2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Do you ever get discouraged and wonder if you are doing what you're supposed to be doing according to the plan of God for your life? This morning has been one of those mornings for me and as I was praying about whether or not I was reaching people with my blog or if I should discontinue it, the Lord immediately spoke this portion of scripture to my heart. When I heard the words: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season”, I knew immediately what He was saying. Don't give up; don't quit spreading My word to those around you. Don't allow discouragement to cause you to give up!
To further confirm this charge when I looked at my emails I had a devotional where a lady was talking about recently being widowed after 61 years of marriage to her husband who had been a pastor in the ministry. She was talking about the many times he got up in the night to minister to someone who was hurting and then she quoted this scripture in Revelation 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” At the end of her devotional she said this: “One day the truth of Revelation 14:13 will prove eternally true for you if you remain faithful: Your works will follow you, just as He has promised.”
Your works will follow you! What a reminder this was to me! We don't always see the effect that we have on people in the here and now, but one day when we reach Heaven the results of our labors will be evident. We will see the impact that we've made on our world when the fruit of our labors is revealed. In the meantime we must continue to do what God has called us to do: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.....fulfill your ministry.
I like the way the Amplified Bible expands on verse 2:
Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.
Here Paul exhorts Timothy to keep on preaching the Word whether people seem to be receptive or not, whether what he says is welcomed or not, he is to continue to share the truth of God's word with people because they need to be rebuked and corrected when they are in the wrong, warned that their lives need to change, and encouraged and urged to continue on when they become tired and weary.
Hebrews 6:10-12: NLT For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other Christians, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and patience.
God has a plan for each one of our lives. He has a calling for you and for me. When we become discouraged and thoughts of quitting come into our minds if we will pray and talk with Him about it He will give the encouragement that we need to continue on; to be refreshed and encouraged to stay strong and fulfill the calling that He has on our lives. If we don't give up but will continue to the end we will inherit His promises! I pray that I might not become spiritually dull and indifferent! I am thankful that He doesn't give up on me, but He understands that I am simply a human being with weaknesses and frailties that go along with humanity. He sees my needs and quickly responds to my cries for help! He's my greatest fan, who never fails to cheer me on!
Thank You Father, for Your unfailing love and faithfulness to me! You are My God and I praise You this morning. Thank You for so tenderly reminding me that it's not the time to quit; it's not the time to “retire” from what You have called me to do. Thank You for encouraging me to continue on that someday I might see the difference I've made in the lives of those around me. I pray that I might have a great harvest of souls following me into Heaven's gates some day. Father, I pray for my Spark Friends this morning who may have become discouraged in doing what You have called them to do. I pray that You will refresh them and encourage them just as You have done for me. I pray, Father, that they may sense the urgency of this time that we live in and be encouraged to continue spreading Your word and Your love, to those that You have placed around them. Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness to each of us! May You receive all the glory from those whose lives are changed because of something that we have said or done to turn them to You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.