Tuesday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:1-18 (NKJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. 13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16 The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.
“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” (2 Tim. 1:13-14).
God’s Word calls the Church and her teachers to fold fast to a faithful confession of His teachings, but we are also called to do so in love. Our sinful nature makes it difficult for us to speak the truth in love sometimes. Our corrupt self-importance tempts us to use the Word of God as a club with which we can beat down those who are wrong, and revel in our own dominance rather than be truly concerned about helping them. We confuse being right with being truly righteous according to the Holy Spirit.
The whole point of God’s Word is to save us from the suffering and condemnation that our sin brings. The Church’s faithful confession of God’s teaching addresses and condemns sin, but that is not the end goal. The real goal is to bring about true repentance, which is connected with the true faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. The Church’s faithful message to the world is not just about law and commandments, it is characterized by Christ crucified. The cross of Jesus Christ shows us that there is truly death and sin that needs to be dealt with. But it also shows us that there is love and mercy that come through the faith that is given by the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us.
We pray: Heavenly Father, grant us Your Spirit so that we may not only speak Your truth, but speak it in love, in Christ our Lord. Amen.