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Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2
Timothy was intimidated and discouraged by the efforts of Alexander, Hymenaeus, and those who supported them. Although Paul and Timothy told the two men they needed to step down from their leadership positions because they had strayed from how they were taught to minister and corruption had grown within the congregation at Ephesus, the two men refused. Paul’s efforts came up short because he ended up in jail. Timothy was on the verge of giving up. Paul’s letters to him were to encourage and empower him. We can learn a lot from these letters.
Paul told Timothy that the Word he learned as a child hadn’t changed; it was still the same, just as God and Jesus were still Father and Son, God and Savior. Paul instructed Timothy, in line two above, to preach the Word. Simple and to the point. The Word is the Truth, and it brings light to the lies that try to hide in the shadows.
Out of Ephesus and other churches, false teachers and prophets were popping up left and right. They were speaking self-serving words, words they thought people wanted to hear, and speaking words to disrupt the plans Jesus had shared with his disciples. Maybe they didn’t know they were disrupting the plans. Or maybe they did. Look at the things people say and do now in the name of Jesus, claiming to be servants of God. Even today, people lie, steal, cheat, harm, and kill people, all while claiming to be servants of God.
Paul told Timothy to be prepared in season and out of season, which means staying ready, so he doesn’t have to get ready. It means always being prepared to speak truth to lies. It’s staying mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and spiritually grounded.
Then Paul guides him on how to lead others—correcting, rebuking, and encouraging them with great patience and careful instruction. It couldn’t be rushed or forced. Timothy also couldn’t be casual and careless with his instruction. Intentionality and care were required. Even through correction and rebuke, there had to be love and care. It was important that Timothy knew that the words he spoke had consequences. There was and is a war for our souls, and Paul understood that our speech can bring us closer to God or the enemy.
We’re so focused on the enemy lurking outside while not paying attention to the enemy’s recruits sitting beside us on the inside. That is why churches become corrupt and self-destruct from within. Your enemy has studied you your entire life. You barely prepare for the attacks. You aren’t conditioned for the battle. That’s why we fold under the slightest pressure from temptation.
We must be prepared year-round. Mind, body, spirit, and soul. We also must be patient, waiting for God’s guidance, not rushing with our own interpretation and plans.
Father, I thank You now for the person You are shaping me to be. Each day I praise You. Each day I praise Jesus for his exemplary walk in Your Light. I feel the presence of the two of you each day and I am comforted in knowing that through struggles and strife, through victory and celebration, You and Your son are always here with me.
Father, I share Your Word and I try to help Your children. No matter the time of year You expect for Your ambassadors to be prepared and focused on spreading Your Word, praying for those who are in need, healing through a declaration of Your power, and having faith that You will never leave and never lead us astray.
With this expectation is a requirement for patience and understanding. You have never let me down. You have never left me alone. You have never forsaken me. With this understanding I shall wait, patiently! In Your Name I pray. Amen.
Copyright 2011-2022. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com