Welcome to the weekend.
Our Bible passage today is 2 Timothy Chapter 4 verses 1-5. It was going to be a longer passage but I decided to shorten it as there is so much to reflect upon, and because I am getting a bit late!
Paul’s charge to Timothy, the task or commission he gives him as his own life draws to a close begins in v.2. But v.1 is the context, the situation in which Timothy and all of us are in, the presence of the living God, and Jesus who will return one day to judge the living and the dead. It is quite awesome, there is no other context which is superior or more spine-tingling.
And then the charge – to Preach the Word (v.2), in season and out of season, ie when it is popular and appreciated and when it is not. And the Word can be used to correct (ie bring back people who have gone off course) to rebuke (those who need to be told off because they have deliberately gone astray) and encourage (those who are keeping to the path but need help to keep going). And Preach the Word doesn’t mean doing it in a soul-less way, but with great patience and careful instruction.
And Paul says all this to Timothy knowing that there will be times when people don’t want to hear Truth/sound doctrine, but would prefer to listen to the latest fads and ideas and culture of the day, ‘what their itching ears want to hear’. I think these words are so pertinent to our situation today, where the culture is moving further away from Biblical truths and values.
Now you might say these words are most applicable to those of us who have the responsibility and privilege to speak out God’s Word today, and I think that is right. However, all of us will have opportunity from time to time to speak about our faith to others and to stand up for the things of Christ. Will we stand up for God’s Word or will we water it down?
Also the passage doesn’t just speak about speakers but listeners too, and we are all listeners in some way or another. Will we have ears just for the stuff we want to hear, or for the Truth, however uncomfortable it might be, and be willing to change our perspective and behaviour if that is appropriate?
From our church address we pray today for,
– Charlene’s older niece Azaria, and Vinny
– Roger, Sue & Daniel