Thursday 27 February, 2014
2 Timothy 4:1-5
4 I give you a command in the sight of God and Christ Jesus. Christ will judge the living and the dead. Because he and his kingdom are coming, here is the command I give you. 2 Preach the word. Be ready to serve God in good times and bad. Correct people’s mistakes. Warn them. Cheer them up with words of hope. Be very patient as you do these things. Teach them carefully. 3 The time will come when people won’t put up with true teaching. Instead, they will try to satisfy their own longings. They will gather a large number of teachers around them. The teachers will say what the people want to hear. 4 The people will turn their ears away from the truth. They will turn to stories that aren’t completely true. 5 But I want you to keep your head no matter what happens. Don’t give up when times are hard. Work to spread the good news. Do everything God has given you to do.
Paul in this passage is giving Timothy his last ever command that we have recorded – Preach the word – proclaim the message. Proclaim the message – none of us really can escape that one.
Even more of a challenge to me has been the last phrase in verse 5. It’s been sitting with me for days as I have read & re-read this passage – “carry out your ministry fully” or in this version “Do everything God has given you to do”. Am I doing this? Have I let things slip through my hands that have been given me to do because I didn’t want to or because it wasn’t convenient or because I didn’t think I was up to it? I know I have.
Father, forgive me for all the times I have not done the things you have given me to do. I know you’re faithful even when I am not and ask that you would again bring opportunities along so that I can grow and do my part in building your Kingdom. Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson
This version of the Bible has seriously skewed the original meaning of the last part of v5. “Do everything God has given you to do” should be more like “Do to completion your duty”. As you have pointed out “carry out your ministry fully” is a better rendering.
The original word picture for ‘ministry’ or ‘duty’ is to “wait on tables” which is joined with the word “to fully carry out”. Ultimately, “wait on tables until it is no longer required”. The original context is Paul encouraging Timothy to “spread the Gospel message” but the intent applies to all form of church service.
That being said, I find your prayer valid, highly relevant and worth meditating on.
Love it suz!! I too need to ask forgiveness & keep asking & more importantly listen to what God has for me to do daily & have the perseverance & boldness to do it