Bible Study Worksheet – December 11, 2016



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Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – December 11, 2016
Theme: A Call to Christian Commitment – 1 & 2 Timothy

Topic: Finishing Strong

Main Texts: 2 Timothy 4:6-22

Key Verse: 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (NIV)

Introduction

Last Sunday, we discussed the contemporary challenges to the command for us to “Preach the Word with Boldness”, especially the global pressure for the so-called “inclusiveness” in everything, even of our faith! We noted the following:

  1. It will become increasingly awkward to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in secular environments, and the need for boldness to preach it  will be more than ever before.
  2. The Christian must resist the temptation to water down the gospel into statements and promises that make people comfortable or socially respectable without making a commitment to give their lives to Christ and live for Him
  3. We should examine our motives for doing the right things: If we do right primarily because it is more socially respectable to do so rather than because we want to please God, we live dangerously: It amounts to being conformed to the world, and indicates that if the world’s ever-changing standards change, we would not necessarily live right.

This Sunday, we will be taking our last study on Paul’s letters to Timothy, with a topic appropriately titled “Finishing Strong”. The thrust of the study is to alert us to forces that could derail our walk with God, and the need for us to remain resolute in that walk. Our key learning should include the following:

  1. Everyone of us, when close to our graves, reflects on our lives on earth, assessing whether or not we have made the most of the opportunities God gave us, especially opportunities to positively impact others’ lives in every way. Make the most of those opportunities while you can so you can walk into eternity with satisfaction.
  2. Many who once walked with God derailed in their faith due to various pressures and experiences, including especially disappointments with others to whom they once looked up. We should learn from such sad cases and ensure our faith stands, not on any man but on Christ Himself.

Perhaps the most solemn moment anyone can have is when we see death stare us in the face. We know there is nothing else to struggle for and we can only look back at our years with introspection. As Steve Jobs laid on his bed awaiting death from pancreatic cancer, the man who co-founded and led the most successful American company in recent history went through this self-appraisal. Hear him in part: “I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to. At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.” What a contrast with Apostle Paul who, having had a revelation of his impending death, looked back on his life with satisfaction: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day– and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2Timothy 4:7-8)

1. (a) If you were to be on your death bed and have been told you have only a few days to live, what would you want to look back on with satisfaction about your life? (b) {Personal} Do those things currently influence how you live?

To “finish strong” is to maintain our fervour in doing what God assigned us to do right to the end of our time on earth. In his letters to the Colossians (4:14) and to Philemon (1:24) Paul had mentioned Demas along with Luke the doctor as fellow disciples who were with him and who sent greetings. However, by the time Paul was writing his second letter to Timothy, this is what he had to say about the same Demas: “for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica…” (2Timothy 4:10) Some of us can perhaps look back and recall individuals known to us who at one time burned with zeal for God but who today have no interest in the things of God. For Demas, it was because “he loved this world”. For some others, it may be for some other reason.

2. (a) List some reasons why a committed Christian may lose his or zeal for the things of God. (b) List some measures a Christian can take to avoid falling victim to some of the things that

weakened the commitment of those we know lost their zeal for the things of God. Many give up living for Christ because they are devastated by the disposition of other Christians around them when in difficulty. You find yourself at the receiving end of the worst life offers, you look around you and fellow Christians are either indifferent to your situation, or, worse still, blame you for it. Apostle Paul knew what it was like to be in this situation. Hear him: “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me…” (2Timothy 4:16). For the Christian to stand and finish strong, he or she must accept the reality that no human being, no matter how much of a stalwart he may be, is strong enough to lean on blindly.

3. Let some participants share personal experiences of disappointments with those they looked up to for support, and the effect it had on their Christian life.

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Prayer:

Father, teach us to draw from the strength You supply to fulfil Your plan for our lives and to finish strong in You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.