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.
– 2 Timothy 3:14-17 NASB
This is the same letter of Paul’s from which we read yesterday. Paul wrote this letter very close to his death, so we should read it with the gravity of that situation in mind.
If you are ever tempted to think that I am being excessively repetitive in these daily posts, remember that Paul says here to Timothy “continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of.” In other words, Paul does not want Timothy to be chasing what is newest. Rather, he wants Timothy to keep driving home, to himself and others, what’s tried and truest. As Paul says elsewhere, “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” Drift is what happens in life when we do not discipline ourselves to keep focusing on what is most important.
When Paul says, “knowing from whom you have learned them,” it’s like someone counseling you to “Consider the source.” I trust the prophets and apostles who wrote the texts we collectively call the Bible for many reasons, but consider just this one: authors today write for fame and fortune, but the reward for biblical authors was only public shame and persecution – even to death. Paul was beheaded not long after he wrote this letter. Peter was crucified around the same time. Yes, we consider the source before we believe the testimony.
Notice most of all that “faith in Christ Jesus” is what brings about salvation – that is, rescue from sin and its ravages. A dynamic of salvation in your life is necessary if you are to navigate successfully through this corrupted world. Faith in Christ activates that dynamic.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Father in heaven, thank you for the prophets and apostles who committed to writing the truths that lead to our daily salvation through humble submission to You and Your ways. Help me reflect on Your ways even now so I can practice them today.…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.