest language we will see him use in this book. He has simple directives for Timothy and for us that will move the ball as we pursue the Kingdom. Today, Ben will give us the pump-up speech that Paul gave to Timothy…and you’re going to want to take notes!

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

This is the high point of the letter. Paul has assured Timothy that he’s loved, equipped, and valuable. Now, it’s time to get out there in the world and own it. He’s pushing Timothy out of the locker room and into the game. Paul isn’t just giving Timothy a high call. He’s giving us the same as well.

Paul is serious when he says, “Preach the word!”. He uses the language of swearing an oath. Paul invokes that Jesus Christ is the Judge of all. He is going to return and establish a Kingdom and a rule. Why bring this up here? Paul in proving that we have accountability. We work for a King who rules and judges all, and in His presence, there is accountability for us…so do your job: Preach the Word.

Throughout the book, proclaiming and caring for the Word of God has been a constant theme.

You need to be ready at all times, in season and out. Whether people are applauding you or ignoring you, you still preach the truth of the Gospel to the world.

How do we do this? Reprove, or correct, those who are going astray. Rebuking is loving someone enough to warn them when they are wandering off. We exhort, call out, and encourage others to move to change their lives.

In all of this, we do it with patience and teaching. Never get impatient with people. They may have confusion and need your teaching to help them understand. We want to call people to the seriousness of the Word of God, but we do it with patience.

Why do we preach the Word?

  1. There’s a Judge to hold us accountable.
  2. There are plenty of people who will gather teachers who will tell them exactly what they want to hear, so they need to hear the truth and learn to endure.

Paul instructs Timothy to do four things. Be sober-minded, endure suffering, preach the Word, and fulfill his ministry.

You have been entrusted with the Word of God, in the midst of a chaotic day, don’t get rattled. Plant your feet, take a step, deliver the message, and take the hit if necessary.

What's next?

Today, simply sit before God and ask Him to speak to you about your decisions and what it looks like in your life to do the things that Paul instructed Timothy to do.

Ben takes us towards some of Paul’s final words. He knows things are coming to a close for him, and it is time for Timothy to take over. True to form, Paul continues to encourage not only Timothy but us as well.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

What do you want to be true of you at the end of your life? When you die, what would you feel good about?

Paul has just finished telling Timothy to proclaim the Word, and now he is going to give him the motivation for that: Paul is passing the baton.

Paul knows his life is going to be coming to a close. He compares his life to being poured out as a drink offering. In a Jewish worship service, the drink offering was at the very end, the last thing you do. Since following Jesus, Paul’s whole life has been a sacrifice. When he uses the word “departure,” he is using a military term that describes untying a rope that tethers a tent. In other words, he’s a warrior that is getting ready to go home.

He fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. Paul is drawing back on the analogies of being a soldier and athlete.

Today, we use “fight the good fight” as a way of saying “do your best,” which is wildly incorrect.

Paul is emphasizing that of all the fights in the world that he could have chosen, he chose the good fight. Our fight doesn’t tear down and destroy. It rescues and restores people. In other letters, Paul talks about running the race set out for us…we are to finish it. He ran his, and now we run ours. He kept the faith. Paul was entrusted with the essentials of who Jesus is and our need for him, and he never fumbled the message.

We want to be able to say the same thing as Paul: Jesus has a crown of righteousness waiting for him.

Paul is again bringing up the theme of “that day” when he sees Jesus face to face. We are a people joined with Paul because we love His appearing. We are racing towards Jesus and can’t wait to see Him. We leverage our life for the Life that matters most, so when we see King Jesus, we celebrate. We chase a God that as we burst through the finish line, we see Him face to face.

What's next?

Assess your schedule and where you spend your time. Is there any area that is keeping your focus off of your race? Are your priorities aligned with a life of righteousness? Don't lose the gaze Paul is imploring you to keep: you are racing towards eternity, you want to be about the King's cause.

Day 18 brings us to the section most people skip right over. Who wants a shout-out passage to a bunch of guys we don’t know? Well, we do. These verses are packed with so much truth and advice that we would be wise to heed.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 4:9-15.

If we want to run our race well, we often have to look towards someone else. Paul takes the time to recognize those who are running their race well as they have looked to him.

Paul is in a difficult imprisonment in Rome and knows things are ending, so he asks Timothy to do his best to come to him.

Then Paul explains that Demas has deserted him. In Paul’s letter to the Colossians and Philemon, he described Demas as a coworker, but now Paul says that Demas loved this world and left him. Demas was Paul’s Judas, who betrayed him when things got hard. He is the antithesis of what Paul is calling Timothy to do, which is to suffer for the Gospel.

While Paul is in prison at the end of his life, he’s coordinating ministry. He’s like a coach calling plays and expanding the Kingdom. It’s not coming to an end with Him. Paul never retires. As he ages, his priority is investing in young men who will continue on.

We all want a mentor. No matter what stage you’re at, don’t forget the generation behind you.

One of the greatest uses of your time is to invest in them. Paul gives us a great example of the way he dealt with Mark. He refused to let him join him in ministry again after he caused Paul and Barnabas to divert. Yet, Paul was patient and kind. He encouraged Mark to maturity to the point that he was able to use him in ministry again. Mark would go on to write the first Gospel, and we would know the story of God’s grace because we saw it work in the wayward Mark.

Not only does Paul not retire and invest in young men, but he also has friends with him. Luke, another Gospel writer, is with him. Luke was a physician and may have been keeping Paul alive. He is a faithful friend to Paul to the end. Do you have a friend like that?

Paul warns Timothy about Alexander. The smith-workers often made idols and were against them. Alexander didn’t just oppose him personally; he opposed their message. He encourages Timothy to avoid him, not attack him. Sidestep the opposition and continue on your mission.

