Text: II Timothy 2:8-19
I. It is fascinating to read well crafted prose or poetry. With just a few words, the author can communicate not only a message, but even a mood.
A. Individual words are not flat. Even synonyms carry subtle differences in meaning.
B. And the idea is not restricted to the English language. Languages such as Greek have a variety of words with varying meanings.
C. Then, too, in English we play games with the overlapping meaning of words to create puns – where a statement can have two or more meanings depending on how you take the sense of the words used.
1. Often we truly only want one mean
2. But a very gifted writer will bring the variety of meanings together to make several points with one statement.
D. I was reading over an article by Steven Harper who brought out such a case in II Timothy 2:15
II. Spoudazo [spoo-dad’-zo]
A. The most common meaning is “to hurry, to do quickly”
1. The idea is that there is an urgency to the situation so that something needs to be done right now.
2. In fact, the English word “speed” is derived from this Greek word.
3. So why should we be in a hurry to present ourselves approved to God?
a. Our lives are short - James 4:14
(1) We already wasted too much time
(2) Not only this, but those who need the gospel are also running out of time.
b. We don’t want to embarrass our Master
(1) When will we be called upon to answer a question about the Bible?
(a) Colossians 4:6 - Know how to respond
(b) I Peter 3:14-15 - Ready to make a defense
(2) When will we have to defend the Scriptures against false teachers?
(a) I John 4:1 - test every spirit
(b) Jude 3-4 - The need to contend earnestly for the faith
B. This is not rush job, a secondary meaning is “to work hard, to do your best”
1. We are servants, and a faithful servant doesn’t dally
a. Our ambition is to please God - II Corinthians 5:9
b. Not lagging in diligence - Romans 12:10-11
c. We are entrusted with a precious gift to deliver - Philippians 2:12-18
d. Now is the proper time - II Corinthians 6:1-10
e. Truly we don’t want a reception as one servant received - Matthew 25:24-30
2. We understand that the effort is worth it
a. Diligent to enter the rest - Hebrews 4:11
b. Make our calling and election sure - II Peter 1:10-11
3. God has always expected the best
a. The Israelites were to give the best of their flock - Leviticus 9:3, Numbers 18:29-30
b. Offering God any less was rejected - Malachi 1:8
c. It is part of our love for God - Mark 12:30
d. We give sacrifices today - I Peter 2:5
4. God gave the best for us
a. I Peter 1:17-19 - Knowing this, conduct ourselves in fear
b. God’s love teaches us - I John 4:8-10, 19
C. It is a speed and effort brought about by eagerness, a devotion, a willingness to work -- the third definition
1. Re-read II Timothy 2:15 - speed, effort, eagerness
2. Expressed by the Psalmist - Psalm 119:97-100, 127, 162
3. Jeremiah’s joy - Jeremiah 15:16
4. Do you look forward to delving into God’s Word?
a. If not, the fault doesn’t lie in the Bible, but in your own attitude
b. Jesus’ sheep hear His voice - John 10:27
5. God’s kingdom is worth it all - Matthew 13:44-46
III. Consider the richness of what Paul is communicating in II Timothy 2:15
A. It explains the variety of translations because the depth of meaning contained in these few words
B. Humbly approach the Scriptures with eagerness to learn, a sincerity to do your best, a willingness to put in any effort required, and a knowledge that you urgently need its wisdom in your life.