Thursday, October 20, 2016

Be Faithful!

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

I want you to feel the urgency in today’s words that Paul wrote to Timothy. They come from the last of Paul’s writings to his son in the faith. These words plead for Timothy to join Paul in his life of faith in two specific ways:

  1. Be faithful to the call he had received to proclaim My message and do it with truth and passion.
  2. Join Paul in his last days so that he could be of assistance to Paul and so that these days could have an impact on the lost world and strengthen new churches to live for Me and the kingdom of God.

Paul was realistic but not pessimistic about the future awaiting him. He was fully confident in My coming with power and glory. This faith in Me helped him to remain loyal to Me, to be strong in his faith, to be inspired by the Scriptures, and to be faithful even to death. He was urging Timothy to be faithful, too.

As Paul often did at the end of his letters, he mentioned people who were both faithful and unfaithful to him and to Me. This is just another way for Paul to appeal to Timothy’s heart and challenge him to do the following:

  • [S]tay focused and be alert at all times.
  • Accomplish the good work of an evangelist, and complete the ministry to which you [Timothy] have been called.
  • [L]ove and long for His [My] appearing.
  • Come to me [Paul] … as soon as you can.
  • Bring Mark with you because he is useful in this work and will help look after me.
  • [P]ick up the cloak I [Paul] left with Carpus in Troas, and bring the scrolls — especially the parchments.
  • [W]atch your back because he [Alexander the metal worker] has gone overboard to oppose our message.
  • Give my regards to Prisca, Aquila, and everyone over at Onesiphorus’s house.

At first glance, these excerpts from the verses below appear to be miscellaneous instructions and requests thrown in at the end of a letter. However, look closely, and you will see Paul’s focus on being faithful in every area of life: to all the people in his life, to the ministry he had been called to complete, and to the people to whom I had called him to mentor and serve.

Most of all, Paul finished with a reminder of how I was faithful to him even when everyone else abandoned him:

He [Me, Jesus] stood by me, strengthened me, and backed the truth I proclaimed with power…

Paul’s example of faithfulness was a challenge for Timothy to be faithful in every area of his life, his relationships, and his ministry. I want it to be a challenge to you to be faithful in every area of your life as well!

Verses to Live

Are you a faithful person?

Do you live up to your word?

Do you stand by your friends?

Are you committed to faithfully living out your commitments to Me?

I hope Paul’s words to Timothy challenge you to be faithful in every area of your life and ministry. Be faithful!

And now I bring you this charge before God and Jesus the Anointed, the one destined to judge the living and the dead, at His glorious appearance and His kingdom: go out and preach the word! Go whether it’s an opportune time or not! Reprove, warn, and encourage; but do so with all the patience and instruction needed to fulfill your calling because a time will come when some will no longer tolerate sound teaching. Instead, they will live by their own desires; they’ll scratch their itching ears by surrounding themselves with teachers who approve of their lifestyles and tell them what they want to hear. They will turn away from the real truth you have to offer because they prefer the sound of fables and myths. But you must stay focused and be alert at all times. Tolerate suffering. Accomplish the good work of an evangelist, and complete the ministry to which you have been called.

For I am already being poured out, and the last drops of this drink offering are all that remain; it’s almost time for me to leave. I have fought the good fight, I have stayed on course and finished the race, and through it all, I have kept believing. I look forward to what’s in store for me: a crown of righteousness that the Lord — the always right and just judge — will give me that day (but it is not only for me, but for all those who love and long for His appearing).

Come to me, Timothy, as soon as you can. You see, Demas has fallen for this world, abandoned me, and headed off to Thessalonica. Crescens took off for Galatia. Titus has gone to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one left. Bring Mark with you because he is useful in this work and will help look after me. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. On your way here, pick up the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, and bring the scrolls — especially the parchments.

Keep your eye out for Alexander the coppersmith! He came against me with all sorts of evil — may the Lord pay him back accordingly — so watch your back because he has gone overboard to oppose our message.

When it was time for my first defense, no one showed up to support me. Everyone abandoned me (may it not be held against them) except the Lord. He stood by me, strengthened me, and backed the truth I proclaimed with power so it may be heard by all the non-Jews. He rescued me, pried open the lion’s jaw, and snatched me from its teeth. And I know the Lord will continue to rescue me from every trip, trap, snare, and pitfall of evil and carry me safely to His heavenly kingdom. May He be glorified throughout eternity. Amen.

Give my regards to Prisca, Aquila, and everyone over at Onesiphorus’s house. Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus because he was sick. Try your best to come before winter blows in. Eubulus says hello and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters. May the Lord be with your spirit, and may His grace be with you. Amen.

(2 Timothy 4:1-22)

Response in Prayer

O glorious Father, may the words of my mouth, the thoughts in my mind, my involvement with others, and the actions in my life all show an unquenchable desire to live faithfully for You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2016, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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