Jeremiah 20-21 2 Timothy 4
“I give you a command in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, the One who will judge the living and the dead, and by his coming and his kingdom: Preach the Good News. Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching, because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:1-3 NCV)
I see this section as some of Paul’s last words before his execution. The command is timeless: Preach the Good News…preach the gospel. Be ready to preach at all times. Be ready to share God’s love in any circumstance. Teach them how to develop their relationship with God. Let them know when they’re wrong, but always seek to encourage them, showing great patience and godly teaching. Paul understood people and knew that their main “competition” in preaching the gospel would not be those opposed to the gospel, but those who would pervert the gospel by making it sound pleasing to the those inside and outside the church. A message that makes no call for people to change is no gospel. Paul knew that people would flock to a message that told them that they were fine just the way they were. He was right then; he’d be right now.
The gospel of salvation includes the truth that even though we were lost in our sin – our separation from God and even though this made us enemies with God, He still loved us and sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the penalty for sin. Jesus rose from the grave to prove His power over life and death. God invites us into a relationship with Him based on His grace. That grace forgives our sins and gives us power to overcome them. Because of that relationship and because of God’s power over sin and death, we fear neither sin nor death. We have an eternal home with God from the minute we accept His offer of grace. Any message that says that a person is fine the way they are and that they don’t need to change; any message that minimizes the effects of sin; any message that doesn’t reflect an understanding of the need for the cross is false teaching. True teaching calls us to repent from our sin and turn back to God. True teaching is that God loves us no matter what we’ve done, but that He also molds us into becoming more like His Son once we’ve entered into His grace. Be ready to grow in grace, be ready to share God’s good news with all people.
Lord, thank You for loving me even when I was separated from You by my sin. Thank You for showing me grace and welcoming me into a relationship with You as a friend. Thank You for molding me into the person You created me to be. Help me to share Your love with others at all times and in all ways.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.