DECEMBER 16, 2021 READINGS... 2 Timothy 2:1-4:18
The ministry of the Pastor is blessed in so many ways. There are so many great things that happen in the life of a man who answers the call to be the under-shepherd in the Lord’s church. But, there is a cost also. Not everything is good…not everyone, even in the church, have the Lord’s interest as their primary purpose. I have seen precious, godly, Pastors who have been totally mistreated and abused by the church. Likewise, I have seen ruthless Pastors who use a church, spiritually abuse, and sometimes physically and sexually abuse a church…and leave it in ruin, while moving on to the next church victim. Paul lets Timothy know that serving in the pastorate would be hard. He would have to endure suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. He would need to keep his ears open to his commander and keep his mission clear…not getting caught up in the affairs or this world. How difficult is that? Like an athlete, Timothy would need to keep his eye on the prize and follow the rules…keeping himself pure before God and man. And like the farmer he would have to work hard at what he has been called to. I like Paul’s statement in verse 2:11-13…this could be the Pastor’s creed.
“For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
Paul’s desire for Timothy is that he would prove himself an approved worker in the ministry, and that he would remain so all the years of his ministry. He warns Timothy of the dangers that lay ahead for him, and for every Pastor as we move into the “last days”. People will love themselves and their money…they will be boastful and proud…scoffing at God…disobedient to their parents…and ungrateful. They will not consider anything sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving…as they slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate good…betrayers of friends, reckless, prideful, and love pleasure rather than loving God. They will act religiously, but will deny the power of God in their lives. It is into this that the Lord calls His pastor(s). Paul tells Timothy to stay in the Word…and persevere in the faith. Know that evil people and imposters will flourish, deceiving and being deceived. But God’s pastor(s) must remain faithful…and stay in the holy Scriptures…regardless of the pressure from both within the church, and from the world. Finally, Paul gives this command to Timothy and to all God’s pastors…Preach the Word…Be prepared regardless is things are good or bad…patiently correct…rebuke…and encourage you people with good teaching. It is my personal desire to be one of God’s pastors…faithful in what He has called me too!
Please share your thoughts from today’s readings.
TOMORROW’S READINGS… 2 Timothy 4:19-22 & Hebrews 1:1-4:13