2 Timothy 4:2
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.”
It is said that St. Francis of Assisi once said “Preach the Gospel at all times, use words when necessary.”
The author of 2 Timothy is instructing us today, La Junta in 2018, to preach the gospel at all times – through our words, our actions, and all manners of our lives.
Life is filled with seasons. Ecclesiastes 3: 1 reminds us that there is a season for every activity under the heavens. Our scripture reading today adamantly reminds us that we must not only correct and rebuke but also encourage. We must be encouragers with patience and with careful instruction.
I was a manager for many years in business and I deeply understand exactly what the author is trying to help us understand. We must correct but we must encourage. If you have children you know exactly what the author is trying to help us understand. You can’t only correct your children – you must tell them all the wonderful things they are doing. If you don’t hear encouragement throughout the process, they won’t become confident in all the things they are doing so well.
Have you ever had a teacher that nurtured you with firmness but also love? Have you ever had a mentor that was able to speak truth to you in a way that no body else could. My uncle was that for me – my dad would tell me something until he was blue in the face and my uncle would tell me and I would say “Ok.” I know it frustrated my dad but I also think he grew to appreciate my special relationship with my uncle. He was able to rebuke me but do so with incredible encouragement and hope. I hope you have those people in your lives.
I think Grandparents have this licked – they get to spoil rotten but seem to be able to balance the free for all just short of barely keeping grandchildren from getting hurt, maimed, or killed. The rest is on the parents when they are shipped home.
I hope this scripture reminds you to live out the Gospel and be in love with this world. Love others enough to care to challenge them with love, rebuke them with encouragement, and correct not for the sake of correcting, but for them to grow abundantly into the grace, love, and mercy of God.
Pray: Gracious and loving God, stir in us new ways of engaging our community. Help us to live into the promises of the Gospel, loving our neighbors enough to challenge them and help them grow. Let us not settle into indifference but rather rise towards hope.
Read: 1 Corinthians 13, Proverbs 21 (especially 21:13-18)
Act: Remind someone this week how exactly they inspire you. It could be at Walmart, at your work, at church on Sunday morning, or on a walk. People must inspire you – why not tell them this week. Do it as often this week as it continues to be authentic.
Yourself: Write a poem this week. Doesn’t have to be extravagant or long or deep and I invite you to send it to us via email or post it on our Facebook page. It can be a prayer or funny or deep/meaningful. Just write your thoughts in the form of a prayer. If you send it to us, unless you tell us otherwise, we will post it for you.
Rev Lou Ward
Summer Bible Studies:
Sunday - 4:00 PM
Monday - 1:00 PM
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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Instagram: La Junta UMC
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Or use our contact form.
Spread the word and raise awareness about what we do. The best way to do it is through social networking!