It’s Tuesday June 5th which means time to kick off our online study, TUESDAYS in II TIMOTHY through September 4th. Sacred Sisters, I understand it can be intimidating to study the Bible. Let me start out by reminding us that it does require effort and discipline. Yet I am confident as we lean on the Holy Spirit, God will reveal rich treasure from His Word as He equips us to study. I am so glad you are taking the journey as we need each other’s encouragement. It’s easy to avoid putting our heart into the Word and default to things that “suck our time” like TV and Social Media as well as conversations and pursuits that distract us.
The great thing about Tuesdays in II Timothy is that we are studying the Bible using the Inductive Bible Study Method. This process helps us work through the passages of Scripture as we digest one of the most personal letters Paul writes in the New Testament one bite at a time. For an overview, look at Kaye Arthur’s explanation and/or a longer description in Walk Through the Word. I will also describe the flow of Observation, Interpretation, and Application below.
Take a minute to pray with me for God to enlighten our hearts as we study.
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” I Tim. 1:1-7 (NIV)
We are studying the first 7 verses of II Timothy today. Think of visiting the apostle Paul in prison and asking him, “I’ve heard about your friend and fellow laborer Timothy. Tell me about him.” After we look at this portion Mary Carmen will guide us next Tuesday the 12th through verses 8-11. I am eager to hear her reflections so get a jump start by reviewing the verses for yourself!
Observation – What does the passage say?
Observation means we are looking at the text for the obvious, what is stated. It’s tempting to skip over observation to Interpretation and Application but the accuracy of our interpretation and applications depends on carving out time to observe.
When observing, make note of the 5 W’s and the 1 H question: who is speaking, what is the subject or event, when did this take place, where did it happen (or will happen), why is this being said and how is it to be done?
Observation also involves noting repeated words and phrases, contrasts and comparisons, themes, cause and effect, terms of conclusion (therefore, finally, for this reason, etc.), timeframes mentioned, and lists.
Here are 7 Observations I came up with along with the verse:
- Paul is writing to Timothy (2)
- Repeated- Christ Jesus, 3 times (1-2)
- Paul is telling Timothy how grateful he is for him (3)
- The writing of the book takes place around 66 AD (according to my study Bible)
- Comparison -sincere faith in Timothy’s mother Lois and grandmother Eunice and Timothy (5)
- Comparison – constantly remembering you in prayer, long to see you, recalling your tears (3-4)
- Cause and Effect – seeing Timothy will cause Paul joy (4)
Now your homework is to find at least 3 more observations – it would be a boost for all of us to hear one another’s finding so consider leaving a comment below. Your thoughts are a blessing to our study.
Interpretation – what does the passage mean?
Interpretation flows out of your observation as you seek to discern the meaning. When determining what the passage means, take the context into consideration. First, look up cross referenced Scriptures usually found in the margins or footnotes of your Bible to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture. You may also look at Bible dictionaries and commentaries to gain more insight. A couple of questions to consider are, “What is the author’s intent in this passage? What is one principle or lesson the writer/God is trying to communicate? What was the author saying to the people of his day?”
Based on what I explained above, I am going to share several sentences about how the meaning of verses 1-7.
*Paul considers Timothy a dear friend and spiritual son since he chose him to accompany him on the mission and discipled him in the faith while doing ministry together. (Acts 16:1-3) Through shared experiences and trials the two men have forged a deep friendship where there is connection emotionally and spiritually. Paul is incredibly grateful for Timothy and as a spiritual father, he affirms Timothy’s conversion to Christ and calling to ministry. Paul exhorts Timothy to resist fear and choose to live with boldness and confidence in the Lord. (Romans 8:15)
Your homework is to follow this link to read the online commentary called Sonic Light which is written by a Dallas Theological Seminary professor. Make note of the insight you receive and write several sentences in your own words to describe the meaning of the passage. Be sure and keep this link handy through our weeks of study!
Application – how does the meaning of this passage apply to me?
The final step in the Inductive Bible Study Method is to ask the Holy Spirit how He desires for you to apply the passage. The actual application of the Scripture occurs when you are confronted with a truth from the Scripture and respond in obedience. At times I think of an application and then fail to carry it out. The goal in this process is to consider an application and a plan for carrying it out if needed.
Questions to ask when thinking about application: What is the Holy Spirit saying to me? What am I challenged to believe, receive, or do? What will I stop doing, begin to do or do differently as a result of studying this passage?
- As I think about application for this portion of the letter, I think about the importance of having friends in my life who are ahead of my faith journey in experience and then friends who I can come alongside. Like Paul, I am beyond grateful for the younger women in my life who encourage me to stay the course and will reach out to one of them and share my gratitude.
- I also think about where I can be tempted to fear and timidity instead of trust and boldness. I am praying daily this week that God will give me boldness with family, friends, and those I meet spontaneously as He opens the doors for me to speak about His work in my story.
Now that I’ve shared how God’s Word is impacting my heart, let me ask you:
How can you be intentional about cultivating friendships and doing ministry with faith filled women you can learn from as well as women you can nurture and disciple in the faith?
Consider the reactions, environment, or attitudes that tend to make you feel fearful and timid about your faith. How can you depend on God’s Spirit to resist conforming to the world or giving into silence?
We’ve talked through the Inductive Bible Study Method and looked at the first 7 verses of II Timothy. Our stories will never be the same. I’d love to hear how you are encouraged, insight you are gaining, and any questions. Feel free to leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Study on sister!