“But watch thou in all things; endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5)
What did we do the week before Irma hit? We watched for her, didn’t we? Every day was a new report as she spinned closer and closer to Florida. We ran around in a panic (almost!) getting supplies ready, bags of ice and water, canned goods. We boarded our windows and some people even sandbagged their homes or places of business. We were busy preparing for the event and it almost felt like Christmas was coming. The day was approaching…
Now, let’s make a comparison. What is Paul saying here to Timothy? Well, just before he says this, he warns Timothy about the Last Days and a time when men would not endure sound doctrine, having teachers with itching ears. And it sounds just like today…doesn’t it? So how shall we thus live? We better be watching in all things like Timothy was advised to do. We don’t want to lose our rewards, now, do we?
What does that mean? Check the news headlines, for one thing. Note the “signs of the times.” Have there been a lot of earthquakes lately? You better believe it! Have there been “wars and rumors of wars”? And the answer to that is: constantly! Has there been signs in the sun, moon and stars? Oh, yeah, lots of those too. So, keep watching! Jesus is coming back soon!
But I think we should also be watching in a second way. We should be watching our own lives and making sure they are the light they ought to be. Because the next statement is to “endure afflictions”. It doesn’t say, “avoid afflictions” like so many of us try to do. We must endure persecution, deprivation, difficulties, pain and heartache. Ouch! We don’t want to hear that “hard message” now do we?
The next phrase is what makes it all worthwhile. “Do the work of an evangelist.” But, “Sister Laura,” you might say, “I am not gifted in that. I’ve never had any formal training or degree.” Well, neither did Peter, James and John, so you are in good company… I just pass out tracts and talk to people. Whoever I meet that I might discuss anything with… I’m really not very good at it, but I keep trying. I might pass out 100 to 300 tracts a year. Leave them in bathrooms, put them in magazines, leave them at tables in restaurants, hand them to people, etc. Converse with people, too, and hope they respond. The time is really short! Many still have not heard…We just have to keep praying and keep going….
Last, but not least, we must make “full proof of our ministry.” Find a niche to serve the Lord in. Don’t sit every Sunday on your “blessed assurance”. It’s no wonder you’re so depressed and discouraged! Get involved in your local church and other ministries as well. It will lift your spirits… you’ll feel a lot better. The other religions are competing now with ours in the United States. We need to out-do them and outshine them. We need to point people to Christ and the Gospel as well as encourage other Christians.
I can’t emphasize how short the time is! The events of the last month should shake up the most complacent of us to action! Wake up, ye men and women of faith! (I’m talking to myself too…)
Wake up! The time is short! For the day is approaching!
Watch thou in all things…