Tag: Righteous Judge
Scripture reading for October 25th: 2nd Timothy 4:1-22
Paul’s closing instructions to Timothy encouraged this young pastor to use a simple strategy of ministry. “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage– with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths.” (2nd Timothy 4:2-4) There is never a season when the Word of God will not be appropriate. The Word is the complete prescription for correcting and encouraging the people of God. It is full of sound doctrine and if patiently taught is able to save and equip people for works of service and prepare them for the coming of the Lord.
However, in the last days, many will not receive sound doctrine. They want to design their own god and make their own spiritual program. People will find teachers that will tickle their ears with things that sound good to them, but are really false doctrines of demons. This teaching will only lead to bondage and death. Timothy was to keep his eyes on the Lord and the Word and fully preach the Word.
Paul, knew that his departure was near. He was ready to meet the Lord. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store 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 longed for His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:7-8) Paul was soon to face the guillotine. He spoke of being poured out like a drink offering! Yet he also knew by faith that his head would wear a crown in glory! His journey through life was a fight of faith. He had finished well and was expecting a reward from his Lord!
Paul’s attitude and final instructions to Timothy model for those who are still in the fight the way to victory. Death brings reward, and is nothing for the Christian to fear. We must continue to preach the Word and live by faith! The best is yet to come!
Scripture reading for December 9th: 2nd Timothy 1-4
God calls His servants to live a righteous and holy life. Good character is the first requirement for church leadership. It is more about who you are than what gifts and talents you possess. In this last letter to his son in the faith, Paul encourages Timothy to live boldly and to live holy!
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace.” (2nd Timothy 1:7-9) Timothy was a young man who sometimes suffered with fear and insecurity. Paul always encouraged him to live boldly through the Holy Spirit. Life as a pastor was a life of serving and also a life of suffering for the gospel. Not everyone would love the preacher. Paul was, at that time, suffering for preaching the gospel, but he was confident that God would guard what he had committed to Him for the day of Christ’s return. (2nd Timothy 1:12)
Again in this letter, Paul warned Timothy about terrible times in the last days. (2nd Timothy 3:1-5) People would lack self control and be lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God. Paul describe them as having a “form of godliness but denying its power.” False believers and false teachers are deceived and lead others astray. They appear to be godly, but the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to live a holy life is missing from their everyday attitudes and actions. Paul warned Timothy (and us) to have nothing to do with such people.
Paul shared that all who live a godly life in Christ Jesus would be persecuted. (2nd Timothy 3:12) Timothy’s best defense was to study and hold fast to the Holy Scriptures. These would equip him for every good work! Timothy must preach this word with great patience and instruction. Paul’s life was nearly over and he was looking to the reward: the crown of life that would be given to him and all who loved Christ’s appearing! Paul encouraged Timothy to live boldly and to live holy to share in that reward! What are you living for?