October 22 – 2 Timothy 1:1 – 2:26
In this most personal letter of the apostle Paul to Timothy, his beloved child, what advice does the veteran missionary share with his younger co-worker? Note especially the three images Paul uses in 2:1-7 to encourage Timothy to let the grace of Jesus Christ strengthen him for his service. In several places Paul urges Timothy “not to be ashamed” (1:8; 2:15), but to “share in suffering” (1:8; 2:3). Identify the “Gospel” motivation Paul shares to enable Timothy to carry out his ministry. What practical suggestions does Paul make to help young Timothy service effectively and faithfully?
October 23 – 2 Timothy 3:1 – 4:22
The times in which Timothy was called to serve sound like ours today (See especially 2 Tim. 3:1-8.). What does Paul, the mentor, share with his protege to keep him on track and from losing heart (3:10-17)? How does Paul’s personal attitude in 4:6-8 provide encouragement for Timothy to fulfill the admonitions of 4:1-5? Note the very personal tone at the end of this letter; can’t you sense how the Christian faith does not leave us without feelings?
October 24 – Hebrews 1:1 – 4:13
As one reads the letter to the Hebrews, although its format is more like a treatise, you can sense that its author is urging his readers not to abandon their faith in Jesus as the culmination of God’s plan of salvation. It seems that its first recipients may have been Jews who were tempted to return to their seemingly more glorious Jewish faith. What in this opening section urges them to remain faithful to Jesus Christ? Who is He, according to chapter one? Because of who He is, 2:1-4 urges the reader “not to drift from it.” Then in 2:5-16, he intensifies his encouragement by describing Jesus’ work. In 3:1-6, we have another comparison of Jesus–not with angels but with Moses. So what is the application in 3:6 – 4:13? Since the promised rest is not yet here in its fullness, what is critical for us to do?
October 25 – Hebrews 4:14 – 7:28
The author continues to exhort his readers not to abandon their faith in Jesus, “let us hold fast our confession,” (4:14) but rather let us “draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” What evidence does the author then put forth for Jesus’ high priesthood as the means of access to God’s throne of grace? How is Jesus’ priesthood greater than Aaron’s and the Levitical priesthood? What evidence does he provide for Jesus’ priesthood being perfect? (See 5:7-10; 7:23-28.) What makes access through this perfect priest such an urgent matter? (5:11-6:8.) What gives the author hope for his readers? (6:9-20.)
October 26 – Hebrews 8:1 – 10:39
The author intensifies his encouragement for us to keep our faith in Jesus, the Son of God. Chapter 8 stresses that Jesus has inaugurated the “new covenant” promised by God through Jeremiah (8:8-12; Jer. 31:31-34). Its hallmark is the “forgiveness of sins.” Because Jesus has made the sacrifice that does not need to be repeated, it supersedes the prior covenant. In contrast to the high priest who had to enter the Most Holy Place annually Jesus has secured an eternal covenant by shedding His blood once for all.
Because He has done that for us, it leads to the author’s encouragements in 10:22-25, “Let us . . . .” Therefore let us not throw away our former faithfulness, but remain true to the end (10:26-39).
October 27 – Hebrews 11:1 – 13:25
At the conclusion of Hebrews 10, the author quotes the familiar passage from Habakkuk 2:3-4, that asserts “my righteous one shall live by faith.” Chapter 11 then gives numerous examples of Old Testament people living by faith. What do these examples suggest faith is? How does 11:30-12:2 help us see the object of our faith? (i.e., What/Who we put our trust in?) Why do you suppose he calls Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith”? (12:2) What light does Hebrews 12:3-17 cast on suffering that may come our way? How can we cope with it? Further encouraging us to remain faithful is the fact that we do not want to miss out on “the kingdom that cannot be shaken.” (12:18-29) As we wait for the fulfillment of that promise, the author of this treatise concludes with a variety of exhortations to have our faith be a “sacrifice of praise to God” (13:15) Please suggest how following these exhortations will result in praise to God.
October 28 — I Peter 1:1 – 3:12
This little letter of Peter’s is rich beyond compare. As you begin, note that the opening follows the traditional format: author, recipients, greeting (notice its Old Testament background and yet Trinitarian coloring), and then a doxology to celebrate how God has blessed these people, even in suffering. Further, as you read through this section, please note the interplay of the indicative (statements of who they are because of what God has done) and the imperative–what they should do because of who God has made them to be.) As a quick example–The holy God has called them; they should be holy (1:14-19); they should live “as obedient children” because God is their heavenly Father. He has ransomed them from the futile ways inherited from their forefathers. 2:11-3:12 is similar to the Table of Duties we encountered in Colossians (3:18-4:1) and Ephesians (5:22-6:9).