We return this week to the Book of Timothy, Chapter Four. We need to be reminded that judgement before Christ is a certainty for all of us. There are always motivators in life, those things that take us down different paths. For Christians those things we do should be presentable to Christ. The criticism or judgement of others should not be a motivator of our behavior. We can remove a great deal of the uncertainty in our lives if we sought the leading of the spirit in many of the things we do. Perhaps we would be less offended by others criticisms, be less likely to develop the self-importance that fosters an attitude of personal prestige and can lead to being self-centered. We should not expect or require thanks for every right thing we do. Paul goes on to encourage Timothy to be prepared for the return of Christ. He is saying to Timothy, “do your work in a way that all of the people  will be ready whenever and wherever he appears.” We should live our lives in a way that we will be ready for the coming of Christ. We should remember that the day is coming that all the kingdoms of this world will be the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. For us to become citizens of his kingdom, our lives must stand up to his judgement making it possible for us to become a citizen of the Kingdom of God.

As we continue on in these first five verses the message from Paul moves to the duties of Christian Teachers. It is necessary that we convey an enthusiastic effort to share the word and we must be able to express the message with an urgency that compels others to listen. The other point to be made here is the value of persistence. We should not only be aware of but should always seek, or even dare I say, make opportunities to speak about Christ. We should always remember we must be courteous and respect others time and place. Sin is to be addressed as such and it is the Christians job to create an awareness of sin. Ours is not a goal to condemn but rather to establish or restore people to a relationship with Christ. It is difficult to compel people to see things as they really are and it takes patience and love to do that. I have written before how it seems that the church no longer has a place at the table. There was a time when the opinions and objections to questionable acts or policies were given by the church with fearlessness and many times that made a difference in the quality of life for all people. The church has lost its voice when it comes to speaking up about those things that marginalize God’s word, fearing to rebuke those acts that challenge Christian values. Here we must be careful to not become moral judges and juries but it is our duty to speak up when a word needs to be spoken. It is important to tie every rebuke with an encouragement. A Christian has an obligation to exhort others to do better and to help in any way they can. We must learn to believe in others because we have a resolute belief in the changing power of Christ. Here is a thought for your consideration. In Timothy’s day and even now in our day, we are surrounded by people who encourage us to believe we should be able to do whatever we want to do. It is our right or to put it as we have heard it said “it is our God given right.” Such should not be the plight of we who would answer the saviors call……”run from these people for they and those of like mind are a menace to Christianity and society in general.”(DBS)

Next week we will return to the fourth chapter of Timothy. Come back, there is always room in the Pew.