2 Timothy 4:1-18
Saturday, 19 June 2021
“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” -2 Timothy 4:5
The exhortations Paul gives to Timothy are very much relevant for us today. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we are 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, this task is daunting, especially when people are drawn away from the truths of God’s Word and have chosen for themselves what to believe and follow.
The key verse gives us four imperatives to look into:
Be Watchful In All Things
While Paul told Timothy to be watchful, he needed to be alert as a minister in all things- concerning his life, doctrine and the people in his care. There are a few reminders from the Word to be watchful:
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. (1Cor.16:13)
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1Peter 5:8)
Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. (Prov.4:23 AMP)
As a minister of Christ, Timothy may have to endure many afflictions like Paul did- for the sake of the Gospel he preached and also the false accusations that were levelled against him and the work he was doing (refer to the people who left him). But in all this he was to stand firm and endure. Paul had written earlier in 2 Timothy 2:3 that he must endure hardship like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
The writer of Hebrews encouraging the afflicted believers of his day said:
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Heb.10:35-36 NLT)
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.
Do The Work Of An Evangelist
Paul had said in V.2: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” The Great Commission the Lord Jesus gave to His disciples in all ages continues to prompt us to “Go with the Gospel!”
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NLT)
Fulfill Your Ministry
Paul was convinced of his call by the Lord Jesus Christ: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry…” (1 Tim.1:12) and he was sure of the call of God on Timothy: “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (2Tim.1:6). Paul was now at the close of his ministry as he handed the baton to Timothy (2 Tim.4:7) to carry on with the work of the Lord with all these instructions given in the two letters to Timothy.
We who have been called by the Lord, privileged to be “minsters of the New Covenant” (2 Cor.3:6), we too are to carry on and fulfill our ministry- whatever unique ways the Lord has entrusted us with, being faithful stewards. A reminder with the words of Paul to Archippus,
“Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” (Colossians 4:17)
Have you as a minister of Christ been troubled by afflictions, rejected or dejected by the many challenges you face? Take heart and stand firm. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1Cor.15:58)
Think on: "To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings." - George Mueller