So Now What To Do?
Another new year goes by. Whether we liked the past year or not, we all look forward to new and better things. Priorities are set and plans are made. Maybe this year, things will be better.
What to do next is never clear. So let’s look to the Apostle Paul for some guidance.
Shortly after dictating his second letter to Timothy, Paul was martyred. In his letter, Paul makes an intense appeal to Timothy to be faithful to Christ and to Preach the Word. We should view Paul’s admonitions as more than just good suggestions or New Year resolutions of sorts. They are nothing short of commands for all of us to take up.
“Preach the Word, be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. ” ~2 Timothy 4:2
Preaching the Word carries some implications. It implies that one must know the Word, know its applicability to life and know how to make it understandable to those who God has placed in our lives. While it is important to impart knowledge, theory does little to change the heart.
To be prepared at all times is in reference to our attitude toward how hard we are willing to work or how convenient it may be to fit into our busy lives. Paul is telling us that it is not our role to adjust the message to one of convenience. He calls us to use the inspired Word of God as God intended, not filtered with opinions, not made to fit our schedules, not convenient for our busy lives.
Paul warns Timothy that the time will come when people will not want the Word of God — and that time is NOW! It is easy to soften the Word but in verse 4, Paul tells us that “They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
So what should we do next? Start preparing ourselves to learn and spread God’s message of hope, love and salvation.
Do you have a plan to increase your knowledge of God’s Word?
Have you taken the time to reflect on your own faith walk — what your life was before accepting God’s gift of salvation and what your life is like now?
Can you defend God’s Word?
Do you have a mentor?
Do you have an apprentice?
Do you have someone in your life that will hold you accountable?
Is sharing your faith with those around you a priority in your life?
Are you willing to place your trust in God and Christ?
Turning Away From Truth
As people turn away from Truth, they begin to believe in fables. Fables let people believe that God accepts our poor choices of priorities, that God understands our need for consumptive lifestyles and fables even let us believe that Hope and Love can be spread with little more than just letting others see how we live our life.
Yes, letting others see the Gospel’s message through how we live is a good thing to do but it is not a replacement for pointed personal testimony and Biblical teaching.
Why then, after all that Paul had done to promote Christ, all of his knowledge and experience, were his last words to Timothy, “Preach the Word?” Because Paul knew that it was the only pathway to “changing the heart.”
Everyone of us is called to share our unique gifts to the world around us. We are called to encourage those who can teach to do so and to those who can preach to preach. And make a New Year’s resolution to encourage yourself to share your faith with all around you.
Your tip, therefore, is to tell others why you love God, why you love Christ and why God and Christ love them.