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[Devotional] IN HIS PRESENCE: Bring me that parchments

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By Oke Chinye

Read: 2 Timothy 4:9-16

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Meditation verse:

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“Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13)

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Locked up in a cold and damp prison, faced with execution, Paul the Apostle asked for three items; his coat to help him stay warm, some books, and most importantly, the parchments. A parchment is a flat thin material made from the prepared skin of an animal and used as a writing surface in ancient times. Bible scholar, William Barclay suggests that the parchments Paul was referring to were Hebrew scriptures, because the Hebrews had written their sacred scriptures in parchments made from animal skins. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. Paul had lived his life for the cause of the gospel. Now in the darkest moment, he knew the word would profit him and that was what he wanted the most.

When life deals its deadly blows and you feel too discouraged to pray, what do you hold on to? What do you count as important in your darkest moments? Over the years, I formed the habit of journaling every day. In my journals, I write down my favorite scriptures, God’s promises over my life as well as the messages I hear in my spirit during my personal devotions. In my dark moments, I take hold of my journals and as I go through its pages, I am reminded of God’s love, grace and ever abiding presence, which brings comfort and encouragement to my soul. The psalmist cried out to God in his dark moment “O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore, I will remember You from the land of the Jordan…” (Psalm 42:6). Icons of God’s faithfulness in the past are helpful resources in times of trouble. My journals are my parchments; they are usually the first items I put in my travel suitcase.

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Your parchments could be your bible, your personal devotion notebooks, a diary of God’s promises over you based on His word or even your sermon notes from church. Whatever it is, be certain to hold on tightly to it. That way wherever you go and whatever comes your way in this new month, even if you get stripped of everything else, you can quickly say, like Paul, “bring me the parchments”.

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