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2 Timothy 2:1-10 (NIV)
1You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
1. Suffering with each other.
Join with me in suffering.
So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 2 Timothy 1:8 (NIV)
2. Suffering with endurance.
Therefore I endure everything.
No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs.
Does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1–5 (NIV)
3. Suffering and grace.
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:9–10 (NIV)
Small Group Questions
CONNECT WITH GOD (choose the journaling practice or the practice of gratitude from last week)
- Journal for 5 minutes. Identify a few specific words or themes that are repeated or highlighted in 2 Timothy 2:1-10. Reflect in writing on those words or themes.
- What new thing is God’s Spirit teaching you?
- What do these themes teach you about who God is or who you are called to be?
- Gratitude: Spend 5 minutes cultivating a list of gratitude. Identify three categories for gratitude from this list and focus on those three areas today: myself, my family/friends, my church, my work, my country, the world. Once you choose three areas for gratitude, then spend time journaling with the below questions as your guide for gratitude:
- What gifts of God do I notice?
- Where do I notice the love, mercy, beauty, grace, or faithfulness of God in this?
- How is God at work actively in this?
CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
- Get into pairs and together read 2 Timothy 2:1-10. After you read, reflect together on the passage. You might consider the following questions as a jumping off point:
- How is the Holy Spirit using this passage to encourage you?
- How is the Holy Spirit using this passage to challenge you?
- So far in this series, what are a couple of things that Paul has said to Timothy that have stuck with you?
- Share as a group: After 7-10 minutes, briefly share your reflections as a whole group.
CONNECT WITH SCRIPTURE (Read the passages and review the sermon outline. Then select the best questions or customize the questions for your group.)
- If you haven’t already: Read 2 Timothy 2:1-10.
- Read the main points from the sermon outline.
- If 2 Timothy is understood as Paul’s final words to Timothy—how might that change how you understand this passage or the whole of 2 Timothy?
- What are the images Paul uses to draw a picture of suffering and endurance? Why does Paul use these three illustrations?
- What do you think “be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ” (verse 1) means?
- In verse 8-10, what are the specific things Paul wants Timothy to remember? Why?
- Read Romans 5:1-5 and 2 Timothy 1:8-10. Compare and contrast these passages with our scripture passage for this week.
CONNECT WITH GOD’S MISSION IN THE WORLD (select one question for discussion)
- How might our fear of discomfort keep us from stepping into the suffering of this world?
- How does bearing with one another in suffering witness to the life of Christ?
Enter into one another’s sufferings by spending at least 10 minutes in prayer for one another. Listen well. Be silent as you listen. Ask questions that are curious, caring, and non-judgmental.