NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.
Bible Passages: 2 Timothy 2:1-2, 3:10-17
Discussion Question: What’s something interesting you learned because someone else showed you how?
Food for Thought by Chuck Lawless*:
“My mentor told me I should be open to getting remarried,” Tom remarked. That wasn’t surprising, as I knew Tom was lonely after his wife of 49 years passed away. What did surprise me was hearing he still had a mentor; after all he was more than 70 years old. And his mentor was over 90 years old himself!
Tom is one of my heroes in the faith. I count him not only a friend, but also a mentor and a model of faith. His prayer life is powerful, and his commitment to godliness is deep. He walks so faithfully with God that I invite him to my seminary classes every semester because I want my students to know him.
Tom’s mentor invests in him. In turn, Tom walks beside me as my mentor. I then pour into the students I’m mentoring. Through these relationships, I teach them what Tom has taught me, and I’m trusting they will teach others too. Mentoring: one person investing in another.
Our look this week at Paul and Timothy’s relationship helps us prepare to be mentors ourselves. Mentoring is about relationships, but those relationships don’t happen by accident. They happen because we intentionally watch for God-given intersections and build God-centered friendships.
The second letter Paul wrote to Timothy could be called Paul’s “last will and testament” — his final challenge to Timothy to be faithful in preaching the Word. He called Timothy “my son,” showing that he saw himself as Timothy’s father in the faith. He loved Timothy like a son, and their hearts were knit together in the work of proclaiming the Gospel, making disciples and planting churches. Paul could prepare for his own death knowing Timothy would carry on his work. Paul challenged Timothy to:
— Be strong in grace. Paul knew from his own journey that God could give Timothy all the strength he would need.
— Teach others all he had learned from Paul. Many had learned at Paul’s feet, and they could attest to the truth of his teaching. Paul expected Timothy to find other faithful leaders and teach them all he had learned.
— Challenge them to teach another generation of followers. Paul taught Timothy. Timothy taught others. His students then would teach another generation of followers. That’s exactly the way mentoring is supposed to work!
Think about those who invested in you. Even if no one served as an official mentor to you, others have modeled the Christian life for you. It’s also possible God has already placed someone in your life for you to mentor, so keep looking and praying.
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at www.biblestudiesforlife.com.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.
*Chuck Lawless, online at chucklawless.com, is vice president for spiritual formation and ministry centers and professor of evangelism and missions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.