Daily Thoughts : March 12th
2 Tim 4:5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
These are Paul's words of encouragement to Timothy, some of which would apply to him specifically and not to us. Some of us may be evangelists but most of us are just witnesses (Acts 1:8). For those of us that have the privilege of having a God-given ministry (see, for example, Eph 4:11) these words do come as a reminder that gifts are imparted, not for looking at but for using. Tiredness and enemy attacks can wear us down and we may need to rest, recoup and re-energise with God's grace. But after that we are to get on and ‘discharge our ministry'.
But it is the opening exhortation that is interesting, isn't it. It follows immediately after a warning to watch out for people teaching false doctrines and leading people astray. The call is not to be put off. “Keep your head” means be alert, think carefully, assess what is going on around you, what is being said, and resist the temptation to succumb to wrong teaching. Instead we are to remain steadfast in the truth, being unmovable and steady, not becoming fearful or worrying, or wavering.
Within this call there is obviously an exhortation to learn to distinguish truth from error and to hold on to truth. Also implied in it, is the outcome that when you do, you will be able to stand steady and be unmoved by that which is false, that which is error. May it be like that for us.
I think these words are particularly apt in our age which is characterised by busy-ness and pressures that cause weariness and the temptation to look for the easy way through. A phrase we haven't noted is 'endure hardship' which reminds us that sometimes in the Christian life it is a battle and we receive opposition spiritually and perhaps physically and certainly emotionally. Handle it, says Paul, don't let it get you down, rise above it, keep doing the stuff, be a conqueror.
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