June 15, 2021
Scripture: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV
Observation and Takeaway: This closing charge is Paul’s last before his execution. The operative word is “preach.
When? Whenever the opportunity presents itself.
How? With patience, encouragement, and careful instruction. The Greek word for “exhort” (as translated in the ESV) has a broader meaning that includes “comfort.” The two words combined are best translated as “encouragement.” This is an important nuance. Our exhortations must be exercised with patience and encouragement. Otherwise, we risk leaning toward harsh moralism.
What? The full breadth (complete teaching) of Scripture. The temptation is to preach only those passages that are less offensive to ourselves or others.
Goal? To prepare others for Christ’s return.
Prayer: Father God, inspire and guide us to prepare and discern when and how to instruct others in your Word. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling