Through the Word in 2020 #101 – Stick to The Path


For the audio Podcast of this and every episode, find us on Breaker, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify or HERE

If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at reid.ferguson@gmail.com, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.

Pastors, like all other Christians, suffer from a lack of having good metrics – for lack of a better word – a way of measuring whether or not we are doing well. In ministry, it is easy to look to things in typical secular “success” models: Are we liked? Is the Church growing in numbers? Are we getting recognition from a wider circle? That kind of stuff.

And it’s no different for the average Christian either. Do we score ourselves on sins put to death? Spiritual duties regularly attended to? You know, how much time in prayer? How many weekly services attended? Quotas on Bible reading? That kind of stuff.

This is part of why I’ve come to love 2 Timothy so much. Instead of setting up a score card for him, Paul just gives him a series of exhortations. And they can apply to both those engaged in some sort of ministry – and to Joe and Jane Average Christian.

More on that today on Through the Word in 2020. I’m Reid Ferguson.

Job 14–18
; Luke 12:1–7
and 2 Timothy 2
round out today’s reading. And as I said, I am particularly drawn to Paul’s approach to helping Timothy by in effect saying: “keep to this road, and don’t worry about measuring success.” And it’s true of the whole Christian life. The question isn’t – how can I measure my success or progress? But rather – “Am I on the right track?”

Here’s a rapid fire review. But I hope you’ll take some time to tease these out on your own.

1. (1.6-7) Rekindle the fire / “fan into flame” – Don’t let the Spirit’s flame die!

2. (1.8) Resist Timidity / “do not be ashamed of the Gospel” – Don’t lose boldness!

3. (1.13-14) Regard the standard / “follow the pattern of sound words” – Don’t compromise!

4. (2.1) Renew yourself in Christ’s favor / “be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” – Don’t rely on yourself! Always rest in grace alone, not your performance.

5. (2.2) Recommit these truths to others / Pass on Scripture truth. And provide and pray for those who do so more formally.

6. (2.3-6) Rise to the Rigors / “share in suffering” – Don’t become soft! The Christian life IS hard.

7. (2.8-9) “Remember Jesus Christ” / Don’t forget whom it is you serve! And all He has done and is doing on your behalf.

8. (2.10-13) Recall my Reasons / Bless other Christians and don’t forget the lost souls of men! The lost aren’t the enemy. The elect yet to be resurrected are buried there.

9. (2.14) “Remind them of these things” / Don’t stop rehearsing the truth! Remind each other of sound Biblical truth whenever possible.

10. (2.14-19) Require them to avoid word wars / Don’t get bogged down in that stuff! Timely – isn’t it?

11. (2.15) Resolve to show yourself approved to God in the Word / Learn to study the Word well.

12. (2.16-19) “Refuse irreverent babble” / The world is filled with pundits and machine gun opinion factories. Don’t get sucked in.

13. (2.22) Run from youthful passions by running to Godly ones

14. (2.23) Reject ignorant controversies / Don’t get derailed by them! ‘nuff said?

15. (3.1-9) Recognize the Times / Don’t get disheartened by defectors!

16. (3.14-17) Retain the essentials / “continue in what you have heard” – Don’t move from the Scriptures!

17. (4.1-4) Remain Ready / “preach the word” – Don’t stop preaching! Especially keep to the Scriptures when the wheels seem to be coming off the World around you.

18. 4:9-13 / Refresh Other Laborers / Don’t Forget your fellow laboring Christians.

19. (4:14-15) / Refrain from Opposers / Don’t be gullible! Avoid enemies of the Cross.

20. (4:19) / Reaffirm Relationships / Don’t get isolated!

Stick to these, and you are doing well Believer.

God willing, we’ll be back Monday.

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