Why wait?

There are many reasons we wait in life. There’s a line. We’re not ready. We’re not prepared. We don’t have the right supplies or equipment. Maybe we’re anxious or afraid or shy. Maybe it isn’t the right time. Whatever the reason, we wait. A lot. Even when we shouldn’t.

Timothy may have be one who had a tendency to wait because Paul gave him this instruction:

Preach the word of God. Be persistent whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2 (NLT)

I think we’d all like to wait for a favourable time, the right time. And often, waiting for the right time becomes a grand excuse to never really accomplish anything—especially when it comes to sharing the Gospel.

Paul told Timothy to be persistent whether the time is favorable or not.

PERSIST: To continue steadily and firmly in the pursuit of any business or course commenced.

When Jesus commissioned the disciples to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, he didn’t qualify his statement with a time or place. He told them to go. He told them what they could do if they did and then he was gone.

So what are our excuses for waiting to share the Good News? Maybe we’re waiting to be alone with a certain person. Maybe we don’t think we know enough. Perhaps we wait until we’re comfortable.

If you’re not alone, go for it. Maybe someone else needs to hear what you have to say. If you’ve been saved and know Jesus, you know enough. Get your Bible out and read. If you want to be comfortable, good luck. The message of the cross is uncomfortable.

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.

2 Timothy 4:5 (NLT)

As the body of Christ, we can no longer afford to wait for the favourable time—because there isn’t one. We’ve been given a message. We’ve been given a commission. We’ve been given power and authority. So what are we waiting for?

Daily Bible reading: Jeremiah 27-28, 2 Timothy 4

 

Unchained melody

Growing up, I used to love it when travelling ministers would speak in my church. If it was Sunday evening, us kids would get to stay in the service and listen to incredible stories of both miracles and persecutions. It all seemed so fantastic and far away. Yet now, it doesn’t seem so far off. At least not the persecution.

As the foolish, ignorant arguments that Paul warned Timothy against keep being fought, the voices of reason and truth are being drowned out. The words that my country was founded on, the Word of God, is being labelled as hate speech and to be anything but politically correct is to be labelled a hater, a bigot or, in some cases, a criminal.

While I find it sickening to see what was once labelled a Christian nation bow to the cries of the liberal left, we’re not the first in history to experience this type of persecution nor will we be the last.

Does this mean that we too, must allow ourselves stifled? No! Paul, while in chains said that, he was willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen (2 Timothy 2:10). If we truly believe what we say we believe, we will do whatever it takes to see the Gospel spread to every nation. After all, most of what Paul wrote to the Church was written while he was in prison. He was as effective, if not more so while he was chained than when he was free.

Let us not be discouraged by the state of current politics. God is not a politician. He is not a Republican or Democrat, a Conservative or a Liberal. He is God. Period. And He is not bound by any law man can come up with nor can He be stifled by a bill passed by parliament.

For the word of God is full of living power.

Hebrews 4:12a (NLT)

Once the Word of God is out there, it cannot be stopped by any man.

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

We, like Paul, may have to endure punishment for proclaiming the Gospel.

But the word of God cannot be chained.

2 Timothy 2:9b (NLT)

Daily Bible reading: Jeremiah 23-24, 2 Timothy 2

 

Get dressed

Much to the dismay of my mother, I’m a sports fan. Not all sports, mind you. I’m a baseball and football kind of girl (though I’ll watch hockey if the occasion calls for it). When February rolls around, I get excited because that means that Major League Baseball spring training begins and the long winter without my favourite team is over. I park my comfy chair in front of the big screen and watch to see how my players worked on their game over the winter months.

You can tell who spent the off-season on the beach and who spent it at the gym or with trainers. Some guys aren’t as quick to get around the bases or catch that fly ball to left field. Other guys have trimmed down and come up with some new strategies to improve their game. And then there are the minor league players—the guys who have previously impressed the team scouts and have been invited to join the big boys for the spring. They get a chance to try to prove their worth and maybe even earn a spot in the starting line up.

Be dressed for service and well-prepared.

Luke 12:35 (NLT)

MLB spring training can be full of surprises. Those guys who spent their time off on the beach may find themselves quickly replaced by the young pitcher who spent his off-season perfecting his curve ball. The tried and true second baseman may be bumped for the kid who shows up to the diamond early every day dressed for action. The biggest characteristic that will define the team going into the first weeks of the schedule is preparation. If a player waits until spring to try to get himself into shape, he may find himself bumped down a few levels.

But I’m not an athlete, how is this supposed to apply to me?

Every Christian—no matter what they may or may not feel called to do—should be like the players who spend the winter training hard and getting better. The Bible is not a textbook just for teachers, but a guidebook for life—your life.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)

While Paul may be writing to Timothy, this is for all of us. Ministry is not just for pastors, teachers, preachers, apostles, and evangelists. It’s for all of us.

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.

1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)

If you wait to be called up to prepare, you’ll never get the call. But, if you work on preparation daily, you’ll be ready at any moment to respond with words of hope, love, and truth. In sports, natural ability will only get you so far. Often, it’s the lesser talented guys who work the hardest that get the job. The same works for us. Those who are prepared get the call and are rewarded for it.

Don’t wait. Get up. Get dressed. Be prepared.

Daily Bible reading: 1 Samuel 4-6, Luke 12:35-59