The world is full of people who are caught in patterns of sin, who are without hope, who have been hurt or disappointed by others, or who are spiritually deluded. How can we make a difference in the lives of others? Our New Testament passage show us 4 ways.
Today many call evil good and good evil. So many things that are advocated today would have seemed totally illogical 10 years ago. It makes us wonder how people don’t see the truth. But it’s not just unbelievers who can become deluded. How can we avoid spiritual delusion in our own lives.
Also read about overcoming evil and the only One who is “hope worthy.”
Jeremiah 47 & 48
2 Timothy 4:1-22
4 Ways to Make a Difference in Someone’s Life
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
The world is full of people who are caught in patterns of sin, who are without hope, who have been hurt or disappointed by others, or who are spiritually deluded. How can we make a difference in the lives of others? Here are just 4 ways:
- “Preach the Word!” We are to be prepared to share the gospel at all times, whether or not it is convenient, whether or not there is a personal cost, and whether or not our words are accepted. This isn’t just for those in full time ministry. It’s for each one of us (Matt. 28.19-20).
- “Convince.” We are to do so lovingly and patiently without arguing or getting upset (2 Tim. 2:23-26).
- “Rebuke.” At other times we must rebuke, especially with a sinning brother or sister in Christ. But again we are to do so lovingly and gently, looking first at our own lives (Gal. 6:1-2).
- “Exhort.” We are to encourage others to act on their faith and when they do, encourage them to keep going.
Is there someone in your life to whom you have been unwilling to speak truth or to share your faith out of fear or insecurity? Remember, it’s not about us. We can’t save anyone. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. We just need to be obedient.
Is there someone caught in a web of sin that you need to lovingly and gently reprove or rebuke? Maybe you’ve thought, “Who am I to judge? I’m far from perfect!” While that’s true and we aren’t to come across self-righteously (Gal. 6.1-2), it’s not an excuse to disobey God. Proverbs 27.6:
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
When faced with a difficult situation, I sometimes start out, “I’m not talking to you because I’ve always done it right. In fact, just the opposite!” Then I might share a little of my own testimony.
Is there someone you need to encourage to step out in faith, act on what they believe, or stay the course? Do you know someone who is not using his or her gifts and abilities? Encourage them to take the first step. That might mean getting more education or being a helper in some ministry.
Or maybe they need to step out and grow more spiritually by joining a small group or attending a Bible study. Maybe they need a mentor to walk alongside them, read the Bible with them, or study a book together.
Or is there a single mom who faithfully brings her children to church after a long week of work? Or a single dad struggling to raise girls? Or a student who serves God instead of doing what everyone else seems to be doing? Let them know that you notice.
Preach the Word! Convince, rebuke, encourage … make a difference in someone’s life!
Today’s Other Readings:
In these two chapters the Lord speaks to the Philistines and the Moabites and warns them of coming judgment. Even though God would first use these and other heathen nations as instruments of judgment against the nation of Israel, He would also judge them.
Sometimes, in God’s sovereignty, He allows people in our lives to sin against us, too, because He knows He can use it to grow us and help us to become more like Christ.
Romans 8.28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.