Faithful teaching – Part Four (2 Tim 4:3-5)

We ended last week with Paul’s charge to Timothy, encouraging him to follow Paul’s example in being a faithful teacher. As well as teaching by example, teaching confidence in the truth, and teaching behaviour (not just knowledge), we saw that faithful teachers continue teaching even when the teaching isn’t received well. We proclaim the message “in season and out of season” – but, we were reminded, with “great patience and careful instruction.”

Today, we see Paul telling Timothy why the season for God’s word may be unfavourable:

Continue reading

Ministry is Sacrifice (2 Tim 4:6-8)

Over the last two days we’ve seen Paul warn Timothy that if he fulfils his commission to be a faithful teacher, he’ll face opposition. He’ll need to endure. And so, at the end of this charge to Timothy, he reflects on his own life. His endurance. And the sacrifice that is Christian ministry.

Ministry is sacrifice

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.

Continue reading

Enduring in Ministry – Part One (2 Tim 4:9-22)

The last part of Paul’s second letter to Timothy is what’s often called the personalia section of a letter. I like to call it “epistolary shrapnel.” It’s the bit you don’t want to have to preach on because most of it seems very specific to the first-century situation, there’s often little in the way of a unifying theme, and it’s full of foreign names you have to pronounce like you know what you’re doing. And that’s where we’re at today.

But take heart: I think there is a unifying theme. It’s just a bit of a depressing one, in one sense, in that it shows Paul being let down by his fellow Christians. But it also reminds us not to allow the behaviour of other people in our church or in our ministry team to determine how we minister, or how we evaluate our ministry, or whether in fact we endure in ministry.

Continue reading

Enduring in Ministry – Part Two (2 Tim 4:9-22)

We’ve come to our final day looking at 2 Timothy. Yesterday, we saw that our endurance in ministry shouldn’t be left up to other Christians. Because they’ll often let us down. They let Paul down, so why should we expect it to be any different with us?

But today, we look at the flip-side to this: how other Christians can often be a great support in ministry, helping us to endure.

Continue reading