2 Timothy 4:1–8 (ESV)
Preach the Word
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.
I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there
is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
We live in a world where we want to hear what we want, not what God wants. Joel Osteen is a prime example of someone who twists and rewords scripture to support his point… even if his point is not scriptural.
People hear what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. There is a difference. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Faced with the thought of his imminent death, Paul impresses upon Timothy the importance of carrying on where Paul will
leave off, preaching the Word faithfully. We should not judge our pastors’ preaching on whether they say the things we personally like to hear. We should judge preaching instead on God’s Word. God’s Word sometimes cuts like a knife when it
exposes our sin. But after the Law comes the Gospel of peace, binding up the wounds inflicted by the Law with the sweet Gospel, which proclaims Christ’s forgiveness for all our sins.”
I pray: Make me an ever-ready hearer of Your Word, O Lord. Do not let me seek preaching that satisfies my sinful desires, but give me preaching that will continually return me to the forgiveness You have given me through
Your Son. Amen.