In the first church I served we sang a song by Daniel W. Whittle. When I read Paul’s words to Timothy I remembered this great hymn of the faith
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”
Whittle’s hymn was based on the King James Version of the Bible. Here is how the KJV translates Paul’s words.
Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed:
For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day (2 Timothy 2.11-12).
One of the most important things I have learned from Henry Blackaby concerns Jesus’ appointment for our lives.
If Jesus has appointed me to something, my best choice is to remain faithful to that appointment until he appoints me to something else.
I often paraphrase Blackaby and tell people to make sure they know God’s appointment. When things are good, they can say “thank you for appointing me.”
When things are tough, stick with the appointment until God removes it.
Paul’s appointment included three practices.
(1) Preacher or Herald – First century society didn’t have the nightly news on TV or access to Twitter.
They did have a herald, who went into the street to announce important events.
Jesus appointed Paul to be a herald of the good news of God’s love. There is no more important service than to proclaim the fact that God loves humans.
Let’s ask the Lord how he wants us to herald the good news. What is the best way for the Spirit to use us to announce the good news to others.
(2) Apostle – As an apostle for Jesus, Paul was sent to represent his Master, Jesus.
The Greek word for “apostle” is a compound word that describes the role. Apostles are “sent ones” to act on behalf of a person in authority.
Jesus is our supreme Authority. He has appointed us to serve on his behalf in the world.
You will be familiar with Annie Johnston Flint’s words below. The question we must ask is how well we respond to our appointment.
Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.
We are the only Bible the careless world will read,
We are the sinner’s gospel; we are the scoffer’s creed;
We are the Lord’s last message, given in word and deed;
What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?
What if our hands are busy with other work than His?
What if our feet are walking where sin’s allurement is?
What if our tongue is speaking of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him or welcome His return?
(3) Teacher – Once the announcement of the good news has been made, it needs to be unpacked in its fullness by teachers.
According to Blackaby, if God has appointed you to be a teacher, then that is your job until he removes his appointment.
It’s a joy to see Sunday School teachers serve children into their 80’s. Rudy Ross and I produce daily YouTube videos, because Jesus has appointed us to be teachers and hasn’t changed it.
We should ask the Lord about our appointment. How will we best be a herald, a sent-one from the Lord, or a teacher?
Persuaded of Jesus’ Ability
When we faithfully respond to the Lord’s appointment, we can be persuaded that he will keep what we have entrusted to him.
A faithful following of the Lord will result in a “well done my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25.21) on the day of the Lord.
Rudy Ross and I have produced a video on this passage. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayers to email@example.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.