Our Daily Homily, 2nd Timothy
He is able to keep my deposit. . . . the good deposit, keep - 2 Timothy 1:12-14
There is a double deposit here, and the comparison comes out clear and marked in the Greek. When we give our most precious treasure into the custodianship of Jesus, He turns to honor us by entrusting His own treasure to our care. Oh that we might be as eager to keep that which He entrusts to us, as He is that which we entrust to Him; so that He might be able to say of us, "I know them in whom I have trusted, and am persuaded that they will never fail to do whatever needs to be done for My honor and glory."
Our deposit with Christ. - What is the true policy of life? How can I best spend these few years to the best advantage? What is there beyond, and beyond? Such questions come to all earnest souls, and greatly trouble them, till they entrust the keeping of their souls and the direction of their lives into the hands of the faithful Saviour. We feel sure that He has the words of eternal life, and that all power is given to Him in heaven and on earth. At first there is something of a venture - we trust Him; next, there is the knowledge which comes from experience - we know Him; lastly, there is strong confidence - we are persuaded that He is able.
Christ's deposit with us. - And what is this? 1 Tim 6:20, 1 Tim 4:16, suggests the answer. To every believer Jesus hands the custody of His honor, His Gospel, His Father's glory, His holy day, the ordinances which He bequeathed to the Church. As Ezra charged the priests to bear safely through the desert march the sacred vessels, so our Captain charges us, and throughout the whole Bible rings the injunction: "Be ye clean, ye that bear the vessels of the Lord."
Meet for the Master's use - 2 Timothy 2:21
This I would be, O Lord, clay though I am. Be Thou my potter. Make of me what Thou canst and by what process Thou wilt, only let me be what Thou canst use.
Art thou able to drink the cup that I drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
By Thy grace I am able. Let me die with Thee; lie in the grave of obscurity and neglect; be counted as the off-scouring of all things; be broken on the edge of Thy wheel; pass through the fire of Thy hottest kiln - only let me be one whom Thou choosest and usest, constantly in Thy hand; dipped down often into the brimming well, and back to Thy dear lips, or to the lips of whom Thou lovest.
The spirit is willing, My child, but the flesh is weak.
I know it, I know it, Lord. But I desire to die to the weakness of the flesh, its ache, its tears, its faintness, that I may live in the Spirit. Is not Thy grace sufficient? It not Thy strength perfected in weakness? Is not the residue of the Spirit with Thee, to give without measure? Heed not my weak cryings, but perfect that which concerneth me. Only make me a vessel that Thou canst use.
He that would be great, let him be as he that doth serve.
I understand Thee, Master. Thou wouldst winnow my heart, and rid me of all that is proud and selfish. It is true that in the time past I have sought great things for myself: but that is gone now: I am but a weaned babe: my only desire is for Thee, for Thy glory, for the magnifying of Thy name: my one cry to be often, always, in Thy hand.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God - 2 Timothy 3:16
Literally the words stand, All Scripture, God-breathed and profitable. It is a remarkable expression, reminding of the early record, "God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul." The breath of God has entered these holy words, and they live.
This makes Scripture fragrant. - I write these words beneath the leafy shadow of an oak-tree, on a ridge of hill commanding the Weald of Kent. The summer breeze is hurrying past. Since it left the southern sea it has passed over miles of fragrant country, imbibing the sweet scents of flower gardens, orchards, and hop gardens; lading it with perfume, which makes it an ecstasy to inhale. Ah, fragrant breeze, how thou remindest me of those holy thoughts which are wafted to me from the orchards of Paradise, whensoever I open the sacred Word!
This makes it refreshing. - On this hot summer day the heat would be overpowering but for this delightful breeze, which fans the cheek and cools the atmosphere. The current is always changing, hence the refreshment. And the Word of God is always fresh and interesting, because the Spirit of God is perpetually passing into and through it, bringing His own life to us, and through us to the world.
This makes it beautiful - The effect of the wind, in the music of the leaves above, the swaying of the grasses at my feet, the rustling of yonder golden corn across the beaten foot-path, adds an element of incomparable delight. There is new meaning, movement, music, in it all. And it is only as the Divine breath breathes through apostles and prophets, that, like great organ-pipes, they become resonant with heavenly music.
The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing - 2 Timothy 4:1
Professor Rendel Harris reminds us that an early piece of Christian literature, called the Second Epistle of Clement, opens with these words: "Brethren, we ought to think of Jesus Christ as God, as the Judge of quick and dead. And we ought not to think meanly of our salvation; for when we think meanly of Him, meanly also do we expect to receive." In the view of this holy soul there was a very deep and necessary connection between creed and character. Those who esteem Him most worthily will derive most from Him.
Large thoughts of Christ are necessary to holiness. - Unless we think of Christ as the Ideal Man, in whom there was no flaw or stain, how can we make Him the model of our daily life? Unless we think of Him as the Son of God, able to subdue all things to Himself, how can we dare to hope to become like Him? "I should die, O my Lord," cried a saint in a moment of religious ecstasy, " if I thought that I should fail of loving Thee with all my heart."
Large thoughts of Christ are necessary to prayer. - He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is the Rewarder. Bethink thee well before thou openest thy lips in the first entreaty, who He is whom thou addressest, and forthwith great and far-reaching petitions will naturally form themselves within thine heart.
Large thoughts of Christ are necessary for Christian work. - The solid belief that Christ has redeemed our race, and that the Father has given Him the kingdom over all the world, is absolutely necessary before there can be any enthusiastic effort on our part to make Him King and secure for Him actually the kingdom, the power, and the glory.