Dear Student of the Word,
I am off to Africa later today, so I thought I had better send this next installment before I leave. There will be one more lesson from Second Timothy and then we will start Matthew after I take a short writing break as the year ends. I have seen that this letter to Timothy was one that focused on values and purpose. This week's study helped me understand that and here is some of what I wrote this week:
4:14 -- When all is said and done, it's not about what anyone else is doing or saying. It's about what you do and say. At the end of the day, you can't change or control anyone else. You can only change or control yourself. Paul warned Timothy that many would fall away and do strange things. After that warning, however, he then gave Timothy instructions that began "as for you."
Are you uptight about what someone else has done or isn't doing? Have you allowed your own faith to waver or wane because of someone else's failures or problems? Then it's time to get back on track! It's time to pay less attention to someone else's walk and more to your own.
Paul urged Timothy to "continue." That means he was already doing the right things; he just needed to keep doing them. What are those right things? I don't know specifically, but they were things that Timothy learned, personally convinced that those things were right and true. I would see those as Timothy's values.
What are your values? If you have never developed a formal list of values, it's time you did. I have an article entitled How To Develop Your Governing Values on my website. Why not take some time to go through this process so you can see what really is important to you. Then determine whether or not you are living out what you believe. It is an important but sometimes painful process to confront the possible gap between what you believe and say, and what you actually do.
Feel free to add your comments or your answers to the questions I pose for others to read. You can do this and find the studies to Corinthians, First Timothy and Mark's gospel on the site where this week's entry is posted. You can also go to that site to sign up to receive each week's study.
Download this week's study: 2 Timothy Study 4.doc