Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Jeremiah 36:1-19 and 2 Timothy 1:1-18.

2 Timothy 1:13 “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

            I’ve always liked the apostle Paul. In my opinion, he’s one of the major heroes in the Bible because he suffered and endured so many different things for the sake of the Gospel. I know that a number of people these days tend to write him off as a narrow-minded religious fanatic, but I view his whole commitment as a major influence on the actual survival of our faith in its infancy. Without Paul’s strong words and complete devotion to Christ, I don’t think Christianity would have survived into the second century. His total dedication to the churches he served, as well as his boldness in preaching the Word publicly, helped solidify the foundation that Christ had already laid. And I never forget that Jesus personally chose Paul to ensure that our faith would expand and grow.

            When Paul became a prisoner in Rome, he knew that his time would soon be up and his life would be forfeited. Because of this, he wanted to ensure that the next generation of Christians held on to Christ’s teaching. He chose to write to Timothy, his protégé, in order to encourage him to take up the torch of faith that Paul would soon lay down. This is why he personally writes: ‘What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.’

            As 21st century Christians, I don’t think that we could do any better than to embrace and apply Paul’s words in our hearts and congregations. His teaching is still relevant and when we apply it, along with our faith and love in Jesus, we present a Christianity that is strong, supportive, and compassionate in our world today.

Point to ponder:  What are my favorite words written by the Apostle Paul? How do I apply them in my life?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You personally chose Paul to represent Your ministry and mission on Earth at a time of uncertainty and anxiety for Your Church. Thank You for the gifts of perseverance and strength, as well as his faith and commitment, which enabled him to remain loyal to You. Help us to learn from Paul’s words and life, so that we may continue this great story of faith in our congregations and communities today. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest Pentecost drawings called “Spirit Fall.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.