Today we're going to see how we can increase the fruitfulness of God's Word in our hearts before we even open its pages. That's what the first part of this text is all about. One of the features distinguishing the perilous times described in verse 1 is mentioned in verse 7. Paul says religious people will actually come to the place where they are, "always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth." That is, what they learn has no transforming power on their lives. They love collecting data but never arrive at any life changing conclusions. They love information but never arrive at solid faith.
Then Paul gives his instruction to Timothy, a young pastor in Ephesus, about how to deal with some of the problems in the church. Most of the instruction deals with the danger of false teaching and false teachers. But in the middle of all this instruction he also gives Timothy some wonderful instruction about powerful, vibrant godliness. And the instruction is all about how he (Timothy) can keep the growth happening in his own life and ministry while working in a godless, difficult time.