May 19, 2023

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Paul and Timothy were two leaders in the early church. Paul is well known because of his exciting conversion on the road to Damascus, his missionary work starting churches all around the Mediterranean world, and his writings that make up a significant portion of the New Testament. Timothy, however, is not as well known. What we do know is that Timothy was a young person. His family was a strong and godly family. His grandmother Lois and his Mother Eunice are written about with great respect by Paul. We know that Paul thought so highly of this young man that he placed him in leadership in the church at Ephesus. The letters of 1 and 2 Timothy are letters written to encourage young Timothy in his faith and work in the early church.

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul writes and encourages Timothy to keep up the good work that he has been part of.  Starting these new churches must have been a challenging task. Paul takes a great deal of time to remind Timothy that he should, “Continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

How did Timothy know that what he was teaching was correct? How did Timothy know if what he was doing was good work? How did he know, even at a young age, to lead the people of God to a good and productive faith? Paul makes it very clear to Timothy that the scriptures, which he had been taught from his youngest days, were his guide. The scriptures provided the teaching, correction and training that would help lead Paul, Timothy, and the early church to a productive faith.

We are blessed to have the same strong guide as Timothy. As a people of faith, we have the gift of the scriptures to lead us into a wonderful future. As Paul wrote Timothy, reading and recalling the holy scriptures is “useful.” It strengthens our understanding of God and God’s creation. Reading our Bible allows us to be a productive people of faith who grow to lead and be a blessing in God’s world.

If you are looking for a good place to start reading in your Bible, perhaps you might start with the books of 1st & 2nd Timothy. They once served as good encouragement to Timothy, and I am sure they will do the same for us today.

– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship