Leaving your Legacy . . . Be Patient
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2
Correct, rebuke, encourage; challenge, warn, urge (MSG). Paul ends his passionate charge to Timothy by drilling down on teaching what God has to say, not on what man wants to hear—correcting/challenging false impressions, rebuking/warning against wrong actions, encouraging/coming alongside to urge others on to do all things for the glory of God. Man has such a tendency to twist the truth of the Word.
After all, was that not the method of the serpent in Eden? God said to Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). In his crafty fashion the serpent did what we humans tend to do—he distorted Truth: “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1). And both Adam and Eve fell for it.
The people in Paul and Timothy’s time were falling for it too: You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy options that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their back on truth and chase mirages (2 Timothy 3-4, MSG). As are the people in our time.
God told Israel to eat, sleep, and breathe His commands: “Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; …from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, MSG). When they did not, subsequent generations strayed.
So too today in our land. The children have not heard and consequently do not know how to live God’s way. Spiritual junk food and catchy options abound. I shudder to think if we had not moved to the Bible belt, what would my children know of God?
Of course great patience in teaching the Word—not preaching, leave that to the preachers—must be the norm. Don’t ever quit (MSG)! Our understanding is so incremental. Just keep it simple (MSG). Proclaim God ladies, in your way, with your story. Let this be your legacy.