This week we finish up the book of Philippians, and read all of Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus and Philemon. Whew!
Here is a bit of background information to help inform your reading.
Colossians - Colossians is directed to the church at Colosse (now Honaz, Turkey) and was probably written during Paul's first imprisonment in Rome. Apparently, the church had been incorporating pagan elements into their practice including the worship of elemental spirits and Paul's letter declares Christ's supremacy over the entire created universe and reminds the believers to live godly lives.
I and II Thessalonians - Thesaalonica was a city in Greece that still exists today. These two books were written probably only months apart around 52AD. Paul only stayed with this church for a few weeks after beginning it and seems to be writing the first letter to encourage them in their faith and remind them of some important doctrines of the faith. Apparently there was some misunderstanding regarding the return of Christ and the second shorter letter appears to deal solely with correcting that understanding.
I and II Timothy - Paul found Timothy during one of his visits to Lystra where Timothy is mentioned as a disciple. From the Scriptures it seems his mother and grandmother were Jews who had become believers; the only thing mentioned about his father was that he was Greek. Timothy becomes Paul's traveling companion going to Phyrgia, Galatia, Mysia, Troad, Philippi, Veria and Corinth. Eventually around 65AD, Paul installs Timothy as the bishop of the church at Ephesus, a post he would hold for at least the next fifteen years. Timothy was eventually stoned to death when he took a stand against a pagan procession of idols, ceremonies and songs. The first letter from Paul to Timothy seems to deal mainly with forms of worship, organization of the church, the responsibilities of the bishops and deacons and keeping faithful amid surrounding errors. The second letter seems to be more of a personal goodbye as Paul is nearing the end of his life.
Titus - Titus is mentioned in Galatians as one of Paul's traveling companions to Jerusalem. He was then dispatched to Corinth and later went to Crete as the bishop there. This letter mainly deals with the requirements for bishops and elders in the church.
Philemon - Philemon was a wealthy Christian and leader (possibly bishop) of the church in Colosse. This is the shortest of all Paul's letters and deals mainly with the topic of forgiveness.
Here is the schedule:
8, Sunday: Philipipans 3 - Colossians 2
9, Monday: Colossians 3 - I Thessalonians 2
10, Tuesday: I Thessalonians 3 - II Thessalonians 1
11, Wednesday: II Thessalonians 2 - I Timothy 2
12, Thursday: I Timothy 3-6
13, Friday: II Timothy 1-4
14, Saturday: Titus 1 - Philemon
May God add His richest blessings to the reading, the hearing and most importantly, the living out of His Holy Word. Amen.