2 Timothy 3:10 (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."
Paul is telling Timothy of the times ahead that he will be facing; people loving themselves and money instead of loving God. Boastful, proud, God-scoffing people. False people. Fake religion for appearances' sake. Hungry for pleasure rather than hungry for God. And NOTHING WILL BE SACRED FOR THEM.
But Paul tells Timothy that he will be ready, he will be prepared, equipped, he will not be fazed at what he sees, the moral and social decay that will be all around him. Why?
Because Paul had mentored and taught Timothy to the very best of his ability, and Paul lived a life that was an example of Christ that Timothy could follow.
He told Timothy "You saw how I lived. You watched me suffer. You bore witness to the price that I paid for my faith. And yet through all of it, I endured it all; not by my own will power or strength... but by placing all of my trust in Jesus Christ alone, and holding fast to the promises that were written all about Him.
And the Word of God was Paul's guideline to living a life that demonstrated Christ in a manner that Timothy could follow.
I could almost be fooled into thinking that Paul was talking about our own world today, right now in 2008... more than ever people are becoming unloving, uncaring, self-centered, prideful, reckless. And NOTHING SEEMS SACRED ANY MORE.
But Paul's words speak out so loudly to me, the urgency in Paul's tone of writing to Timothy is just as urgent in speaking indirectly to me. The life that Paul had lived as an apostle to Christ is there for me to read about every day, and to serve as an example for me to follow and subsequently demonstrate myself, to become that example of Christ that others can also follow.
We have the benefit of having the very same Word of God that instructed Paul and Timothy, and then some! I must make the Word of God my guidebook and instruction for my life, as Paul said that "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right" (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
I must not only know about my faith, I must be able to live it in such a way that people can examine my life and see not perfection, but God's grace, and constant correction to be like Jesus, an example of Christ that anyone could follow.
LORD Jesus, my life is pitiful in comparison to how Paul used his life to serve You after You touched him. May I strive to not only follow his many examples on living for You, but also to live in a way that others will see You working in me. Forgive me when I fall short, be blessed when I make You look good.
I love You, Lord Jesus. Amen.