Proper 24 (29) (October 16, 2016)
- First reading and Psalm
- Alternate First reading and Psalm
- Second reading
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 | New International Version (NIV)
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
Since I am back to preaching every week, there will be times that my sermons will track along the same line as the lectionary readings. The next few weeks we will be tracking along with my sermons – these short devotionals will usually be on the same topic as the sermon. Some how with all that has gone on this week, I am getting this up much later than usual and you will notice that our blog has been relatively quiet of late.
As I look at this week’s scripture, we see the importance of the scripture. In 2 Timothy 2:15 it tells us to correctly explain the word of truth. In this case, I believe Paul means the Word of God. How do we do that? Paul instructs Timothy to remain faithful to what he has been taught. Timothy had a grandmother and mother who were strong Christian witnesses and brought Timothy up in the faith and Paul urges Timothy to lean on what he has learn – he learned the Scriptures from his childhood. In this case, those most of those scriptures are the Hebrew Bible since Paul doesn’t even realize that he is writing the New Testament scriptures. Paul reminds Timothy that those scriptures gave him the path to salvation through Jesus. We are then reminded that God-breathed scripture – as opposed to the meaningless arguments and discussion that was happening at the church of Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-6.) These same people are mentioned again in 2 Timothy 2, which is why Timothy is commanded to correctly explain the word of truth.
We learn here the reason for the scriptures – it is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives – it can correct us and put us back on the correct path. And very important – it prepares and equips us – God’s people to do every good work.
This is why Paul urges Timothy to “preach the Word.” Sounds like the act of ordination “Take authority to preach the word.” We are commanded to preach the Word in and out of season, whether the time is favorable or not. I love how it says to patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. I think that is something that all of us preachers could learn.
We are reminded that sometimes when preaching the gospel, it will fall on deaf ears – people may reject sound teaching and go for others stuff – that’s why it is so important that we keep on preaching the word and handling it correctly.
Lastly we are reminded to keep a clear mind – don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord – work at telling others the Good News – and carry out the ministry God has given you. Which is the second part of the act of ordination. “Take authority to preach the word, administer the sacraments, and perform the duties of the minister of the gospel.”
It is a solemn responsibility – a great responsibility – let us live lives worthy of our calling.