Paul’s second letter to Timothy is a continuation of his first letter in how you are to live out Christ daily. Read 2 Timothy 1 and discover what it means to live faithfully for God each day. You and I are learning that faith is an ongoing action that spills out into all areas of life.
Paul begins this passage of scripture by sharing a bit of himself. He understands that he has been chosen by God to tell others, “about the life God has promised through faith in Christ Jesus.”1 From verse 2, what are three things that God and Christ give you?
While faith, hope, and love are recognized globally, what people need is grace, mercy, and peace. These can come only from Jesus Christ.
You see how deep Paul loves Timothy in verses 3-4. How do you see this? What does this say about Paul’s faith?
Paul and Timothy have a close relationship where Christ is in the center. This is God’s desire for His children, to have deep connection with other believers. Paul and Timothy truly encouraged one another with sincerity, thankfulness and unconditional love. Are you building deep spiritual connections with other believers?
In verse 5, Paul shares what he knows about Timothy. Timothy came from a spiritual heritage. Who taught Timothy in his younger years? What did they teach him? Don’t despair if you didn’t have spiritual mentors. Jesus will teach you from this day forward. He will make up for lost time.
Paul encourages Timothy by sharing practical ways to keep pursuing faithfulness in the rest of this passage. Paul reminds Timothy to “fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave him.”6 Walking with God takes work. Faith in God is active. According to verse 7, what are two things you and I, along with Timothy and Paul, have to battle against so we will keep pursuing God? What does God give us in place of these fleshy dispositions?
In Christ, you and I receive power, love and self-discipline.
Paul talks about being ashamed to share your faith with others in verse 8. What else does Paul mention? Suffering isn’t a hot topic to talk about nor do we want to experience it, but it is something every believer will face when they walk intentionally with God. Jesus knew what He would encounter when He came from heaven as a tiny infant. You and I need saving, and He chose to suffer and die for you and me. We are called to share in His suffering. To deny this, you deny Christ.
What is the Good News that causes Paul to be imprisoned, see verses 9-10? Study these two verses closely. What is God wanting you to pay attention to? Because of this Good News, God chose Paul to be _________, according to verse 11? What is He calling you to be?
Why is Paul suffering in prison, see verse 12?
“For I know the One in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until the day of His return.”12
Paul has deep faith in God. How does verse 12 reveal that? How about your faith?
Along with fanning the flames of your faith, Paul says to Timothy, “Hold onto the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me.”13 What pattern is Paul talking about? Along with faith and love, what else is needed to pursue faithfulness, see verse 14? You need the Spirit to live out the life that God has called you to. Faith means you will be intentional in doing the work. Also from verse 14, how do you be intentional? God is counting on you to live by the Spirit to do your part.
What is a somber reality that Paul shares in verse 15 that is a part of one’s faith journey? Look ahead to 2 Timothy 4:10 for why this is. This reality is what halts many from going too deep with Christ. A believer will have to make the decision, do I follow Christ or follow people; do I follow Christ or follow the ways of the world; do I follow Christ or follow how I want to live?
What do you learn about Onesiphorus, another sojourner in this walk of faith, see verses 16-18? You see how pursuing faithfulness means encouraging other believers. O, as we will call him, took time with Paul. What do you think Paul meant when he said, “O was never ashamed of me because of my chains”?16 Does fear and timidity, from verse 7, make you ashamed of those who walk deeply with Christ? Do you keep yourself at arms length from those who are all in for God? Are you more comfortable with people who walk with God a little bit as well as live in the world too?
God is calling you to pursue faithfulness. God is calling you to go all in as Christ went all in for you. It’s not an easy call, but it’s necessary for you and I to say yes to Christ. If we all would, we would be a people that is united in love.