Journal 2 Tim 4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books and above all, the parchments.” 2 Tim 4:3
Observation: Outside the Bible, what books and publications would I consider necessary to be sent for?
Application: Paul is in Rome (2 Tim 1:16-17and referred appreciatively about Onesiphorus) and remembered “oh, yeah, bring my cold weather gear because winter is coming.” (2 Tim 4:21)
But, while Paul was asking about his cloak, he especially wanted his books and parchments.
The question I must ask myself is “What extra books, articles, and publications can I not do without? What is the book list that I consider my “must haves?”
“Bring my books!” This may be the only place in the New Testament this request from Paul is seen, but I think it shows how important being a scholar is to being a disciple.
There was a time in my life where it was insinuated that the larger your personal library, the more you were a dedicated follower of Christ. I have since repented from the buying of books for display purposes only. However, not from buying key books, books that I will use and refer to over and over.
Every year I thin my collection out. It is getting harder and harder, and I still have too many books, more than I could ever read. But the longer I go, I find I have some books, important at the time I obtained them, are now out of print—and the more contemporary books on the same subject are not as good as the old ones.
I attempted to list the most important to keep books and those I will carry with me wherever I might move—the minimum few. I started with listing 10 books and found that I “had” to make it 20, then 25—and I stopped listing them because I was not using good decision-making skills…
The point I am trying to make is that disciples study…and read. Disciples skills should include having critical study and reading skills, especially navigating the Bible.
Remembering that “all scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Tim 3:16), study is part and parcel of the expectations of being a disciple. Part of effective study is standing on the shoulders of saints that came before us.
Therefore, get a list of books you cannot do without.
Prayer: Father, after last night’s debacle, finishing this posting seems so hypocritical—stumbling over my own sin, getting angry with my wife.
Even acknowledging my sin and bowing my head to your undeserved grace in forgiveness, I feel like I must atone for what I did. I write this to be transparent with others because everyone messes up and must run to the foot of the Cross.
Needing books is a fact. Needing to hear the preaching of the Gospel is a fact. Preaching the Gospel to myself is a requirement. Not thinking more of myself than I should is your statement to my ego and pride.