No guts, no glory! (2 Timothy 2 v 8-13)
NOTE: There are only three more days of this series on 2 Timothy available on Biblestudytools.com. To get the rest of the series, get a set of Explore devotional, either as an app or as a paper copy, here—details of a great deal below this study.
Every week, hundred of Christians are killed for being faithful to Jesus. Every day, thousands of Christians suffer harassment, persecution, intimidation and loss for the sake of the gospel. Maybe it has cost you friends, acceptance and comfort. So why follow Christ if it’s so hard?
Jesus: suffering before glory
Read 2 Timothy 2:8
• What does Timothy need to remember about Jesus?
• How would this help him in his situation?
Jesus rose and reigns on high, and is in control of everything—and so our suffering is not in vain. Jesus carried the cross before He received the crown. It is our privilege to walk the same uphill path.
Paul: suffering for others’ glory
Read 2 Timothy 2:9
• What contrast does Paul make?
• Why is Paul willing to suffer?
Paul was chained, but God’s word never is! In prison, he was able to tell people about Jesus (read Philippians 1:12).
Paul went on many dangerous journeys, and risked his own safety and health, so that those who God had chosen—the “elect” (v 10) would be saved.
God has chosen both who is going to be saved, and how they are going to be saved. And He’s chosen to give His people the privilege of being His normal way of saving the elect. For Paul, election doesn’t excuse him from evangelism and sacrificial service. It demands it!
Us: suffering before glory
Read verses 11-13
• What is the encouragement in these verses?
• What is the warning (v 12)?
The Christian life is about “dying” and “enduring”. That means we say “no” to what we want, so that we can say “yes” to what Jesus wants—even when it costs us. It is always worth it, no matter how high that cost becomes, because we look forward to living and reigning with Jesus.
What Paul means in verse 13 isn’t totally clear. But he may well be reminding Timothy that when he (and we) don’t speak for or live like Jesus, He remains faithful to us, and to His promises to keep and save His people. How wonderful!
The Christian life is not easy, though we may wish it were. And the Bible does not pull its punches, though sometimes we’d like it to!
• Are you willing to put yourself out so others can hear about Jesus? Are you willing to lose friends, be insulted, and suffer, if that’s what it takes?
• Will you pray, as God’s servant Isaiah did (Isaiah 6 v 8): “Here am I. Send me”?
NOTE: There are only three more days of this series on 2 Timothy available on Biblestudytools.com. To get the rest of the series, get a set of Explore devotional, either as an app or as a paper copy, here—details of a great deal below.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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