December 20, 2015

You Followed … Continue – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:10-17)

There are many oft-quoted truths that stand like giant redwoods in the expansive forest of truth quoted above. It is easy to be intrigued by the wonders of a single tree, while missing the awesome power of the expansive forest.

A view from the overlook reveals that Paul is encouraging young Timothy by reminding him of all that had been endured in their struggle thus far, warning him of certain challenging dangers ahead and effectively admonishing him to follow that same noble course without deviation, using the Divine, all-powerful means that enable him to continue, regardless.

Paul’s example (“teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings”) was a hard act to follow, but Timothy had done it. (“you followed”) It was really tough, but no more or less than Christians ought to expect. All godly Christians should expect to follow. (But not godly Christians today….You think?)

“Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.” (Philippians 3:17)

“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example…” (II Thessalonians 3:7)

“… in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.” (II Thessalonians 3:9)

Then Paul added, “Timothy, I understand that evil men have made the going extremely difficult, but cheer up. At least it’s going to get worse.” This is encouragement? It is if you are forewarned, together with the expectation that you are able and you must continue. Others that you thought would stand, will tremble and flee, perhaps compromise, or even surrender to such powerful and persuasive deceivers, but not you, Timothy. You must stay the course. Continue!

“Do not allow yourself to stray off course. You know what you have been taught. You have full assurance from the sacred writings you learned and know well. Yes, the winds are blowing, but you must not drift to the right or left. Continue!”

“You have a Divinely perfect chart and compass. You know how to use them. With them you have everything you need to safely navigate the dangerous shoals and arrive safely home. ”But this very influential man said, “This way is just as good or better.” Ignore it. Continue.

Timothy had an encouraging example to follow, who was, himself, following a perfect example. Paul was awaiting execution in a Roman dungeon. Even as he wrote, he still requested his books and parchments. (II Timothy 4:13) May God enable us also to follow and to continue.

 

 

 

 

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