In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 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 people 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. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Paul recognized his time was coming to an end. It wouldn’t be long until he was killed for his faith. The historian Eusebius indicates that Paul was likely beheaded by the Romans, under Emperor Nero, sometime around May or June of 68 A.D. His words to Timothy contain a powerful charge to all of us who serve the Lord. Preach, correct, rebuke, encourage (with great patience and careful instruction), keep your head in all situations (no pun intended by Paul, I am sure), endure, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry! Wow! This is what my calling is all about… God has called me to help people take their next step of spiritual growth. How? In all the ways he told Timothy to do it. What a life, what a calling, what a privilege!
Am I fulfilling my ministry? Yes, to a large degree. Am I failing in any areas? I don’t know, sometimes the work is so much bigger than me, I feel the pressure internally, then realize the results are far more in the hands of God than in mine. But, that is tough for a guy like me to reconcile. Why me, then, Lord?
God, one day I will stand before You as my judge (no one else). I pray to some degree, like the apostle Paul, there is a crown of righteousness awaiting, because I too love and look forward to Your appearing.