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About-Him.Com Devotional 08-03-2013
Do the Work of an Evangelist
Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake
When the Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, He told him that he was a chosen vessel to preach His name to both Jews and Gentiles and to kings. At that time the Lord showed him that it wouldn’t be an easy task. He would have a lifetime of suffering as he preached the name of Jesus to an antagonistic world (Ac. 9:15-16).
2 Corinthians 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 [In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren;
Paul fulfilled his charge to preach the name of Jesus. Several times the Jewish religious establishment tried to kill him when he preached that Jesus was the Messiah (Ac. 9:23, 21:31, 23:15, 25:3, 28:21). They mocked when told that the resurrected Jesus was appointed by God to be the judge of the whole earth (Ac. 17:31-32). People are still mocking today, aren’t they?
Paul traveled to the ends of the known world to preach the gospel to any who would hear. When support was lacking he labored with his own hands as a tentmaker (Ac. 18:3). In the text above, he itemizes the things he endured for the sake of the gospel. At his conversion the Lord had shown showed him these things that he would suffer and he didn’t shirk from any of it. He, like other early disciples considered it an honor to be considered worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus (Ac. 5:41; 2 Th. 1:5 ). At his appearance before King Agrippa, he stated that he had not been disobedient to the heavenly vision that he received on the road to Damascus (Ac. 26:19).
As he was waiting for his execution, Paul wrote to Timothy who had traveled with him and had experienced many of the same difficulties as himself. Paul gave Timothy a solemn charge that was being witnessed by the Lord Jesus. He was to preach the gospel at all cost. If he didn’t, he would have to answer to the Lord. Timothy was well aware of Paul’s sufferings and he could expect more of the same.
2 Timothy 4:1 ¶ I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Paul predicted that a time would come that men would prefer fables, rather than the truth of God’s word. I think we are there. You can fill a stadium if you preach an easy feel good gospel. Not quite as likely when you are preaching the old rugged cross.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Timothy was to do the work of an evangelist. The meaning of the word has changed a bit. Back then an evangelist was one who plowed new ground, preaching the word of God to unbelievers. They didn’t travel around trying to revive dead saints, they preached to sinners. We have the same charge and responsibility today.
2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
I trust that when we come to the end of our journey, we can proclaim with confidence that we have fought a good fight and finished the course that was set before us.
2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
A crown of righteousness is awaiting if we endure to the end and fulfill whatever ministry has been committed to us.
2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
At the present time, we are not likely to face the difficulties that the early disciples faced. Who knows what may come in the future (Mt. 10:22)? Whatever comes, we long to hear our Master say, “Well done, faithful servant, enter in to my rest.”
Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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Last modified: 03-19-2018
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