Daily Devotion

Paul’s Last Will and Testament

“many are its princes. Unrighteousness in a nation
produces political instability with many vying for power,
thus the tenure of each leader is shortened.
Wisdom promotes social order and long rule.”

Proverbs 28:2

Reading for Today:
Jeremiah 41:1–42:22
Psalm 119:89-96
Proverbs 28:2
2 Timothy 1:1-18

2 Timothy 1:4 mindful of your tears. Paul perhaps remembered this occurring at their latest parting, which occurred after a short visit to Ephesus, following the writing of 1 Timothy and prior to Paul’s arrest at Troas and his second imprisonment in Rome. Years before, Paul had a similar parting with the elders at Ephesus (Acts 20:36–38).

2 Timothy 1:7 a spirit of fear. The Greek word, which can also be translated “timidity,” denotes a cowardly, shameful fear caused by a weak, selfish character. The threat of Roman persecution, which was escalating under Nero, the hostility of those in the Ephesian church who resented Timothy’s leadership, and the assaults of false teachers with their sophisticated systems of deceptions may have been overwhelming Timothy. But if he was fearful, it didn’t come from God. power. Positively, God has already given believers all the spiritual resources they need for every trial and threat (Matt. 10:19, 20). Divine power—effective, productive spiritual energy belongs to believers (Eph. 1:18–20; 3:20; Zech. 4:6). love. This kind of love centers on pleasing God and seeking others’ welfare before one’s own (Rom. 14:8; Gal. 5:22, 25; Eph.3:19; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 4:18).sound mind. Refers to a disciplined, self-controlled, and properly prioritized mind. This is the opposite of fear and cowardice that causes disorder and confusion. Focusing on the sovereign nature and perfect purposes of our eternal God allows believers to control their lives with godly wisdom and confidence in every situation.

2 Timothy 1:12 I also suffer. Paul had no fear of persecution and death from preaching the gospel in a hostile setting because he was so confident God had sealed his future glory and blessing. know whom I have believed.

“Know” describes the certainty of Paul’s intimate, saving knowledge—the object of which was God Himself. The form of the Greek verb translated “I have believed” refers to something that began in the past and has continuing results. This knowing is equal to “the knowledge of the truth” (3:7; 1 Tim. 2:4). He is able to keep what I have committed. Paul’s life in time and eternity had been given to his Lord. He lived with unwavering confidence and boldness because of the revealed truth about God’s power and faithfulness and his own experience of an unbreakable relationship to the Lord (Rom. 8:31–39).that Day. Also called “Day of Christ” (Phil. 1:10), when believers will stand before the judgment seat and be rewarded.

Why did Paul write 2 Timothy?
Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment for a short period of ministry during which he wrote 1 Timothy and Titus. Second Timothy, however, finds Paul once again in a Roman prison (1:16; 2:9), apparently rearrested as part of Nero’s persecution of Christians. Unlike Paul’s confident hope of release during his first imprisonment (Phil. 1:19, 25, 26; 2:24; Philem. 22), this time he had no such hopes (4:6–8). In his first imprisonment in Rome (ca.A.D. 60–62), before Nero had begun the persecution of Christians (A.D. 64), he was only under house arrest and had opportunity for much interaction with people and ministry (Acts 28:16–31). At this time, 5 or 6 years later (ca. A.D. 66–67), however, he was in a cold cell (4:13), in chains (2:9), and with no hope of deliverance (4:6).

Abandoned by virtually all of those close to him for fear of persecution (1:15; 4:9–12, 16) and facing imminent execution, Paul wrote to Timothy, urging him to hasten to Rome for one last visit with the apostle (4:9, 21). Whether Timothy made it to Rome before Paul’s execution is not known. According to tradition, Paul was not released from this second Roman imprisonment but suffered the martyrdom he had foreseen (4:6).

In this letter, Paul, aware the end was near, passed the nonapostolic mantle of ministry to Timothy (2:2) and exhorted him to continue faithful in his duties (1:6), hold on to sound doctrine (1:13,14),avoid error (2:15–18), accept persecution for the gospel (2:3,4; 3:10–12), put his confidence in the Scripture, and preach it relentlessly (3:15–4:5).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003.
Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc,
Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.