You have been called to continue you. Invest in people to pass the baton to. Invest in good and deep friendships. In doing that, you’ll be investing in the Kingdom

What's next?

Ben gave a lot of information that is useful to process and analyze in your own life. When you are done with your "job," you still aren't retiring. The Word of God still needs to be preached. Are you investing in the generation that is coming behind you? They need a mentor, and you have something to offer them.

Forgive. Preach. Praise. These are the last things that Paul modeled for Timothy and called him up to. As we live our lives, Paul is calling us to do the same. If harder days are ahead and we are left with no one to defend us, we can rest assured that God will strengthen us. Join us today as Ben highlights how Paul responds when he is placed on trial.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 4:16-18.

Paul is writing Timothy from his second imprisonment, which is far worse than his first. In Acts 28 and Philippians, we read about Paul’s first time in prison, which was much more comfortable, and he was anticipating release.

This imprisonment was different. It probably took place around 67 AD, which was a few years after Rome had been burned down. It was a travesty that Nero blamed on the Christians. Times are very tense, to say the least.

Paul mentions his “first defense,” which is when your charges are brought against you.

An individual was allowed to have character witnesses present, but Paul says no one showed up to defend him. In a moment of deep pain, Paul chooses to forgive and does not hold it against his friends. Where did he learn this? Jesus did this, as did Stephen, as Paul was there approving of his death. Paul chooses to forgive at the end of his life rather than hold on to resentment. We see Paul forgiving those who abandoned him because the gospel is at work in his heart.

If you believe in a God who is big enough to guide your story, you have a well of grace deep enough to forgive anyone.

Paul turns and declares that the Lord strengthened him, and the gospel has gone out to the Gentiles just like Jesus said it would when he called Paul to Himself. God works out His will in mysterious ways. He probably never envisioned imprisonment as part of that story, but nothing stands in the way of the Sovereignty of God.

Paul preached all the way to the very end.

He called Timothy and us to stand out and proclaim God’s Word in a chaotic world. Preach when it’s really hard. Paul preached before the Emperor and told him that he needs to repent and shared that the grace of God is available to all who do…and the Emperor let him live. Paul fully believed that the Lord delivered him and would do it again when he delivered him into His Presence. Paul takes no credit for himself. He dies forgiving, preaching, and praising. He sees himself as a sheep in the hands of the Good Shepherd who is leading him home.

What's next?

How do you want to end your days? Are you going to go out with grudges and resentment, or are people going to remember all the ways you offered grace and forgiveness? Do you carry yourself in a way that causes you to stand out and make the Gospel plain? In order to die the way you desire, you need to live that way now by putting into practice what you want to be known for.

As Paul closes out the letter to Timothy, he focuses on the community around him. Those who have been by his side from the start and those who are now joining in where he is currently held are all commended by Paul. Join us on the last day as Ben helps us gain perspective on the letter as a whole.

Video

Summary

Read 2 Timothy 4:19-22.

As the letter comes to a close, we will get to know some of Paul’s closest community. First, he mentions Priscilla and Aquila, whom we first met in Acts 18 after they had to flee Rome because the Emperor kicked out all the Jews. They went to Corinth, set up a tent-making business, and housed a young Paul. They all ministered together and moved to Ephesus. After Paul moved on from there, they took Apollos under their care and ministry. He became a highly effective preacher. Paul mentions Prisca and Aquila numerous times throughout his letters. It appears that no matter where they were, they opened their home, and the Church met there, and they were constantly discipling others. Even at the end of their lives, they are pouring into Timothy. Corinth, Ephesus, and Rome were all greatly influenced by their faithfulness.

Paul talks about Onesiphorus, Erastus, and Trophimus, all of whom have been his good friends and companions. But he sends greetings from a group of Roman guys who are also hard at work in the faith.

Paul tells Timothy for the second time to get to him quickly. Winter is a hard time to travel, and he knows time is wearing thin.

Paul ends the letter with “The Lord be with your (singular) spirit. Grace be with you (plural)”. We are meant to see both sides. Paul writes a very personal letter to Timothy, but the plural “you all” at the end proves we aren’t to live in isolation. We are called to the community. Paul assumed Timothy would share the letter with everyone. That’s how the Gospel spreads. We do it together.

Overall, the letter sticks to a few main points:

  1. It’s all by God’s Grace.
  2. We serve faithfully and suffer for the Gospel.
  3. We deliver and protect the Word of God.
  4. God is faithful and is returning.
  5. We are to live in a community that runs together.

As Paul ended, he passed the baton to Timothy and others…and it has been passed on to us. Let’s get in the game.

What's next?

Reread the entire letter in one sitting. That's how letters are read, and it won't take you very long. Look for the common themes that Paul returns to over and over.

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Scripture References

  • 2 Timothy 1:1-2
  • 2 Timothy 1:3-7
  • 2 Timothy 1:8-12
  • 2 Timothy 1:13-18
  • 2 Timothy 2:1-2
  • Psalm 71:18
  • 2 Timothy 2:3-7
  • 2 Timothy 2:8-10
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
  • 1 Corinthians 15:14
  • 2 Timothy 2:11-13
  • Romans 6:8
  • Philippians 1:6
  • 1 John 2:19
  • John 16:33
  • 2 Timothy 2:14-19
  • 2 Timothy 2:20-22
  • 3 John 1:4
  • 2 Timothy 2:23-26
  • 2 Timothy 3:10
  • Romans 1:16
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18
  • Philippians 3:10
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.

Day 02

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What Does This Mean?

Day 03

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What Do We Do?