May 5, 2019
….One of the most knowledgeable, influential and beloved men of history is the apostle Paul.
Paul knew that soon he would be executed (4:6), so he wrote his final words to his “son” Timothy, passing to him the torch of leadership, reminding him of what was truly important, and encouraging him in the faith.
There has never been another person like Paul, the missionary apostle. He was a man of deep faith, undying love, constant hope, tenacious conviction, and profound insight. And he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to give us God’s message, 2 Timothy. #
Last week we looked at:
• Paul’s confidence in God. 2 Timothy 1:12, 3:11 & 4:16-18.
• Paul’s confidence in God’s Word. 2 Timothy 2:9, 3:14-17.
• Paul’s teaching on ‘Endurance” 2 Timothy 2:3-6 & using the illustrations of a soldier, athlete and farmer who must discipline themselves and be willing to sacrifice to achieve the results they want. We see that our suffering is worthwhile when we achieve our goal of glorifying God, winning people to Christ and one day living eternally with Him.
Let’s look at and consider some more lessons from Paul’s life.
What were the things Paul said about himself as he wrote to Timothy and gave an overview of the way he lived his life. 2 Timothy 3:10-12.
3. Paul’s commitment to God’s calling.
Discuss the following in your group:
Read Acts 26:12-23 about Paul’s encounter with Jesus Christ and his conversion as he shared his testimony with King Agrippa many years later.
• What was the mission God gave him? See also 2 Timothy 1:11.
• How did Paul respond? See also Acts 20:24.
Compare Paul’s attitude with what Jesus said about God’s calling on His life. John 4:34, 5:30, 36, 17:4.
What did he teach Timothy to do 2 Timothy 4:5?
• Where did Paul’s commitment to do God’s will for his life flow from? See Philippians 1:21, Acts 21:13.
4. Paul’s attitude toward suffering.
What was one of the things Jesus said Paul would have to endure as part of following His calling?
Consider how this worked out in Paul’s life. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. 2 Timothy 4:6.
What was Paul’s attitude toward suffering? Philippians 1:29-30, 2 Timothy 2:10.
Consider and discuss in your group the following:
Paul considered it a privilege to suffer for Christ. We do not by nature consider suffering a privilege. Yet when we suffer if we faithfully represent Christ, our message and example affect us and others for good. (Acts 5:41). Suffering has three additional benefits: (1) It takes our eyes off earthly comforts: (2) it weeds out superficial believers: (3) it strengthens the faith of those who endure: (4) it serves as an example to those who follow us. When we suffer for our faith, it doesn’t mean we have done something wrong. In fact, the opposite is often true-it verifies that we have been faithful. Use suffering to build your character. Don’t resent it or let it tear you down. #
5. Paul relied on Christ.
Paul learned he couldn’t and wasn’t meant to do the work God called him to do and fulfill God’s mission for his life in his own strength.
Discuss the following words of Paul: 1 Corinthians 15:10, Philippians 4:13.
What did Paul encourage Timothy to do? 2 Timothy 2:1, 1:8, 14.
Consider how God uses our trials and weaknesses to teach us to rely on Him.
2 Corinthians 12:5-10. What is the result?
6. Use God’s gift(s).
What did Paul do personally 2 Timothy 1:11 and remind Timothy to do? 2 Timothy 1:6.
What is your spiritual gift(s)? Are you using it/them? See lists in Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. How and through whom do Christians receive spiritual gifts? What is their purpose and goal? Ephesians 4:12-13. How do we discern what they are?
7. Paul’s ‘hope’.
As Paul neared the end of his life how did he summarize his life? What was Paul’s attitude toward dying? 2 Timothy 4:6-8. Philippians 1:21-23.
As he neared the end of his life Paul could confidently say he had been faithful to his call. Thus he faced death calmly, knowing that he would be rewarded by Christ… #
Consider personally and discuss in your group the following….
…. Is your life preparing you for death? Do you share Paul’s confident expectation of meeting Christ? The good news is that the heavenly reward is not just for giants of the faith like Paul, but for all who are eagerly looking forward to Christ’s second coming. Paul gave these words to encourage Timothy and us, so that no matter how difficult the fight seems, we can keep fighting. When we are with Jesus Christ we will discover it was all worth it. #
What if you don’t share Paul’s confident expectation of meeting Christ how can it be developed?
Is your attitude toward suffering similar to Paul’s, refer to 2 Corinthians 12:10?
# taken from ‘Life Application Study Bible’