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Federation Rocks – Queensland – Chinaman Creek Limestone
There is much in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul to Timothy that is relevant to all who are involved in Christian ministry today.
Reflections for the first nine weeks of 2019 have been prepared to assist those who are entering or already engaged in a process of discerning what is the will of God for their future ministry. The nature of that future ministry is not limited to what Paul described in these Epistles.
My intention is to provide a resource for all who love Jesus and seek to serve him. It is not restricted to those who hope to enter into holy orders.
Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy 2: 1-10, 22-26 (NIV)
1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
How did you hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The opening verses depict how the good news has been passed from generation to generation so that we, and those who come after us, may hear and receive and believe. As many as five generations of believers are indicated in verse 2: Paul > witnesses > Timothy > reliable people > others.
It is imperative to continue to pass on the good news. Although Paul has admitted he was suffering for the gospel, he has shown how God’s word is not so constrained.
Timothy was to expect suffering. Today in scores of countries Christians continue to suffer for their faith. Boldness is required so that God’s word will be proclaimed. There may yet be many generations of God’s elect who will obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus if only the church today remains bold.
Where are the Lord’s servants of tomorrow? Perhaps some of them are today’s opponents who will come to their senses and escape the devil’s trap.
How committed are you as one of the Lord’s servants today?