Today's reading is the entire letter of I Timothy. Here we have a father-figure speaking to someone he loves as a son. The letter covers the gamut of Christian conduct and church structure. It contains encouragements and admonitions from Paul to Timothy.
I am sure that Timothy treasured this letter, read and re-read it over and over. And he probably shared it with the churches he was planting.
But I want to focus on the last two verses.
20Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.
Grace be with you.
When Paul says "guard what has been entrusted to your care," he is talking about the gospel, the good news of Christ's redemption of sinful man. Earlier in this letter, Paul has talked about himself as the worst of sinners, recalling how he once persecuted the church.
This good news that Christ can change the vilest sinner into the serving saint will change our lives, if we but hear and believe. What we believe shapes our actions, and our actions shape our lives.
Paul admonishes Timothy not to be drawn into "godless chatter and the opposing ides of what is falsely called knowledge." We have a lot of that going on in our lives right now. We have scientific theory being taught in our schools as if it were proven fact when it is in direct opposition to the Word of God.
There is an arrogance in the intellect that wants to believe that we can "know it all," that we can wrap our puny finite minds around the knowledge and purposes of an infinite God. That's never going to happen.
Paul's concluding remark is "Grace be with you." Grace, God's endless mercy, God's righteousness at Christ's expense. Grace, you were bought with a price. You are not your own.
Help us to be faithful to Your word at all times. Keep us from wandering into endless philosophies and arguments about the faith. Remind us that Your word is the final word on everything.
In Jesus' most precious name.