Summary: God saved us by His grace and has a wonderful ministry for each of our lives. The Bible says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." We all have a ministry unto
God saved us by His grace and has a wonderful ministry for each of our lives. The Bible says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." We all have a ministry unto good works and it is all part of God’s wonderful plan for our Christian life. Listen to this wonderful challenge God gives us concerning ministry in 2 Timothy 4:1-4:
"1. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2. Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4. And will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths."
The challenges of ministry involve the "what we are to do" in ministry. To fulfill our challenges as a Christian we must first understand what we are to do and then how we are to do it. Let’s examine the "what we are to do" or our responsibilities as a Christian. Many Christians ask this question: "I want to serve God but what am I suppose to do?" Well, the answer is in 2 Timothy 4:1-4. Here God gives us four challenges that also answer the question of "what we are to do" in living our Christian life.
THE FIRST CHALLENGE IS TO PREACH THE WORD. Listen again to
verse 1-2a: "1. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2. Preach the word...” There is a consciousness here of who is watching and before whom we labor and carry out our responsibilities as a Christian..
Paul says, "I charge thee." This was a serious moment, and Paul wanted Timothy to sense the importance of it. Two points need to be made here. First, Paul reminds Timothy that he carries on his Christian life in the sight of Christ Jesus, the One who is to be the Judge of all men. First Corinthians 4 says "We are made a spectacle before the world, before angels and before men." In Hebrews 11 the writer reminds us that “a great cloud of witnesses” surrounds us. Isn’t it strange that in our limited, finite observation of life we often feel like we have been abandoned to labor alone (I know I do at times), but we are not. Not only are we being observed and helped by these powerful forces for righteousness in the universe, but we are involved as Timothy was, with the greatest program the world has ever known. Second, Paul reminds Timothy they both would be judged one day when Jesus Christ appeared.
One day we will face God and our works, as a Christian will be judged. However, this truth offers great incentives for the Christian. For one thing, this realization should encourage us to do our work carefully and faithfully. It should also deliver us from the fear of man; for, after all, our final Judge is God. Finally, the realization that God will one day judge our works should encourage us to keep going even when we face difficulties. We are serving Him, not ourselves.
Notice Paul charges Timothy not only in the presence of God and of Christ, but "by his appearing and his kingdom." I believe the word "appearing" here can also be interpreted as a reference to the first coming of Jesus. When we involve ourselves in the hurts of others to speak a word of comfort and relief, and especially when we point men to the Savior who can change their lives, we are involved in this greatest of all human endeavors, in a work that eclipses in significance and importance anything that has ever happened in human history.
Paul says, "Preach the word...” The word "preach" means "to preach like a herald." This implies a messenger with a proclamation to be heard and heeded. Not to heed the ruler’s messenger was a serious offense in Paul’s day. This is also true today for those who do not heed the Word of God. The Word is what both sinners and saints need. It is a pity that many churches have substituted other things for the preaching of the Word, things that may be good in their place, but that are bad when they replace the proclamation of the Word. "Preaching the Word" is the one great essential that must be carried on to fulfill our challenge as a Christian and to advance the kingdom of God.