Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 – Day 347.Dec 14 – An Urgent Charge

Passage for Study: 2nd Timothy 1 - 16 … Passage linked for study …

My Journal for Today: Paul closes out his life, writing a letter to a young mentee and pastor, Timothy, giving him a charge, which we read in today’s passage, … a challenge we all should take to heart. And I can just sense some of you saying, “But Bill, I’m no Pastor; … I’m not a preacher.” And yes, most certainly Paul’s charge to Timothy is for those who are called to preach from the pulpit or to pastor a church or to teach God’s word. However, as Swindoll points out this morning, in another sense the charge is for all of us because of another charge we Christians have been given by Jesus, Himself, in the Great Commission and Commandment (see Matt. 28: 19 – 20 and Acts 1: 8). And I won’t link you to those passages; because I hope you have them memorized as the charge from God, Himself, for ALL CHRISTIANS to share the Gospel, to know and teach God’s truth, and to witness the life-changing power of Christ to any and all in our lives.

And to support this, I also refer you to go to the charge made by another Apostle, Peter, in 1st Peter 3: 15, where he wrote … ”But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

My friend, in a sense we’re all to be like Timothy from Paul’s charge to take Christ’s Gospel truth to anyone and everyone in our lives. We’re all to live the truth and speak the truth; and that means we’re to take what we glean from our churches and most certainly from our in depth study of God’s word and tell anyone who’ll listen how Christ has changed our lives. We’re all to share the truth that God can change the life of anyone who believes and confesses that our Lord came to save them from their sins.

And Swindoll is also right today as he indicts the post-modern church, which all too often is presenting a watered-down, seeker-friendly, and lukewarm message, which tickles the ears of those who come to church to be entertained rather than to be challenged by the mirror of God’s truth. Even the preachers and Pastors of churches today are falling way short of Paul’s charge to Timothy. But we all can be and should be preachers, teachers, and pastors in our worldly sphere of influence. We all can be the Bible for those at work who will only know God’s truth and learn of His Gospel by observing how we Christians live and from hearing our testimonies. All Christian parents can be pastors, preachers, or teachers in our homes and families to our kids and grandkids who need to see/hear God’s truth being lived out in the lives of their parents and grandparents.

My dear fellow Christian, we all have a mission field in our friends or neighbors, our co-workers, and most certainly in our families. And most fellow believers who read this know of someone in our lives who needs to hear our testimony or who needs to know the truth of God’s salvation message. There are those in our lives who need to “read” the Gospel by seeing it lived out in our lives where they can hear our testimony – a story of how Christ changed us and how we now have the hope of heaven rather than the reality of hell for eternity.

As this year closes out, will we take Paul’s challenge to Timothy to heart and go share Christ with someone who needs to hear about Him?

My Prayer for Today: Lord, give me Your divine opportunities to share Your truth and Your good news with others; and give me the boldness and words to do so in Your Name and for Your glory. Amen

Blogger’s Note: Today Pastor Swindoll ends his devotional study and exposition of the life of the Apostle Paul. Tomorrow and through the remaining days of December, he concentrates on a few messages involving three more brief character studies of some men of the Bible who illustrated pertinent and powerful points we all need to learn.

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