2 Timothy 3:14-15
But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;…
1. It is more easy; anything taken when it is young is more easily wrought upon. A twig is easily bent; a disease taken in the beginning is easily cured, when everything by delay grows worse. When the fingers are grown stiff, it is ill learning to play on the lute. An old disease is hardly cured. The longer a tree grows, the harder it is to pull up. The further a nail is driven, the harder it is to pull it out again. The acting of sin strengthens the habit, and when sin is become habitual, connatural, and customary, it is hardly cured (Jeremiah 13:23; Isaiah 26:10).
2. It is more fruitful; we shall do more good, and receive more good; to him that hath shall be given. We shall bring forth much penitential fruit, which will bring much glory to God, and in glorifying Him lieth our glory (Job 15:8). Suppose a man should never repent till he were old and ready to die; though such a man may be saved, yet his graces are not so conspicuous, nor can he do that good, nor bring that glory to God as a young man that begins betimes to serve Him. It is a thrifty course to be an early convert; the sooner we submit to the Spirit's conduct the better, the more peace and liberty we shall attain.
3. It is more beautiful and lovely. Everything is beautiful in its season (Ecclesiastes 3:11); now God's usual season for repentance is when we are young.
4. We shall resemble the servants of God; all their obedience hath been prompt and speedy. They are endued with the wisdom which is from above, which is easily entreated to any goodness.
5. Consider the shortness and uncertainty of our days. It is a notable spur to speedy repentance; for as presumption of long life doth harden men, so realising of death, and looking on it as present, doth quicken and awaken men. Now our life in Scripture is compared to a span that is soon measured (Psalm 39:5); to a tale that is soon told (Psalm 90:9); to a vapour that quickly vanisheth (James 4:14); like a flower that soon fades (Isaiah 40:6-8; Job 14:2; Psalm 102:11, and Psalms 103:15; James 1:10; 1 Peter 1:24); like a post or a weaver's shuttle that fly speedily (Job 7:6, and Job 9:25).
6. The seasons of grace are short; time itself is short; but opportunity is much shorter. Every day in the year is not a fair day, and every day in the week is not a market day. Grace is not every day's offer, and therefore we should walk in the light whilst we have the light.
7. In this we may learn wisdom from the men of the world. The smith strikes whilst his iron is hot; the husbandman makes hay whilst the sun shines. The mariner observes his wind and tide, the lawyer his terms, the chapman his fairs and markets, and the gardener his seasons. Yea, shall the stork, the crane, and the swallow know the time of their coming, and shall we not know the day of our visitation? (Jeremiah 8:7). Doth the bee lose no fair day, and doth the ant in summer provide for winter? (Proverbs 6:8). And shall not we in the summer of youth provide for the winter of old age?
8. Neglecting the day of our visitation increaseth wrath, and provokes the Lord to cut off young persons in the flower of their days. If a man should every day be adding sticks to the fire, and oil to the flame, it must needs make the fire very terrible at last.
(T. Hall, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;