1-2-14. 2 Timothy 4:1-8. PREACH THE WORD- my devotional

1-2-14. 2 Timothy 4:1-8. PREACH THE WORD- my devotional



2 Timothy 4:1-8

Thurs Jan 2, 2014

Key Verse: 4:2                                                                                                                                                                                 Kevin E. Jesmer

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

Dear Lord heavenly Father, thank you for a bright new future in 2014. May it be lived for your glory. May it bring forth wonderful, life-giving, life-changing and history making works of God. May it bear abundant fruit. May mission movements be created, that span generations. May it be a year of co-operation between Christians and churches to reveal Christ to the world. Please grant me your word deeply in my heart. My I understand the passage and find ways to live it out. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1: Endure Hardship As An Evangelist (1-5).

Verses 1-5, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (ESV)

Paul was facing his impending death so he wrote this urgent letter to Timothy. He solemnly charged him in the presence of God and Christ, the Judge coming again, to preach the word and be prepared in season and out of season. As servants of God we need to preach the word of God as of first importance. We need to do this in season and out of season, that means when it is easy and convenient to do so. And also when it is not easy or convenient and even difficult to do so. I need to make 2014 a year of preaching the word. I need to recommit to teaching the Bible to the people whom God has placed in my life. I can also preach through writing daily bread devotionals. Maybe I can preach once and a while at a local nursing home. Maybe I could have opportunities to preach up North. I pray for many opportunities to preach the word in 2014.

The LORD wants his people to share the Word to strengthen other believers and to save the lost because the Word makes us wise for salvation (3:15).  It is the word of God that moves peoples’ hearts to grow and mature in faith. The three people who are growing the most as Christians are the ones who actually study the text of the Bible. There is power in the word of God, in the Bible. But it must be read, meditated on, accepted and put into practice. Then lives will be changed.

Growth through the word of God takes time. It is not quick. But it happens slowly, night and day in peoples’ hearts. It is like a small oak seed that sprouts in the ground and grows to be a sapling and then into a mighty oak tree. As long as the word of God is faithfully planted and prayed over and accompanied by love and serving, then it will grow. It will change hearts. It will transform societies. I pray that Christians across our land will have a place a high value on the word of God and trust in the power of God to work through his word in the hearts of the people we pray for.

Isn’t this the faith of missionaries? They go into areas that the rest of the world has abandoned thinking it to be impossible to make a change. But missionaries know that nothing is impossible with God. They know that when they are armed with the word of God, faith, prayer, love and all, Jesus can surely work through them to break down strongholds. It is this faith that will propel servants of God into remote regions of Northern Canada.

But it was not easy for a young servant Timothy to preach the gospel in a world of false teachers who opposed the truth. Like him we must keep our heads and endure hardship as we hold and teach the Word. It is not easy for young Timothy’s to preach the word in today’s world. Few people want to hear the word of God from people who don’t have their Phd’s. I know one ministry where most people don’t want to hear the word from anyone else other than senior leaders in the church. There is not much respect for young “Timothy’s”. Young ministers of the gospel must make their own opportunities to preach and teach the word of God, sometimes not following the traditional pathways.

Sometimes it is not easy to preach the word of God on our own homes, in our families. There could be a general atmosphere of unwillingness to even talk about Jesus and the Gospel. This could be opportunities to preach the word of God out of season. We should not stop praying for opportunities to share the Word with those nearest and dearest to us.

It is not easy to preach the word to a populace that turns aside to myths in order hear only what they want to hear. People generally want to hear only parts of the gospel. They want the apples and not the onions. Apples are delicious and are easy to eat. Onions make you cry and they involve peeling many layers. These are the hard things involved in the gospel, like repentance and obedience and confession of sin and embracing the Christian life even when it hard. But we need to preach the whole gospel in an atmosphere people don’t want to hear the whole Gospel.

Part 2: I Have Fought The Good Fight (6-8).

Verses 6-8,“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (ESV)

This is Paul’s life testimony. He poured out his life like a drink offering before God as he preached the Word. He fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. It was only by God’s grace. The Lord the righteous Judge would give him the victory crown.

Can we have a similar life testimony? Can we say that our lives are being poured out like a drink offering?  I hope and pray that I can have a similar testimony like Paul’s at the end of my life.

Also, I want to make sure that if my life is being poured out like a drink offering, I want it to be poured out doing the mission that God has for me and my family. I can not imaging pouring out my life for anything other than the plan God has for me. This is called the Missio Dei, the mission of God. For 26 years I was really into denying myself and giving myself to my mission. That was good. I learned many things. God molded me into the man I am today. We are the family that we are today because of the mission that we gave ourselves to. But in the past two years that mission changed. God led me somewhere else and into something else. Paul spent 14 years in Arabia. He didn’t spend the rest of this life there.  It was heart wrenching having the course of my life being changed by God. But he did it. Convergence has happened. We had  a Karios moment in our family. Now, with our new course set, I pray that my life may be poured out like a drink offering with full confidence that the Missio Dei is being lived out in my life and family.

There is a great hope. Look at verse 8 again, “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”  This is our sure hope as we endure suffering, keep our faith and preach the gospel. This is our only true and lasing hope. As a nurse, I take care of young people with cancer. Many are young people in their 40’s and 50’s. It could be me too at any moment. I can see that this world is fleeting. I must put my hope in the kingdom of God.

I must say that our hope in heaven is not based on how hard we work preaching the Gospel. It is solely based on the forgiveness that is given us through the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross. It is our faith, expressed in the longing for Christ’s appearing, that saves us and not how much we are pouring out our lives like a drink offering. If we are pouring out our lives like a drink offering then there are benefits. There are, what the Bible says, “treasures in heaven.” I think these are more like praise and recognition from Jesus himself. He will say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” This would be a treasure to me for sure. I pray that in 2014 my hope in the Kingdom of God will grow and my longing for Christ’s return may also grow.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for a glorious crown prepared for your people. Help me to be a servant of your Word, preaching the word when it is easy and difficult.

One Word: Preach the Word



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