2 Timothy 4
-The first eight verse of this last chapter in 2 Timothy finish up the instruction before some final personal greetings and pertinent personal instructions are given to the young disciple/evangelist. Timothy is charged by his mentor to preach the Word ready at all times (when it is convenient or not, in season/out of season) with reprove, rebuke, exhortation, and great patience and teaching. This is to be done in the presence of God and of Jesus Christ, who is the judge of the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1-2). *Application* If you are commissioned by God for a work, there could be no better advice than what is laid out here at the beginning of this chapter. We are to always be in the presence of God enjoying the fellowship with the Holy Spirit as He illuminates and inspires us to truth. We are to preach the Word unadulterated with clarity and precision. We are to bring conviction and exposure with urgency (this is the word meaning of reprove, elegcho). We are to censure and warn those to whom we preach (this is the word meaning of rebuke, epitimao). We are to invite, urge, and encourage in our words to those we minister to (this is the word meaning of exhort, parakaleo). We are to do these things with all endurance and instruction. Abide by these principles and you will do phenomenal in your ministry.
-Paul again gives us the typical things to look for in the last days as he points out that there will come a time when people will not endure sound teaching (or doctrine). They will have ears that gravitate towards what they want to hear and turn away from the truth of the Lord to their own passions and mythological beliefs (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Paul’s warning for his student, and us, is to sober-minded (well-balanced, self-controlled, clear headed) as we endure the inevitable suffering from unbelievers and liars. *Application* We are to fulfill our ministry no matter what (2 Timothy 4:5). The enemy and people will try to take you off your game that God has called you to. Don’t let that happen. A big part of this is people pleasing. If the enemy knows you are seeking popularity over coming before the Lord in humility, he will attack over and over again in this area of ear tickling. Be very strong and very courageous. Say the things and show the love that will make a difference for eternity; don’t appease sin and just say what people want to hear. A hard word will turn people back towards righteousness, which is what the Lord desires. It’s not an easy journey, but the rewards are fantastic!
-Paul acknowledges his time on earth is growing short as he is being poured out as a drink offering of sacrifice for the cause of the gospel. He has fought the good fight, he has finished his race, he has kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:6-7). In the future he knows that he will receive the crown of righteousness along with all those who believe and love the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the righteous Judge, on that Day (Judgment Day) (2 Timothy 4:8). *Application* Are you looking forward to meeting Jesus face to face when the faith becomes sight? If you have His righteousness, you have nothing to fear. Receive Him and all His benefits while you have breath. Eternity is a mighty long time. You definitely want to abide in His Kingdom.
-The personal matters reveal some close friends and their strength to Paul as well as some heartaches caused by desertion and worldly thinking. Some did Paul great harm and have been given to the Lord for correction, while others are commended as useful to the work of Christ. Paul ends with the fact that the Lord is with him in all his circumstances and will rescue him from every evil deed to bring him into His eternal Heavenly Kingdom. May the Lord be with all of our spirits in His outstanding grace (2 Timothy 4:9-22)! *Application* Our final glimpse into what ministry is all about in this letter reveals the ups and downs of the faith fight. Realize that the Lord is always with you even when all desert you and you feel like you have no one standing beside you. There will be times like that if you are doing what is right. This is just like Christ when He was convicted before the religious leaders and Pilate as He was taken to the cross. Expect this at times in your ministry and realize that while it may seem like at certain moments even the Lord has forsaken you, He is right there, building your faith to a higher degree and developing your spiritual walk with Him. Fight, finish, and keep (2 Timothy 4:7)! These are the words for us to remember.
Verses to Memorize- 2 Timothy 4:2, 7