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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Correct, Rebuke, Encourage

2 Timothy 4:1-5

Verse 5  But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.


    Another way we need to be preparing for the Second Advent has to do with our activities while we wait.  Just as the people of God who were awaiting the First Advent still had obligations to fill in their spiritual lives we also have things God is requiring of us.  Of course these things aren’t about working for His favor or with hopes of making Him love us and save us.  No, these acts are because of our relationship with Him.  They are the things which mark us as His beloved children.


    This letter was written to Timothy from his dear friend and mentor, Paul.  We need to keep that in mind as some of the specifics in the letter are for Timothy while the broader understanding is for us all.  For example not all of us are called to be preachers but all of us are called to speak the truth of the Gospel in every season of life.  Paul wanted his young friend to understand the importance of living a life which points people to the God of heaven.


    Paul also instructed Timothy to be prepared for a few different things – to correct, rebuke and encourage.  This was not to be done in a bossy, “holier than thou” way but with patience and careful instruction.  Paul was reminding his young friend to remember the Great Commission given by Jesus.  To make disciples we must help them see things the way the Lord sees them according to His teaching and the law.  We can’t do that if we don’t know those things ourselves.


    These activities of discipleship are not to be addressed with everyone we meet or in every conversation or social media post we see.  Paul was instructing Timothy on how to address the people in the church in Ephesus.  There were issues amongst the members which needed attended to.  Certain people needed correcting and rebuking and as you can imagine it wasn’t going over well, especially since Timothy wasn’t very old.


    What does it mean for us to be ready to correct, rebuke and encourage?  It simply means being able to stand up for God’s standards when other believers are not living as they should.  It may also mean saying something to a friend so they don’t continue down the same path of sin they are on, knowing they may not accept it.  It also means we need to be prepared to accept correction in a way that proves God’s way is most important to us.


Making It Personal

    Do you feel comfortable speaking truth of correction, rebuke and encouragement into other’s lives?  Are you a willing recipient of correction or rebuke?  What does accepting correction say about your relationship with God?


Making It Personal Kids

    Do you like being told you aren’t doing good things?  Do you change or keep doing what you want to do?  Have you ever told a friend they shouldn’t do something because it wasn’t something Jesus would like?


Closing Prayer

    Father, You have created us to have responsibilities to each other.  Give us wisdom in how to approach things with each other, the wisdom to know which items need to be addressed and the courage to do it.  In Jesus’ name, amen.


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