ENDURING TO THE END
Tuesday, 27 August 2019
2 Timothy 4 : 1-18
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, … preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” -2 Timothy 4:1-2 [NASB]
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we are urged and charged with the responsibility to proclaim the message of Christ with all patience. Though we are urged by the Lord to endure to the end, yet the journey of this task is daunting, especially when people have chosen for themselves what to believe and follow rather than the truth.
When Apostle Paul points to Demas who deserted him because of the love of this world, it is a reality we face even today. As we endure to proclaim the gospel, to reach the mark of our high calling, obstacles and challenges come our way as we move on- some may be from governing authorities, community leaders, and even closest fellow believers some with whom we even break bread together, whose minds are swayed away from the truth as they choose to listen to themselves rather than God and His called-servants.
We are encouraged in God’s Word to be watchful in all things, endure suffering as we do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform our whole duty as a servant of God (2 Tim 4:5). It is not easy, when the obstacles appear. This is where we need to endure to the end and NOT QUIT the race, as God strengthens us to fully accomplish His task through us.
See how God sends Ezekiel for the hard task of reaching out to His people who had turned from Him and His ways. Ezekiel 2:6-7: "But you, mortal man, must not be afraid of them or of anything they say. They will defy and despise you; it will be like living among scorpions. Still, don't be afraid of those rebels or of anything they say. You will tell them whatever I tell you to say, whether they listen or not. Remember what rebels they are.” But God equipped Him well for the mission ahead.
Our Lord Jesus sent the disciples with this word: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16) Enduring to preach the message of the gospel in this wicked world is not an easy task but there is always a peaceful end. It is only those who endure to the end that will be saved!
Paul after going through several challenges, deserted by those he felt should have stood with him, rescued from being sentenced to death, rejected and opposed by those who should have supported and encouraged him, talked less of the great harm Alexander did to him. Yet there was one of the Lord’s own, who was willing to be by his side- Luke!
Have you ever been insulted, shamed and ignored by friends and family for the sake of the Gospel? Praise God!! You celebrate a great victory of approval and recognition in the Master’s service. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! So then, my dear friends, stand firm and be steadfast. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord's service is ever useless.
May we endure the challenges that come our way as we continue in the Lord’s tasks. Then in the end, we too can say as Paul did: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future 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.” (2 Tim 4:7-8)
Thought for the Day:
To learn strong faith is to endure great trials.
I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings."
- George Mueller
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