Hello and welcome to Thursday’s Daily Podcast from STC. We’ve been running these short thoughts, worship track and Bible readings for a few years now. It’s been wonderful to hear over the years how they’ve helped people. I’m in the middle of listening to Liam’s as I record these reflections for this week. They have been really helpful for me. If you did miss any – feel free to go back and listen in that way you will also get a full picture of this 2nd letter to Timothy as we have basically covered it all in 10 short reflections. Our main prayer today is that God keeps opening the truths of the Bible to us and we are encouraged to apply it in some practical ways through our day.
So let’s get stuck in. Today we we start chapter 4 in 2 Timothy. We’ve been looking at truth this week and with a particular focus at the end of this week on how to live it out. Living consistently with the truth we believe.
Today I’m going to focus on the last two verses of today’s reading v4 & 5. “[For a time will come when people]… will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardships, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
These instructions are almost like a commander;s instructions to his soldiers… There is certainly a force and a love behind them… It’s like Paul is saying… I’m aware of the times… so as my main mission team… these are the main tactics we’re going to prioritise.
- Keep our heads.
- Endure hardship.
- Do evangelism.
- Be diligent in our ministry.
As we have been doing through the week. Let’s take these things one at a time and then pray together.
(v5) Keep our heads…
In this unprecedented time of social distancing, city lockdowns, and fear around COVID-19, we believe that everything makes more sense when we have a right view of God and the world. That is why Paul throughout this week has been so keen to prioritise good teaching and truth. In an time in history where some are swayed and truth is largely personal. We are called to keep our heads in all situations. There are truths we anchor our faith upon. God is real. Jesus is alive. He will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. We have received the promise of life eternal.
Even in this time, we are to keep our heads. To look after ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually that we many not be shaken. As I heard one pastor say this week, we believe Jesus is Lord. We also believe in soap and good mental disciplines. Make use of them!
[Next priority] (v5) Endure hardship…
Persecution will come as was promised by Jesus… he also promised that when he departs, one is coming to us who is greater than He and they will help us… the Holy Spirit. Just because there is hardship… does that mean Jesus is not Lord? No! Does that mean that God has abandoned us? No! It means the war has been won but the battle still rages. We are to stand firm in the faith…
(v5) Do evangelism… [ I love this priority ]
It’s the joyful job of the church to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. There is a knuckling down and thinking through that is expected of disciples. And think back to what was shared in Monday’s podcast. We are share the truth firmly and gently with those God has given us an opportunity with.
(v5) Be diligent…
Doing ALL of the duties of our ministry. We can all play our part in some way or another. And doing our tasks diligently will help the family operate as a whole and healthy body. Ministry here is used as a term to described the good works God has planned for us to do… uniquely us. How wonderful is that? That the God of the universe has a task or two (of good!) prepared for me to do today. The one who calls us is faithful and he will give us everything we need to accomplish the duties of our ministry.
Here is what that means for us… it can be summarised by a brilliant verse in the book of Galatians.
At the end of the day… all that counts… is faith expressing itself through love.
We’ve been talking about truth this week. Rediscovering it… training ourselves in it… Ultimately… we need to apply it. Faith expressing itself through love. Let’s hear this charge from Paul to Timothy as if he is commissioning us today… As if Paul is saying, dear podcast listeners, today let’s keep our heads… endure hardships… do the work of the evangelist (oh how we want to see people discover Jesus)… and be diligent in all the duties that God has prepared for us today.
We are equipped by the Holy Spirit and through the Bible to step into the world with truth and love today.
Thank you for this week God. What a joy to consider the Bible together. Help us to take hold of these simple thoughts and put them into practise today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
BIBLE READING: 2 Timothy 4: 1-5
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 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 people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather round 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 aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.