Paul challenged Timothy to “preach the Word.” At that time, Paul was not under house arrest, but was actually in prison awaiting execution. He knew that there would eventually be a turning from the truth. Obviously, not everyone turned to Christ when Paul preached. It seems that Paul’s warning involved religious people that appeared to be drawn to the truth, but would eventually seek teachers of their personal persuasion. They would gravitate to preachers that would tell them what they wanted to hear. So Paul admonished Timothy to stay with truth, regardless of the changing winds that would blow around him.
As proclaimers of the truth, we must not be sidetracked by the desires of others, but rather maintain a straight line with the truth. Paul did qualify his charge: Timothy was to preach the truth with “longsuffering.” Examining his ministry in Corinth would reveal Paul’s ability to deal with a disobedient people while exhibiting longsuffering among them. He also wanted Timothy to preach “doctrine.” The early believers “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” If we are going to say that the Lord said a certain thing, we should know that He said it. I heard a preacher say, “I am going to preach Isaiah 6 in a way that you have never heard it before.” Well, there was a reason that we had never heard it preached that way before! He ignored the Bible completely to say what he wanted to say.
There are many good things to do, but for us, there is nothing more important that sharing divine truth. Many have fallen by the wayside, and unfortunately, many more will in the days to come. Let’s do all that we can to make a difference by consistently proclaiming the precious Word that has been faithfully handed down to us. We are called on to endure affliction, work as an evangelist, and make full proof of our ministries.
We know, as Paul did, that we are soon to be in the presence of our Lord. Can we be as confident as Paul when facing that reality? Yes, we can be, if we handle the truth as he did. We must establish and maintain the priorities in our life as Paul did so long ago. The world needs the truth today as much as any generation before us.
I pray that the Lord will bless your labor of love this month. Digest His wonderful truth and pass it on to those among whom God has called you to minister.
In His Service,
Danny A. Whetstone