What do you have? What is your most valuable asset? What is your most valuable possession? How do you measure value? Would others consider it valuable?
- worth a great deal of money:“a valuable antique”NOUN
- a thing that is of great worth, especially a small item of personal property:“put all your valuables in the hotel safe”
Do you know what someone means if they want “the book“? How about if someone said they wanted to read from “the good book“? Do you realize the value of the Bible? Do you realize what you have available to you through the Bible? It’s God’s instruction manual! It’s God’s promises! It’s God’s love letter to us! It’s God’s word speaking over us!
The greatest possession we can have is a relationship with Jesus! The greatest gift we have been given is the gift of Jesus! It’s worth is beyond measure! It’s value is too great to calculate!
So, let’s live out our lives in a way that will glorify God and lift Him up, making Jesus known in and through the way we live our lives! Let’s not allow life to rob us of His truth, His love, His promises, His plans, and His purpose for us! Let’s make Jesus known in the world around us and that it is all about starting and having a relationship with Him for the rest of our lives! Will you speak truth in love?
7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
–from 2 Timothy 4:7
Your Most Valuable Possession
- Love God’s words … Psalm 119:97-104
- Proclaim God’s words … 2 Timothy 4:1-22
The apostle Paul urges, ‘proclaim the Message’ (v.2a, MSG). This passage is then full of practical advice on how to go about doing this.
Paul writes to Timothy, ‘I give you this charge’ (v.1). His charge to Timothy is to be an evangelist and a preacher. According to the New Testament this is also the task of every Christian.
Speak about Jesus
Paul says preach ‘the Word’ (v.2a). The Greek word here is ‘logos’, which was used to describe Jesus in John 1:1. The good news is all about Jesus.
When we hear the word ‘preach’ we often think of a person in robes addressing a group of convinced believers within the precinct of the church. The word Paul uses here means a herald who delivers a message that has been given to them by the king. It is an ‘up to the minute’ relevant message. You may not be a ‘preacher’ but you can be a herald of the good news about Jesus.
It is important to be prepared and ready to take advantage of every opportunity God gives you to speak about your faith. Paul writes, ‘be prepared in season and out of season’ (2 Timothy 4:2) – that is, when it is convenient and when it is not. The word he uses for ‘prepared’ has military connotations. He is saying, stay at your post. Be on duty. On guard. Be ready. Be at hand.
Speak to the whole person
Paul’s message is holistic. First, it appeals to the mind (v.5). He says ‘correct’ (v.2), which could be translated as ‘prove’. We are to teach the gospel with ‘careful instruction’ (v.2). Our presentation of the gospel should never be devoid of content. Paul’s message is based on evidence and reason. Indeed, Paul says to Timothy, ‘keep your head’ (v.5).
Second, it is an appeal to the heart and conscience. He says, ‘rebuke’ (v.2). Reason is not enough – a change of heart is required.
Third, it is an appeal to the will: ‘encourage’. We need to get alongside people and help them with ‘great patience’ (v.2). This is a spirit that never gets irritated, never despairs and never regards a person as beyond salvation.
Keep speaking the truth
You may be tempted to change the content to what your hearers want to hear, or to what you think they are more likely to respond to, but keep passing on the same message that has been handed down to you. In spite of the fact that some people may prefer ‘spiritual junk food – catchy opinions that tickle their fancy’ to ‘solid teaching’ (v.3, MSG) – keep proclaiming the truth of the gospel.
Paul writes to Timothy, ‘do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry’ (v.5c). Telling others is your responsibility before God. Jesus is coming back to judge and reign (v.1). What you do now has eternal consequences. You are going to have to give an account.
Therefore, be willing to endure hardship (v.5). If you preach this message, you will be misunderstood, misrepresented and misinterpreted. Paul has been deserted by Demas (v.10). He has been strongly opposed by Alexander, the metal worker who did him a great deal of harm (v.14). No one stood up for Paul in his hour of greatest need (v.16).
Never give up. Listen to Paul’s words to Timothy as if they were addressed to you: ‘make the spreading of the good news your life work’ (v.5, JBP). This is what Paul did. He was willing to be poured out like a drink offering (v.6).
Now he says to Timothy, ‘You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting – God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming’ (vv.6–8, MSG).
Know that the Lord is on your side
In spite of all the opposition and difficulties, one thing makes all the difference: ‘The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength’ (v.17). This is so that ‘the message might be fully proclaimed and all Gentiles might hear it’ (v.17). Paul is confident about his future, even though he is facing the immediate threat of death (v.18). His greatest desire for Timothy and the other believers with him is that they are intimately connected to Jesus. His final words are, ‘The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you’ (v.22).
- Declare God’s words … Jeremiah 51:15-64
Today’s reading from God’s Word…