This morning I want to consider a text that I know is familiar to all of youâ€”one that has always defined the ministry of Grace Church, so much that you might be tempted to think it is something of a cliche: 2 Timothy 4:1-5.
"Preach the word . . . in season and out of season." That has always been the key verse for our Shepherds' Conferences, but I can't remember the last time anyone actually preached a message from that text. So that's where I want to start this year's conference. I hope to give this passage a fresh look, and I hope I can get you thinking a little more deeply about its implications than perhaps you have ever thought before. Second Timothy 2:1-5.
This, of course, is Paul's final charge to Timothy. Paul is about to be martyred in Rome. He clearly knows the end of his life is very near. He is coming to the conclusion of his own earthly ministry, but he is counting on Timothy to carry the baton into the next generation, and with that in mind he has written Timothy two brief epistles full of advice, encouragement, and instruction for how pastoral ministry in the church is to be done...
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