Tag Archives: 2 Timothy 4

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 260/260: Mark

Read Acts 13:5, 13; 15:36-41; 2 Timothy 4:11

Useful

We don’t know what happened. Mark, called John in Acts 13, went with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey initially, but something happened. Perhaps he was homesick, or maybe he was frightened by persecution, or it could be that he was simply overwhelmed by what he witnessed. So, he went home to Jerusalem.

Later, when it was time to go out again, Barnabas suggested giving Mark a second chance. Paul disagreed. “Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another” (Acts 15:39). The superstar team of Paul and Barnabas split up.

Does any of this sound familiar? You were gung-ho to do something, but it wasn’t quite what you expected, so you gave up. You quit. But then, after quitting, you regretted it and wanted to try again. Who supported you in your second effort? Who encouraged you and stood by you and stood up for you? Who stood against you?

Do you have strained relationships because of past poor judgment? How can you restore such relationships? It takes effort, and it takes time, and it takes patience. Don’t give up on the person who gave up on you. Maybe, like Paul, they will come to see you in a different light.

When Paul was nearing the end of his life, writing a letter to Timothy from prison, he told the young evangelist, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).

The one who had “departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work” (Acts 15:38) was now “useful to me for ministry.” Perhaps Paul witnessed Mark’s improved performance when he teamed up with Barnabas and went a different direction, or perhaps Paul simply had a moment of weakness himself in Acts 15. Whatever the case, his opinion of Mark changed over time, and he was willing to work with him again.

If you are willing to repent of your past sins and commit to serving God, you can be useful as well. It does not matter what you did yesterday. What matters is what you do today.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 250/260: Timothy

Read Acts 16:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Preach The Word

Paul teamed up with several different people during his evangelistic tours. Some of the more prominent names were Barnabas, Silas, and Luke. The young preacher Timothy was also a close companion of the apostle, and Paul trusted him so much that he left Timothy in Ephesus to strengthen the church there.

Timothy was the recipient of two letters from Paul. Near the end of the second letter, Paul wrote these words: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).

If a preacher isn’t preaching the Word of God, is he even preaching at all? It is the Word that tells us about Jesus, and it is only Jesus that can save us from our sins. In the words of Peter, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). We must bring people to Jesus because only Jesus can save them.

Of the phrase, “be ready (‘instant’ [KJV], ‘urgent’ [ASV]) in season and out of season,” Marshall Keeble said something along these lines, “Preach it when they wanna hear it, and preach it when they don’t!” There are times, as Paul explains in 1 Timothy 4:3, that men “will not endure sound doctrine” because it makes them uncomfortable. And yet, it is only sound doctrine that can lead a person to the truth. False teaching always falls short.

Paul then uses three words that show different aspects of sound doctrine: “Convince, rebuke, exhort.” There are times a man must be convinced of the truth. There are times he must be rebuked of sin. And there are times he must be exhorted or encouraged to continue doing the right thing.

Finally, Paul tells Timothy to be patient with those who are learning. “Preach…with all longsuffering and teaching.” Don’t give up too soon. Keep doing the right thing, and let the gospel do its work.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 173/260: Read 2 Timothy 4

Paul charged Timothy, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” It is said that Marshall Keeble explained this to mean “you preach it if they like it, and you preach it if they don’t!”

There are a lot of people in today’s society that don’t like the truth. Some say there is no such thing as truth, or that your truth may differ from my truth because of our individual experiences. Thus, one cannot claim to know “the” truth, because there are actually “many” truths.

Yet, Jesus proclaimed, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). In His prayer for the apostles, Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Which brings us back to 2 Timothy 4:2, in which Paul charged Timothy, “Preach the word!”

If we are preaching God’s Word, we are preaching the one and only truth. Paul had earlier written to Timothy that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). It is the truth of God’s Word that saves us and sets us free from the bondage of sin.

God said it, that settles it, and I must proclaim it…whether they like it or not!

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself ________ to God, a worker who does not need to be ________, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Pray

Pray for courage in spreading God’s truth about love, grace, mercy, and faithfulness.