I Challenge You! I Dare You!

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, becausethey have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

and they will turntheir ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

I challenge you to:

  1. Preach the Word! – This requires careful study of the Word to know what to preach as well as constantly being attuned to the Holy Spirit’s guiding as to what to preach, and living a life worthy of being listened to.
  2. Be ready in season and out of season. – This “being ready” not only means being prepared and knowledgeable, but also living in such a way that at any given time, in any given circumstance that we are “caught” in – we are living like we believe we are God’s.
  3. Convince.  This one seems self-explanatory, but it’s crucial to know what you believe and why you believe it.  You can’t convince someone of something that you don’t know.
  4. Rebuke.  The definition of rebuke is “sharp, stern disapproval; reproof; reprimand”.  When is the last time that you were rebuked, or that you rebuked anyone?
  5. Exhort.  The definition of exhort is “to give urgent advice, recommendations, or warnings.”  Note the word urgent.  Why is this word used here?  When we see the consequences of sin, should we not then “exhort” fellow Christians – for them to avoid painful consequences?  Would we not want someone to warn us?
  6. Be watchful in all things. As you can see, this whole passage is about being diligent and intentional in our Christian walk.  When you are watchful and focused on your mark, you stray much less.
  7. Endure afflictions.  How many of us try to minimize discomfort at any cost?  This clearly tells us that the “easy” way is not the best.  God works through our afflictions, so if we minimalize them, we minimalize His work.
  8. Do the work of an evangelist.  This is a clear mandate given to each and every follower of Christ.  The Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20 (Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you)  is for everyone that bears the heart of Christ.
  9. Fulfill your ministry.  I love this!  Fulfill your ministry.  Each of us has a mission field.  At any given time, at any given place, in any given circumstance, that mission field is where we are!!!  This includes all of the “interruptions” God brings into our day. All of the circumstances we find ourselves in provide us with opportunities to show God’s love – to be His hands and feet.  When we are in tune to our “calling” for each situation, we fulfill our ministry.

So, I challenge you!  I double-dog dare you to live this out today….and tomorrow….and the next day……….

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