The Great Encouragement

William C. Brownson

Read: Matthew 28:16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee. (v. 16) We often call this passage “The Great Commission,” and with good reason. A commission is a command to do something specific on behalf of someone else. The Great Commission sounds the farewell message of the risen Lord to his followers, and includes his charge to “make disciples of all nations.” They were to go, baptize, and teach all that he had commanded, so that Jesus may have his …

Rescued!

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 4:16-18 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me . . . But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. (vv. 16-17) There were other disappointments in Paul’s last days. At his first hearing, no one came to support him. On trial for his …

A Tragic Love Affair

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 4:9-15 Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (vv. 9-10) Though Paul has no regrets about his ministry, he is not with- out pain and sorrow. What hurts him most deeply is the loss of close friends. We don’t know why Crescens and Titus have gone away—perhaps sent on some errand of ministry, …

Famous Last Words

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 4:6-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (vv. 7-8) Paul seems sure that he is about to die. His life will soon be “poured out” as an offering. Without …

In Every Season

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (v. 1) Was there ever a mandate more weighty and wonder-filled than this one? Paul charges Timothy “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead” (v. 1). He holds before this young friend as motivation the presence of the Lord, his awesome return, and the last …

God-Breathed

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 3:14-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable . . . (v. 16) Quite a few translations say that all Scripture is “inspired by God,” yet literally, “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable. . .” is how this verse begins. What does that mean? “All Scripture” refers principally to the Old Testament, but probably by this time to some of the apostolic writings as well (2 Peter 3:15-16). What about “God-breathed”? This is an arresting …