The Testimony of God’s Mission
If you missed Monday’s important introductory note about the upcoming change regarding Time With God, please see it here: http://twg.austinridge.org/sola-scriptura.
How many of us would say that we study the Bible with a focused desire to readily communicate it with others? It often seems that many of us read Scripture solely for our own personal benefit.
Time spent studying the Bible is a good and necessary investment in growing our relationship with God. However, as people who live redeemed because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, our relationship with Scripture goes far beyond just a personal focus. Once we understand that the whole of Scripture is based on the redemptive mission of God, then we have another reason to be intentional about taking the time to study it. If Scripture communicates the heart of God and testifies to his mission for the world, then shouldn’t we come to it purposefully seeking these things as well?
Read the Word
2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV)
4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
- In verse two, what are the five things Paul commanded Timothy to do? Whom and what imminent event were the motivating factors for Timothy to “preach the word” (vs. 1)?
- What was another reason for Timothy to proclaim God’s truth (vss. 3-4)? What three things did Paul say that people would do to avoid listening to sound doctrine? Is there any area of your life where you do these things?
- What practical advice did Paul give to Timothy to help steer his personal life and ministry (vs. 5)? Is your own life and ministry characterized by these attitudes and actions?
- How are you making God’s message of the gospel known? Do you have a continual readiness to share God’s Word?
Respond to God
Be ready, patient, and self-controlled. Be willing to suffer. Follow through until the end. Paul wrote these words urging Timothy onward in the mission of heralding God’s message. And as we read these God-breathed words almost two millennia later, we receive the same command to share the news of God’s redemptive mission—continually and instructively, with readiness, patience, and self-control—even in times of personal suffering or when others turn away. And we do so because we believe in an ever-present Savior, to whom we will give an account one day.
The whole of Scripture testifies about the redemptive mission of God, and those who have believed in the gospel have a responsibility and role in the realization of his mission. We are to live the gospel, “preach[ing] the word” through both words and actions. Through studying, knowing, and proclaiming Scripture, we know God and make him known. The Bible must always define and direct the mission of Jesus followers. It equips us to live with readiness—being able to communicate the hope and truth found in God’s Word. As believers, our call is to “preach the word,” but we cannot expect to convey God’s redemptive heart to the world if we have not immersed ourselves in what Scripture says about it.
- Commit to studying God’s Word so that you will be ready, in any season, to proclaim his redemptive mission.
- Ask God to use you as part of his mission as you live out the gospel.
**Reminder: After today, Time With God is taking an extended pause. For other daily Bible study options, please visit the following links: