SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul challenges Timothy (in verses 1-2) to be strong in grace and to develop ministry apprentices.
- In verses 3-7, Paul uses several analogies to encourage Timothy to be diligent and persevere; he has also endured (see verse 10).
- In verses 11-13, Paul shares a "trustworthy saying." Part of the idea is that even if we are faithless, God remains faithful to us. (We learn in 1 John 1:9 that even if we have been unfaithful we can always come back to God, as long as we are willing to be purified by him.)
- Paul gives several warnings about making sure people in the church avoid "godless chatter" and being "quarrelsome" and "foolish and stupid arguments."
- This chapter ends with Paul encouraging Timothy to always correct "opponents" with gentleness.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Not only are Christians to volunteer in their churches, serving according to their giftedness, but they are also to mentor apprentices so that the word of God can spread and the church can grow and minister to more people and meet more needs.
- God will always be faithful to us, even if we're not faithful to Him. This should make us want even more to be faithful to God.
- We need to be really careful with our words, with what we say, and with the kind of conversations we have. As Christ-followers we should avoid arguing or being negative or gossiping.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Do you have a volunteer position in the church? If not, you need to start serving! And if you do, do you have an apprentice? Who is someone you could invite to serve alongside you? Is there a friend who isn't serving? Or someone who has shown interest in your ministry area? If so, ask them! And, if not, pray that God will bring you an apprentice.
- When, in the past few weeks, have you said words that didn't honor God? Perhaps complaining, gossip, negativity, useless arguing, or harsh criticisms? Spend some time confessing what you did to God, and ask Him to help you to control your tongue.