II Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
God reminds us here that He expects His children to examine what they are taught. He does not force anyone to obey Him. He makes it abundantly clear that His way is right. His way is the only way of truth and blessing, but we must choose to follow Him.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
The Bereans were wise. This is talking about those who were saved. Lost people will have their opinions as well, but they have no ability to search the Scriptures. They are lost and they are motivated by feelings and opinions. However, saved people have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit within. Thus they have the ability to discern truth from error through faithful study of God’s Word.
The word translated as “consider” in our text means “to exercise the mind”. God never expects His children to put their minds in neutral and just coast. Anytime you read your Bible, you need to be thinking of what you are reading. When you listen to a preacher or a teacher, you should be examining what is said based on the Word of God. Taking notes is a good practice. It is also good to follow along in your Bible. It is important to develop that discipline to be able to turn to a passage quickly and also take notes as the preacher or teacher is talking. I needed to learn this while at Bible School. You would need to work to get around in your Bible quickly so that you do not spend too much time trying to find the passage, but rather can be involved in actually learning from the Word of God. Our minds are capable of much more than we use them for. Much more good that is. We know we can come up with an unlimited amount of foolishness.
Paul also wanted Timothy to rely on the Lord for understanding. Timothy needed to be walking obediently with the Lord so that he could benefit from the teaching of God’s Word. He was in a difficult place at present because he had not allowed the Lord to give him understanding.
We will never understand God’s Word if we do not have Him giving us understanding. Thus we need to pray and ask God to open our understanding to receive the truth every time we open His Word.
In verse 8 Paul reminded Timothy that Jesus Christ was of the seed of David. Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah. He came in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. He was not an imposter. He was and is the eternal Son of God. He took upon Himself flesh to come to this earth to give His life a ransom for many. He went to the cross and died there. However He was also raised from the dead according to Paul’s gospel.
Paul was reminding Timothy here that his Gospel was the truth. Jesus Christ was not an imposter, nor was Paul. Timothy had been well taught in the past. Timothy knew that but he needed to be reminded. He could rely on that teaching. He could face the opposition he was facing as he stood upon the truth.
In verse 9 Paul again reminded Timothy that he was suffering trouble as an evil doer. The world saw Paul as a trouble maker. They saw him as an evil man. The idolaters accused him of spoiling their business opportunities. The idolaters in Ephesus accused him of speaking against their false goddess — Diana. The Judaizers had accused him of teaching false doctrine and undermining their authority. Paul was in bonds because of these things and more. The Judaizers had set up a plot to kill Paul. They had no interest in truth and thus Paul appealed to Caesar. He knew that the Jews would not judge him fairly. They had their minds made up already. They already wanted to kill him. As we see, they were not interested in bringing their complaint before Caesar. They wanted a lynching and get it over with. Paul was in bonds due to false accusations. He had done nothing wrong. He reminded Timothy that there was a cost to serving God. We have noted in the past that Jesus taught us in John 15 that those who know the Lord and serve Him faithfully will be hated by the world. Jesus was hated and His followers will be as well.
The good news that Paul reminded Timothy of is that God’s Word is not bound. Even though Paul was in prison, he still had opportunity to preach the Word. The environment was different but the opportunities were still there and he took advantage of every opportunity granted to him.
In today’s world we have the internet which is still not completely controlled by the enemies of God. Sites like facebook and twitter are not worth supporting. Many professing Christians are on these sites but they have to be very careful what they post or they could get censored. There are other sites available that do not censor content at this point. Things are changing so rapidly anymore that it is difficult to know how long we will have this avenue available to us. However, word of mouth still works. It is not how many people we reach that counts. What matters is that we are faithful with God’s Word and leave the results in His hands. If He gives us a wide audience, use it for His glory. If we are restricted then use that for His glory.
I read of a church yesterday that is in lock down because of government restrictions. How sad. This church has seemingly just given in to the ungodly dictates and is doing nothing to seek to glorify God. Instead, the pastor wrote that he was travelling in another part of the province that was open and preaching there. What about his local people? How do they learn to trust God and stand amazed in His glory and power, when their “shepherd” is afraid to stand for the truth?
No man has ever been able to silence God’s truth yet and they never will. Even in the Tribulation time God will raise up 144,000 Jews to preach the Gospel. He will also have His two witnesses who will be faithful to the Word of God. The anti-christ will succeed in having them killed at the mid-point of the Tribulation, but as their bodies are left lying in the streets of Jerusalem, God will raise them up and take them up to heaven in the sight of all men. There will also be the angel flying with the everlasting Gospel. This will frustrate the anti-christ, but he will not succeed in silencing the truth.
Timothy needed to be encouraged with the fact that God’s Word is not bound. Even if Timothy was ashamed of speaking the truth, others would speak. Timothy had the opportunity to be used of God to help others know the truth and walk in it.
In our country, governments have tried to silence churches. They have tried to scare them with fines and closures. Some have bowed to the pressure and they have demonstrated they are behaving like state churches. Some have chosen to obey the Lord and are open and drawing from His wisdom to know how to keep operating so that those who want to, can still hear the truth. God is good and those who serve Him faithfully will attest to that fact. We need to be much in prayer for one another in these days. We should always be doing that. We need to grow in our confidence in the true God. He is worthy of our trust.