2 Timothy 4:2 – 4 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
God gave each of us a job. Let me go through the job description listed in this verse. Are you up for the challenge of accepting this position?
1. PREACH THE WORD!
This verse begins with a mandate: PREACH THE WORD! There is nothing wishy washy about this. Let me straighten something out for you (and me) – You, (YES, YOU) are called! God, Himself has called you! Got it? Now look – He didn’t call you and equip you for you to play around with this thing. He means business! He offered you the position. So, what do you do to accept? You study. Now many people get this twisted. They begin with studying the craft instead of studying the Word that leads you to glorify Him through the study and execution of the craft. Listen to me. And yes, I’m fussing. Being prepared in season and out of season does not mean that you have an A and B selection prepared just in case the opportunity arises. NO. That is not being prepared in season and out of season. Being prepared in season and out of season means that you are setting your heart to the sound of God’s voice by the study of and meditation on His word. It means that you are walking in step with the Holy Spirit so that when He speaks, you arrive at any point ready to listen. This point of being prepared in season and out of season comes with a lifestyle of diligent study and purposeful obedience. The craft or the area of practical ministry is secondary to a life centered in the WORD! That means when the time comes to do the hard stuff of the Gospel like correct and rebuke that you will be prepared to speak and act in accordance with the Word and the power of the Spirit. You do His will. Not yours. At any time, at any place, with any person. He will choose. And You will be ready because you know Him. Along those same lines you will be prepared to encourage people in a way that will lift them from despair to hope. You will be patient. Even if you don’t see instant results and miracles and opportunities. You will be rooted in careful instruction so that every step of the way you communicate and receive the love of the Lord flowing to you and through you.
2. Rejection may be a sign that you are hired!
These verses tell us that the masses will flock to the message they really want to hear. If the truth is what you are sharing, there may not be a huge crowd that is embracing your message. If your blog only has ten followers, or your music only has seven listeners, if your page only has a few likes, and it seems like you are preaching to yourself – praise God. Listen – in these days, the last days, numbers may be dangerous. I’m not saying that mega is evil. I’m saying that the word warns us that people are looking for a message that makes them comfortable. A message that won’t rebuke and correct. A message that will encourage them to continue in their wrong. That’s not your mandate. Your mandate is to PREACH THE WORD! So if that brings thousands, that doesn’t change your mandate. If it draws one – that doesn’t change your mandate. You still have a job to do, and the true audience is God, Himself. Myths are drawing crowds in by the thousands, but Jesus said, “If I be lifted – I will draw all men unto me.” You are called to be a lifter. In whatever way He wired you to lift Him, YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY! Beware of people looking to lift teachers to tell them what they want to hear. Instead, we lift a Savior that draws in the people. Preach the Word! Be Prepared!
3. Are you a Lifter?
The verses are the job descriptions of a Lifter. You have to be ready at all times. You have to speak the truth in love from God’s word whether its encouraging, correcting or rebuking. You have to be excited about this job even when folks reject you and ignore what you have to say. You have to be prepared even when the masses are running to a lie and you feel like you are being mocked and ridiculed. God chose you for this. He is glorified when you don’t waiver from His word of truth. COUNT IT ALL JOY!
If you accept the challenges of this job description, leave a comment that says, “I’m A Lifter!” We will be praying for you all.
Oh, yeah… Heavy Lifting is Required! Inquire Within.