I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. -2 Timothy 4:1-5
These words from Paul to Timothy have caught my attention this morning. No matter what comes Paul encourages Timothy to be ready “in season and out of season” to do the work of ministry. What exactly does that mean? It means we should be ready at all times, whether we feel like it or not, whether we are in a time of spiritual high or low. Imagine what my home would look like if I only vacuumed when I felt like it. Right now it would not be looking too good as fall leaves get tracked in, as the mess of heating with wood falls on the floor-the outdoors encroaches on my tidy home this time of year. I need to be ready and prepared to vacuum whether I feel like it or not. The last phrase of the passage I quoted “fulfill your ministry” hits home along with this idea of being ready. Fulfill your ministry. We have just finished up our fall focus series at church and our memory verse for the six weeks was Ephesians 4:11-12, “And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” God gave us these people to equip us for the work of ministry. I have been well equipped to do the work of ministry-and I need to do it when I am feeling excited and inspired about my ministry and when I am feeling neither of those things. In season and out of season, in the highs and the lows-be ready to do the work of ministry.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,