7 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
2 Timothy 4:1-22
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 (CSB): “I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching.”
Reflections from Scripture:
The letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy were deeply personal. As we read First and Second Timothy, we cannot help but see that Paul deeply loved this young preacher. Paul felt the need to continue to instruct him so that Timothy could be a valuable tool in the hands of an Almighty God.
One theme that appears in these letters more than a few times is that Timothy needed to “man up.” Paul knew that Timothy would probably be timid when bullies came into the church and preached error, so he told him to stand up to them (1 Timothy 1:3). He knew that Timothy was probably anxious about people looking down on his youth, so he told him to let no one despise his youth (1 Timothy 4:12). Paul knew that Timothy was dealing with fear, so he told him that God hadn’t given him a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). In fact, I wonder if the very difficult nature of Timothy’s task was why he had stomach problems that led Paul to prescribe some medicine (1 Timothy 5:23).
So, we aren’t surprised when we read in Paul’s final recorded letter that he encourages his young protege to “preach the word!” Sometimes, that meant that Timothy would encourage people. Sometimes, Timothy would have to rebuke people and their sins. Sometimes, he needed to point the way to holiness and encourage them to take it.
This is one of a pastor’s primary jobs (Acts 6:4; 1 Timothy 5:17). He is to regularly stand before God’s people and speak to them on God’s behalf. But, the content of his words should NOT be from his own limited reservoir. Instead, he should speak to them from God’s Word.
And his ultimate aim is to present God’s people to the Lord on the Day of Judgment as people who are fit for Heaven. They are not merely saved – they are righteous, clean, and holy.
So, support your pastor in his preaching ministry. Give him time each week to get alone with God and his Bible to study. Pray for him during the week. Pray for him as he stands to proclaim God’s Word. And pray for receptive hearts to hear God’s Word preached and respond in ways that glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, I pray that my pastor would love Your Word so much that he spends much time studying it. Then, I pray that Your Holy Spirit will empower him as he gets up to preach. May his faithfulness to proclaim Your Word be rewarded with people who are being saved and with Christians who are growing closer to You. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.