Be Prepared

Series: MasterClass | Week 10: Be Real

Day Five 2 Timothy 4:2-5

2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.
– 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (NLT)

Learn From the Word
In the apostle Paul’s final letter to his young protegee, Timothy, he warns him about something he expected to happen in Timothy’s life and ministry. People will look for false teachers. They will seek after the kind of teaching that isn’t sound doctrine, is contrary to God’s Word, and isn’t the full gospel. They do this, Paul says, because they want to follow their own desires. Paul sandwiches his warning to Timothy inside two verses of instruction to him. He says to preach the gospel – all of it – using it to correct, rebuke, and encourage his people. And he tells him to be prepared for the suffering that will come with this, to stay clear-minded, and to keep going.

Put It Into Practice
Spend a few minutes now putting yourself in the place of both Timothy and the people in the churches he led. Like them, are you prepared and “armed” with the gospel to correct, rebuke, and encourage others? Are you doing the work of telling others the Good News? Like the people in Timothy’s churches, are you hungry for the truth from God’s Word, or are you seeking after the kind of teaching that tickles your ears? As one commentator said, “They get their ears tickled with the language and accent of the person, abandoning the good and faithful preacher for the fine speaker.” Ask God to continue to change you and sanctify you from the inside out.

For Families with Kids at Home
Ask your kids, “Have you ever been told something that was necessary or important, but you didn’t want to hear it?” For instance, “No, you can’t have cotton candy for dinner,” or, “Yes, you need to wear a coat when you go out in the cold.” 

Sometimes the Bible tells us things we don’t always want to hear or things that are hard to do, but God crafted Scripture the way He did because He cares about us and wants the best for us. So when we hear or read something in the Bible that is difficult or that we might even disagree with, our job is listen to what the Bible really says and obey, not tell ourselves that the Bible says something else.

Tell your kids about one of the most difficult lessons you’ve had to learn from Scripture. It might be loving your enemies or maybe a fruit of the Spirit you realized you needed help from God in developing more. When your kids see you learning and growing in response to Scripture, it will challenge them to learn and grow too!