But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.
— 2 Timothy 3:14
One day, after reading Paul’s prophecy concerning the changes that will characterize society in the last days (see 2 Timothy 3:1-13), I realized that a person could become very alarmed or concerned from these verses. However, the Holy Spirit didn’t reveal these things to scare us; He showed them to prepare us. He provided us with the means to be overcomers, to continue in our callings and assignments, and to help bring others to a place of victory in Christ in the midst of great peril.
After Paul listed the characteristics of a last-days society, he provided specific instructions that tell us how to overcome any challenge we might face in these tumultuous times. His instructions are especially crucial today because they provide God’s divine solution to all the dark, negative things that many believers will encounter head-on as we approach the end of the age. He wrote, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (2 Timothy 3:14).
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Paul wrote his second epistle to Timothy in the midst of a very difficult time in the young pastor’s life. The church in Ephesus that Timothy pastored — once a thriving congregation and the largest church in that region of the world — was suffering tremendously at the hands of the Roman government. At the time, the cruel and demented emperor Nero had instigated a large-scale persecution against the Church, and believers in Timothy’s city faced very intense hardships.
By writing to Timothy and the congregation of believers in Ephesus, Paul — under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit — also gave us instructions concerning the evil that will come upon the earth in the last of the last days. Paul began with a very sober word: “continue.”
The word “continue” in Second Timothy 3:14 is a translation of the Greek word meno, which means to habitually abide or stay put. It describes a decision from which the one abiding will not budge or move from his spot. It’s the same word that’s used over and over in John 15, where Jesus said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (v. 7). Jesus was saying in essence, “If you habitually reside in Me, refusing to budge and never moving out of Me — and if My Word habitually resides in you, never budging and never moving out of you — you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.”
This word meno describes a person making the decision, “This is my spot; I will not move!” That’s what Paul was instructing us to do: to continue. Paul exhorted us to resolve that regardless of what was happening around us, we would not change our position where the Word and the will of God were concerned.
Paul continued, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14,15).
I also want to point out the word “wise” in the phrase “…which are able to make thee wise unto salvation….” Paul was referring to the wisdom that is produced in a person’s life who knows the “holy Scriptures.” This word “wise” was translated from the word sophos, and it means special enlightenment. The Holy Scripture, the Word of God, is able to enlighten us and show us the way to salvation — absolute healing, wholeness, and the saving and delivering power of God — in whatever circumstances we’re facing.
God’s Word is God’s power! Therefore, we can conclude that without God’s Word in our hearts, we can’t have God’s power working in us. That’s why I want to share with you the importance of the Scriptures in our lives, especially as we approach the time of Jesus’ returning when the world around us will grow darker and darker.
So today I want to remind you — as you see society rapidly deteriorating all around you and changes coming so fast that you can hardly keep count of them, you need to “continue” in the Word of God. That means you need to habitually abide or stay put where the Word of God is concerned. Regardless of what the world says about what is right or wrong, stay put and continue in what you have learned from the Holy Scriptures — for they are able to make you “wise” — that is, they will fill you with the discernment and enlightenment that you need for victorious living in these perilous times!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I recommit myself to the Word of God. Society is changing what it believes all the time, and it is drifting further and further away from the truths found in the Word of God. But according to Your commandment, I will “continue” in the teachings of the Holy Scriptures that have the power to make me “wise” for living in these times. Holy Spirit, I ask You to stir my heart with a new passion for the Word of God — that I would hunger and thirst for it continually — and then empower me not only to devour it but also to do it steadfastly. Teach me to draw my strength and nourishment from the Word of God in order to strengthen my spirit, soul, and body so that I will stand strong and victorious in these last days!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I hunger and thirst for God’s Word more than my necessary food and drink. I make a deliberate decision to abide in the Word of God and to allow it to abide in me. I will not budge from my position on the Word as final authority in all manner of life. Therefore, as the world and its practices grow darker and darker beneath the sway of the wicked one, the Word of God shall remain a lamp unto my feet and a sure guide to my path. I will not be moved when I see governmental legislation and even some church leaders make drastic shifts in defiance of God’s Word. I will “stay put” and hold the course of my commitment to God’s ways, as I continue to occupy until He comes!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you personally known times when the Word of God gave you strength and power to overcome challenges that were in your life? When was that time, and what exactly did you experience?
- What does the word “continue” mean to you? Does it mean read and believe the Word once a month, once a week, or daily? What kind of consistency do you think Paul was talking about when he encouraged us to “continue” in the “holy Scriptures?”
- Can you think of a time when the Word of God made you “wise” — that is, it gave you special discernment and enlightenment for a situation you were facing?