Weekend Bible Study
Theme of the Week: The Call to Courageous Faith
Saturday, September 6, 2014
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Let's be honest. It's hard to cling to faith, let alone boldly witness for Christ, when fellow workers, neighbors, and even family members often scoff at our beliefs—labeling them old fashioned, way behind the times, narrow minded. It's all too tempting to shrink back, even be ashamed of a belief system that doesn't track with the world around us. As for our values and integrity? Well, who doesn't compromise … at least a little?
In today's passage, Paul is writing to his disciple Timothy. But he could be writing to any one of us as we struggle to keep our faith alive and genuine amid a culture of counterfeit and compromise.
- Considering Paul's encouragement and advice to Timothy, what do you think were some of Timothy's greatest struggles?
- How specifically do Paul's words to Timothy speak into your own struggles with living your faith?
- Why is living a holy life impossible on your own strength? (See vv. 9-10, 14; John 15:1-8; Phil 4:13.)
- What does it mean to "hold on to a pattern of wholesome teaching" (v. 13)? Why is this important? (See Rom. 16:17; 1 Tim. 6:3-5.)
- Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
Key Study Passage:
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Spend Time in Prayer: Express your deepest fears and struggles, asking God for guidance, comfort, and forgiveness where needed. Prayerfully commit to taking one bold step of faith over the next several days.
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Greetings from Paul
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 I am writing to Timothy, my dear son.
May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
Encouragement to Be Faithful
3 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.
5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
Prayer for the Week
Lord, forgive me for times I've been ashamed of my faith or fearful about taking a stand for you. Fill me with your Spirit so that I will boldly follow you wherever you may lead.
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