5. According to 2 Timothy 3:14, 15, what two factors contributed to Timothy’s decision to pursue spiritual goals?
5 Timothy evidently chose to pursue spiritual goals. But what led him to do so? In his second letter to Timothy, Paul mentioned two determining factors. “Continue in the things that you learned and were persuaded to believe,” he wrote, “knowing from what persons you learned them and that from infancy you have known the holy writings.” (2 Timothy 3:14, 15)
Study “the Holy Writings”
9. Besides choosing the right associations, what must you do to ‘train yourself with godly devotion as your aim’?
9 Is reaching spiritual goals just a matter of choosing the right associations? No. Like Timothy, you need to make a careful examination of “the holy writings.” Studying may not be your favorite activity, but remember that Timothy had to ‘train himself with godly devotion as his aim.’ Athletes often train hard for many months in order to reach their goal. Similarly, reaching spiritual goals requires sacrifice and serious effort. (1 Timothy 4:7, 8, 10, footnote) ‘But how,’ you may ask, ‘can studying the Bible help me to reach my goals?’ Let us consider three ways.
10, 11. Why will the Scriptures motivate you to reach spiritual goals? Give an illustration.
10 First, the Scriptures will provide you with the right motivation. They reveal the wonderful personality of our heavenly Father, his supreme act of love in our behalf, and the eternal blessings in store for his faithful servants. (Amos 3:7; John 3:16; Romans 15:4) As your knowledge of Jehovah grows, so will your love for him and your desire to dedicate your life to him.
11 Many young Christians say that regular personal Bible study has been fundamental to helping them to make the truth their own. Adele, for example, was brought up in a Christian home but had never set any spiritual goals. “My parents took me to the Kingdom Hall,” she relates, “but I did not do personal study or listen at the meetings.” After her sister was baptized, Adele began to take the truth more seriously. “I set out to read the entire Bible. I would read a little and then write down a comment about what I had just read. I still have all my notes. I read the Bible in one year.” As a result, Adele was motivated to dedicate her life to Jehovah. Despite a serious physical disability, she is now a pioneer, or full-time evangelizer.
12, 13. (a) What changes will Bible study help a young person to make, and how? (b) Give examples of the practical wisdom contained in God’s Word.
12 Second, the Bible will help you to make needed changes in your personality. Paul told Timothy that “the holy writings” are “beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) By regularly meditating on matters related to God’s Word and by applying Bible principles, you will allow God’s spirit to refine your personality. It will nurture in you essential qualities, such as humility, perseverance, industriousness, and genuine love for fellow Christians. (1 Timothy 4:15) Timothy possessed these qualities, and they made him an asset both to Paul and to the congregations Timothy served.—Philippians 2:20-22.
13 Third, God’s Word is a storehouse of practical wisdom. (Psalm 1:1-3; 19:7; 2 Timothy 2:7; 3:15) It will help you choose your friends wisely, select wholesome entertainment, and deal with countless other challenges. (Genesis 34:1, 2; Psalm 119:37; 1 Corinthians 7:36) Making wise decisions now is vital to your reaching spiritual goals.