In the past, I’ve mentioned that memorizing, meditating on and praying over passages of Scripture has, by the power of the Holy Spirit, impacted and transformed my life more than any other discipline He has led me to practice. For many years I’ve re-read my daily journal entries for the past month, then picked one verse, or a short passage, to memorize for the next month.
During the month of January I have been allowing 2 Timothy 3:10 to work its way into my mind, heart, walk and ministry. Here it is in the New Living Translation:
“But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love and my endurance.”
Allow me during the rest of this post to share a bit of what He’s teaching me and showing me from this verse that has 7 different ideas in it.
I am led to understand that the word “know” means more than simply to know in my head. It carries with it the idea of:
- To trace out
- To follow near
- Conform to
- Fully know
- Have understanding
- Following teaching so as to practice it
Paul is saying to his disciple, his protege, his growing leader: Beyond a shadow of a doubt Timothy, you’re believing, fully embracing and living out the following:
1. What I teach
The gospel, the body of sound doctrine handed down to us. Staying faithful to the Bible and what it clearly teaches. Not caving to public opinion or to what the latest thought fad might be. Not deconstructing the faith once delivered to the saints.
2. How I live
My life style. Practicing what I say I believe. Walking the talk. By His grace, being an example worth following.
3. What my purpose in life is
Paul speaks of his purpose in Acts 20:24. To take to the Gentiles the good news of the gospel. Oh what a difference having a clear purpose can make in a leader’s life. What a difference it’s made in my life. Paul encourages Archippus to “Fulfill the ministry you have received in the Lord.” (Colossians 4:17) This would point to a purpose, calling and vision that Archippus had been given.
4. My Faith
Paul’s confidence and trust, as he leans into the promises of God and the character of God. I see his strong faith in everything Paul does as he navigates the difficulties he encounters and lives out his purpose and calling. He believed God for the impossible, the improbable, the unthinkable, the unlikely.
5. My Patience
Oh how I need this one. As a leader, I can be so impatient waiting for things to happen that I’m praying about. Impatient waiting for people to get it, to be ready to move out on an idea I have that I feel is from God.
6. My love
Love for Him love for the people He’s placed in my life and in my world. I often find myself singing the little chorus: “More love, more power, more of You in my life.”
7. My Endurance
Not giving up, not quitting, not loosing heart when things take longer than I would like. Not getting off-mission, distracted with things of lessor importance.
Words cannot adequately express how spending time every morning thinking through this verse, praying over it, confessing my sin and requesting that I might grow in all of these areas is already yielding fruit in my life.
May I suggest that you pick one verse and do the same as I’m doing over a period of days and weeks? Watch what the Holy Spirit does.