“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
Paul’s “charge” to young Timothy, just before the great apostle’s martyrdom, was urgently needed by Christians in those early days of persecution and incipient apostasy, and his words are even more appropriate today.
The admonition to “be instant” is worth special note. The Greek word ephistemi is translated in various ways (“be present,” “be at hand,” “come upon,” etc.). The main idea is simply to be there, doing what needs to be done at the time it is needed. In this particular context it is stressing the Christian’s responsibility to be there with the right words from the Word of God—words of exhortation, of doctrine, of reproof if needed, yet words given patiently, even when rebuffed by the hearer. “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6).
Furthermore, the charge applies not only to those times when we are officially on duty, so to speak. It applies to off-hours as well as work time. Be instant out of season, as well as in season! The Christian must always be “on call” when God calls.
Paul could rightly issue such a charge because he himself had set such an example. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:…thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience” (2 Timothy 4:7; 3:10). It is touching Paul could then use the same word (ephistemi) concerning his own coming death, when he said, “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand” (2 Timothy 4:6). He was as ready to die as he had always been to speak, for the Lord! HMM
From Days of Praise
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I knew a Pastor once (very close in fact) that actually believed that there was no reason why if Bankers could have an 8-10 job there is no reason a Pastor shouldn’t be able to set hours as well. So sad. He’s actually a relative and though we aren’t close now (we still keep in touch somewhat) our relationship is rather superficial. I believe that ministry (serving) is a calling, 24/7 if the need arises and God will give you the strength, where he believes that “ministry” is a job, a career. Sadly there are many like that, so I find this teaching refreshing, confirming and extremely encouraging!! God Bless! 👍💗🕊📖😇
Yes the Pastors who are called are loved by their people. We know the difference and the Lord knows the difference. Thank you Pastor for your many encouraging comments here. The Lord bless you. Would you like to be a Contributor here?
I’d be honored. Anything I can do to serve. Here’s my ministry email: firstname.lastname@example.org Send me whatever you have for submissions requirements so I know what you would like. God Bless.