April 13, 2006 by Isaac Hovet
Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you.
-2 Timothy 4:1-5
I get the feeling that this tone is that of a man just before his death. Paul of course says that very thing a few verses later, but the tone speaks of that more than his direct revelation of circumstance. Whenever any of us are faced with death our tone will be much the same. The important things of life are going to be communicated. For Paul preaching Christ and bringing others to the saving knowledge of Jesus was the most important task. Whether in time of favor or acceptance, the mission is the same. He charges Timothy to correct, to rebuke and encourage people.
Again Paul is encouraging Titus to teach about right living. For there is a way of living that is right and apparently a way of living that is wrong. In our culture that is not an accepted model of thinking. As a minister I am constantly seeing the effects of those who do not want to embrace a correct way of living. When left to ourselves we seem to run after (with recklessness) whatever makes us feel good in the short term. Mostly this wrecks relationships. We use people. We abuse people. We ruin people.
Just yesterday I prayed/counseled with 3 people caught in the cycle of ruination so common to our existence:
A young boy made to do a sexual favor
A man at the brink of losing his marriage
A young girl trying to accept a broken past
What is the answer? What can we do? What will our response be?
Encourage. Rebuke. Correct.
Share God’s Love/Hope. Share God’s standards. Share accountability.
Love all that is good. Hate all that is evil.