Daily Devotion for Friday 19th April 2024

Friday 19th April

 

Reading 2 Timothy 4:1-5

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you:  proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

Reflection

Paul is drawing towards the end of his life and is imprisoned yet rather than become despondent or feel sorry for himself he remains fully motivated to see more and more people hear Jesus’ message. During his life and evangelistic ministry Paul has mostly worked with other people; collaboration remains important in our day. Indeed, when some looked to use him to justify their groups or disunity, he responded by writing in 1 Corinthians 1:13 ‘Is Christ divided?’

As my ministry has moved into its later years, I have become ever more convinced of how important it is to invest time in mentoring others. Sadly, I need to confess that at a moment when I felt especially led to do that, I allowed other stuff and expectations by others in the church to squeeze it out of my agenda – to my regret. Paul, however, had worked alongside and mentored Timothy, being constantly concerned that he be equipped and strengthened to carry on ministry and his own calling.

I was recently reminded that, at the beginning of this century, I had the privilege of co-authoring a report ‘Growing up to the role and recognition of Evangelists in the URC’, during my time on the URC Life and Witness Committee. It is fascinating to read this now in the context of our current reviews of church life review and special category ministry, and as we look to pioneering and creating new Christian communities:  “We need to recognize the importance of giftedness: being an evangelist is not simply the exercise of a personal interest or enthusiasm, but a response to the calling and equipping of the Holy Spirit.”

Our verses today remind us about the core values of an evangelistic ministry; proclamation, resilience, patience, and sharing the faith ‘in season and out of season.’ Finally let us remember that the vocation of all Christians to witness to God’s grace and power in the gospel is not diminished by the calling of evangelists.

Prayer

God who gives good gifts
may your Holy Spirit rekindle 
your gifts that are within me and your Church.
Thank you for those you have called as Evangelists. 
may you continue to raise up and equip 
people of faith, integrity, and accountability, 
to pioneer and reach out with your love and good news 
in favourable or unfavourable times.
May we know your wisdom and discernment
about how we communicate.  Amen

Today’s writer

The Revd Eddie Boon is the Thames North Synod Discipleship Enabler

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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