Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Wise May Bring Their Learning"1 (Lyrics)
2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. (NIV)
It was one of those games. Three-letter words, one after another. My Scrabble tiles were invariably either all vowels or all consonants. What a task trying to discover words that could link with other words already on the board! I was weary and getting quite fed up with the whole game, but I was determined to persevere and use as many letters and come up with as many words as possible. To my surprise and delight, I eventually used all the letters and even displayed a decent score at the end.
Likewise, Paul calls Timothy to persevere in his task, the preaching of the Word, with great patience and careful instruction. Preaching is not limited only to pastors, however. Each of us, as servants of Christ, carry the word of His forgiveness and love within our very beings. And each of us, like Timothy, is also to be prepared to share that word in season and out of season as we have opportunity. Often however, such sharing is much like my Scrabble game. Our opportunities are short, and it can be difficult to put the right word or words together for the right situation. If, though, we choose to persevere with great patience and careful instruction, it is amazing what God can do in other people's lives through our willingness. For each godly word has the power to build on previous godly words already embedded in that person's heart or mind. With each added word of truth, God's Holy Spirit has that much more opportunity to soften hardened, discouraged, and sorrowful hearts to the transformation power of Christ's love and forgiveness.
Therefore, today, let us choose to preach the Word; to be prepared in season and out of season; to correct, rebuke, and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction, knowing that one day, when our task of life is completed, we may stand before our Maker and hear these wondrous words: "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Prayer: Father God, enable each of us to make the most of the opportunities to share the love and forgiveness of Christ within us to all those we come into contact with today. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.