The Apostle Paul’s Christmas List: Especially the Parchments

 

Paul is in Mamertine prison. He will actually never leave. He is close to his death. He pens a letter from a wicked, lonely, dark, ungodly place to his young protege Timothy.

9 – Paul tells him to hurry up and come.

10 – Paul tells of Demas forsaking him and going into the world.

11-12- Paul updates Timothy about his ministry.

13- Paul asks Timothy to bring him some things when he comes to visit him in prison.

II Tim 4:13

The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

Verse 13 is Paul’s wish list for prison.

Paul asks for 3 Things:       Remember when you were a kid.   (If you could take 3 things…)

What would you pick if you were Paul?  He wanted….

 

The Cloke: His coat. He would need this for the cold nights in the dark, damp, dungeon that was the Mamertine prison. Paul had left it in Troas at a friend’s house.  

 

The Books: No one knows what books these were. These could have been books Paul was reading. He admonished us to “give attendance to reading”. These could have been books Paul was writing. Either way these were Paul’s books. He was a student. He read, wrote, and studied often. It was his hobby and his life.

 

The Parchments: This was Paul’s copy of the Bible. He wanted it brought to him ASAP. He missed reading the scripture. He did not let the fact that he was in prison excuse him from reading the Bible. Bible reading was important to Paul.

 

These personal items were important to Paul. The cloke, the books and the parchments. I believe these things should be important to us as well.

We find ourselves in a sinful world much like the ungodly, dark, wicked, lonely, prison in which Paul lived.

 

The Cloke: Our Appearance. The way we look. The way we conduct ourselves. Our outward appearance.  The clothes we wear the hair we wear, the styles we imitate, the associations, the revealing.

 

Our cloke is important in the world we live in. If we are to stay salt with a savor, a witness in the will of God, a Christian close to Christ. We must keep our cloke close.

 

The Books: Our Activities.  The things we do. The entertainment we have. The influences, the movies, the   music, websites, hobbies, books, magazines, cell phone apps, jobs, ministries, service for God.

 

Our books are important in the world we live in. To keep from falling away as Demas did, we must stay close to right things and far from wrong things. Demas forsook Paul and the church for the world and their books.

 

We need the cloke; we need the books, but take a look at verse number 13

 

Paul said…

Bring me the cloke; bring me the books, but especially the parchments.

Did you catch that?  

 

Especially The Parchments! 

 

More important than the cloke, more important than the books, the Bible was what Paul needed most.

 

Paul was in a hard place, a lonely place, an unexplained place, a forsaken place, a wicked place, an ungodly place, and while he needed the cloke and the books more than anything HE NEEDED THE BIBLE!!!!

 

My friend we live in this cold, lonely, unforgiving, sin cursed, ungodly world.

We need the cloke. We need the books.

We need standards, separation, service,   We need the cloke, we need the books,

But especially the Parchments !!!!!!!!!!!!

 

More important than all those things, the key to all those things, BUT ESPECIALLY THE PARCHMENTS!

 

The most important thing in my life is my relationship with God and His Word.    Especially the Parchments.

 

Paul was lonely and needed a friend to visit him. But especially the parchments.

Paul knew it would be cold and he would need a cloke.   But especially the parchments.

Paul knew he would want to read, so he needed the books. But especially the parchments.

 

His friends could not do for him what the Bible could.

That cloke did not do for him what the Bible did.

Those books did not make him what the Bible did.

 

Church we need fellowship, friendship, and relationships. But especially the parchments.

We need to dress right, talk right, walk right, and do right, But especially the parchments.

We need to stay away from the world’s entertainment But especially the parchments.

 

The world is full of Christians who carry the cloke, but don’t even care about the parchments.

Everything is right on the outside. Clothes, hair, walk, tie.

But they can’t remember the last time they opened the parchments.

 

There are plenty of churches and Christians who focus on the books, but never on THE BOOK.

They know all about Hollywood, the latest TV shows, the newest music, the hobbies.

But when it comes to learning the parchments, “Boring”  “No Fun”  “I Hate It”  “Too Dry”

 

Even some good Christians who are serving the Lord can get blinded by what they are doing and forget who they are doing it for by forgetting the parchments. If you are serving the Lord, don’t ever get to the place where you can do it without reading and studying the Bible.

 

The most important thing in my life is my relationship with God and His Word.

 

Let Me Make Some Applications about the Bible:

I. Love It

I Sam 3:1 And the word of the LORD was precious in those days

 

This was a day when God’s Words were valued, cared about, important, precious and loved.

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD

 

Do you love the Bible?   Do you believe it?  Do you enjoy it?   Do you delight in it?    Do you long for it?

Do you think about it? Do you seek it, keep it, hide it in your heart, rejoice in it, and run to it,

Do you hope it in it?     Do you trust in it?  Do you pray by it?  Do you find comfort in it? Do you find salvation in it?

Love The Bible. If we love the Clokes (our protections), the Books (our entertainment).

Especially the Parchments.

II. Learn It

Now you will always struggle with learning the Bible until you get #1 and start loving the Bible. But once you fall in love with the Bible, you will want to learn all about it.

 

Psa 119:16   I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.     

Prov 2:6    For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

 

READ IT. READ IT. READ IT.   Yes Memorize it, remember it, Sing it. But we need to get that first one down.

Read the Bible.

Every single day of my life I need to read God’s Word. I would if I loved it and I wanted to learn it.

 

III. Live It

There is a constant struggle to live right for God. Do you know what makes that struggle even harder?  I will never be able to live the Bible if I don’t love it and learn it.

 

Psa 119:101   I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

Psa 119:11   Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

 

I may be able to act like it for a little while, maybe I can fool a couple of people, but the truth is if I don’t love the Bible, I am not going to learn the Bible, and if I don’t learn the Bible I will always struggle living the Bible.

IV. Lead Others To It

repeat it, declare it,

 

Psa 119:6   Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

Psa 119:13   With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

 

As a Christian I am to lead others to the Word of God.  In order to do this, I must love the Bible, learn the Bible and live the Bible. They will see my love, learning and my life and if I am fake, they will know.

 

If all I am about is the cloke, it will show. If all I am about is the books, everyone will know.

 

But if I will live my life  “Especially for the Parchments”.

 

I can Love the Bible, Learn the Bible, Live the Bible and Lead Others to the Bible.

 

How is your relationship with the Bible?

 

Do you love it?  Do you read it?      Are you all about the outside cloke? Worried more about the books?

We need the cloke, we need the books, but especially the parchments?

 

William Davis

William Davis

Youth Pastor

Clays Mill Road Baptist Church

wwwadavis@gmail.com