October 25, 2020
THE CENTRALITY OF PREACHING THE WORD Paul’s final charge to Timothy was “Preach the word!” For he knew the many duties that beg a pastor’s attention. Pastors wear many hats, but preaching is job number one. And not just preaching anything, but preaching the Word of God. Not politics or philosophy, nor self-help tips, but
October 24, 2020
AVOID OR ADVANCE? Paul told Timothy that there is a time to retreat and a time to advance. As it regards “youthful lusts,” the command is to “flee.” Unlike the instruction to “stand firm” against the devil (Eph. 6:11), lust is not defeated by direct assault. It is to be avoided. When an image in
October 23, 2020
WHOSE APPROVAL DO YOU SEEK? There are so many voices vying for our attention. To whom do we listen? Whose approval should we seek? The apostle Paul advised the young pastor Timothy to focus on God’s approval. He told him to “be diligent” in this, studying to hear God’s voice and please Him above all
October 22, 2020
BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND DO NOT FEAR Paul encouraged Timothy, his “beloved son” in the Lord, to overcome fear, knowing that it didn’t come from God. Timothy was Paul’s young protege, but he wasn’t yet as bold and confident as Paul. Even though Paul had left him in charge of the church at
October 25, 2019
FULFILLING THE MINISTRY GOD HAS GIVEN YOU As Paul faced the real possibility of execution for preaching the gospel, he gave final instructions to Timothy. He wanted Timothy to be unafraid of suffering and willing to work hard for the sake of the Good News. Like a captain issuing orders to one of his men,
October 23, 2019
WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS? What was the “Good News” that Paul preached? Answer: Jesus Christ, Son of David, crucified and raised from the dead. This is the news event that we are to proclaim. For the gospel is not good advice, it’s good news. And news is to be announced. Some will believe and
October 22, 2019
ARE YOU ASHAMED TO TELL OTHERS ABOUT JESUS? What causes us to feel shame to speak of Jesus? There are at least three reasons: 1) Lack of spiritual zeal. We don’t feel worthy to talk about Jesus because we are not living as we should. 2) Believing the enemy’s lies. These lies tells us that
October 23, 2018
CHRIST OUR STRENGTH
Paul’s second letter to Timothy is a letter of encouragement from a father to his spiritual son. The affection Paul has for Timothy is evident, yet so is his desire to see him strengthened in his walk. Paul had learned to depend on the grace he received from abiding in Christ to be his strength when all else failed him. As he wrote to the believers in Philippi, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Yet, how do we call on this strength?
It has been my experience that the strength of which Paul speaks is available at the very moment when I make myself available. I have gotten up from a sickbed on many a Sunday morning, taken a shower, dressed and arrived at the church weak as water. Yet, when I stepped into the pulpit a power beyond my own radiated and surged within me, enabling me to preach. If I had not shown up, I would not have experienced this power. I have found that the strengthening of Christ lies just at the point where my strength has run out. The way to tap into that power is a decision to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Eph. 6:10) when your strength is gone.
If we are to experience this strength that comes from abiding in Christ, we must attempt things that are beyond us, trusting that we can be strong in Christ.
October 22, 2018
WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT TO MAINTAIN MY SPIRITUAL ZEAL?
This is the second letter the apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son in the Lord, Timothy. Here, we see Paul boldly reminding Timothy, as a father would a son, to take personal responsibility for his own spiritual zeal. He reminded Timothy of his calling into the ministry and the spiritual gift he had received at ordination, when Paul had affirmed God’s call on his life through the laying on of hands. Having reminded him of his calling and gifting, Paul urged him to “fan into flames” his spiritual gift from God. A fire can’t just be started and left to itself. It must be tended. It needs to be stirred, fresh fuel added, and the bellows used to increase the oxygen that feeds the flame. The gifting of God is like fire. It burns in those called. Yet, the fire must be maintained. Paul reminded Timothy to maintain his fire for God.
The more we pour out in ministry, the more we must pull away to fan into flames our spiritual gifting, so we do not lose our boldness and zeal. Are you fearful or discouraged in your calling? Fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you. Be reminded of the passion you once had for God and lean into Him in Scripture reading and prayer until you feel the flames rise anew.
October 23, 2017
There are so many voices vying for our attention. To whom do we listen? Whose approval should we seek? The apostle Paul advised the young pastor Timothy to focus on God’s “approval.” He told him to “be diligent” in this, studying to hear God’s voice and please Him above all others. This rightly required “shunning” (2 Tim. 2:16) voices that competed with or spoke contrary to God’s Word. He told Timothy to work at the study and preaching of God’s Word like a tentmaker who cuts straight the thick camel hides of his craft, “rightly dividing” the Scriptures. Don’t water it down. Cut it straight!
This is still good advice for today. Work diligently to fulfill the calling God has on your life. Focus on it. Live for the approval of God, not man.