Series Paul’s Letters
2 Timothy 1:6-7 ESV
2 Timothy 2:11b-13 ESV
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV
I did children’s ministry for years and I also did youth ministry at various times in ministry. I served where God provided open doors. I loved both and one reason I loved working with children and youth is that for everything we did music was usually involved. That meant I learned a lot of scripture songs.
I learned that the quickest way to memorize scripture is when it’s set to music.
There ‘s something about words being set to music that makes memorization easy.
I learned 2 Timothy 1:6-7 in children’s ministry when I was in my twenties. The scripture tells us,“I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
The song lyrics to that scripture are:
“God has not given us a Spirit of fear.
God has not given us a Spirit of fear.
God has not given us a Spirit of fear,
But of power
And of love
And a sound mind.”
Memorizing it was very easy as well because it has a snappy tune and a snappy chicka boom after the word ‘love’.
If God were to give me the ability to write snappy songs, I would set the words of scripture to music.
Someday, I’ll ask if God can help me do that. ; )
I was a bit older when I came across Paul’s words to Timothy telling his young friend an ‘if, then’ scenario.
In 2 Timothy 2:11b-13 we read,
“If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.”
Even though this passage wasn’t set to music the ‘if, then’ can help us to remember Paul’s words. For the sake of remembering it you can even shorten it to ‘if we die we will live; if we endure we will reign; if we deny, He will deny; if we are faithless, He remains faithful.’
Then, once we have that part down and can remember the address (2 Timothy 2:11-13) we can memorize the expanded version.
I’ve found through the years it’s most helpful to memorize a short version and the address first. Knowing where to find the scripture is a key element.
As a leader in children’s ministry I was always amazed how quickly children can memorize and retain data. I also know that when we memorize something when we are young we will retain it longer. Because of that, I always tried to have regular weekly verses for children to memorize. Some people may not agree, but I was more than willing to offer candy and tiny prizes that
encourage children to memorize scripture.
One of my all time (Top 100) verses is found in 2 Timothy 3:16 where Paul wrote, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
I first memorized that verse as a child and the words are a little different but the intend is the same.
Any version or translation is acceptable. I suggest that you memorize the translation you prefer.
I love what Paul wrote to his protege Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing.”
I think little did Paul know when he wrote those words how very many people he would be encouraging for hundreds and even thousands of years.
Just knowing that we have experienced some measure of service as the Apostle Paul causes us to ponder what he experienced.
We know from Acts 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26,27, and 28 that Paul was kidnapped, threatened, was arrested, suffered beatings, was imprisoned, was interrogated, had to answer to lawsuits, was ridiculed, was ignored, and was shipwrecked. In addition to that historians believe Paul was martyred at the hands of Nero in 64 A.D.
He most certainly had fought the good fight. He finished the race well.
Against all odds he kept the faith.
Every time I read and remember Paul’s words to Timothy I am reminded how he fought for the Gospel message.
God knew the day he approached Paul on the Road to Damascus that Paul would stand and fight against all odds. God wanted Paul on His team and Paul served well!
Spiritual Practice: Breathe in God and Fight
Every chance you get, receive the breath of God, stand, and Fight!
In God, Deborah