Time For God: May 25

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: 2 Timothy 4:5
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
The Baptist minister shook his head gravely. “I asked the Lord for a scripture for you—your baptismal verse. I sensed He gave me this verse. I took it back to Him and asked for another fearing I had found the wrong one for you. But the Lord confirmed that I must give you this is the verse. It is a hard verse but it will shape your life.”

A few years later, the same minister conducted our wedding. Standing before my bride he announced our wedding verse. He delivered the same verse, shaking his head again. He promised that the Lord would help us through it all. And so He has.

That minister is now with the Lord but his legacy remains. In different seasons of life God’s Word—the same Word—brings different applications to our changing circumstances. Sometimes, God pins me with the opening phrase: But as for you! He pierces me, calling me to pay attention. He brings back my focus to things of eternal value that are found in the heart of God. When circumstances steal your gaze away toward fringe issues God says: But you… His open arms await your heart’s response.

In periods of desperate stress God reminds me: keep your head in all situations. He calls Christ’s disciples to be watchful in all things. What are you to watch? Fix your eyes upon Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep (Heb. 13:20). Follow God closely as you keep Jesus before you. He draws you close to steer your heart back to Him.

The hardships we endure are often of our own making. At such times it is no less important to endure afflictions. Confessing sin in repentance—reversing one’s opinions and points of view back to God’s viewpoint—is a believer’s daily discipline.  

Followers of Jesus—at all times and in all places—are called to do the work of an evangelist. The work of gossiping the Gospel is to tell the Good News for real!

God says, fulfill your ministry. His command confronts you with a steady question: is what I am doing—who I am being—fulfilling my God-given ministry? Is this what it looks like to discharge my duty, today? We lean on God for His life-shaping answers.

Where does God lead you today to fulfill your ministry? How do you gossip the Gospel among family and friends? How is God enabling you to endure hardship?

Lord of the broken road: I am giving Thee worship with my whole life/I am giving Thee assent with my whole power/ I am giving Thee praise with my whole tongue/ I am giving Thee honor with my whole utterance. Amen—Carmina Gadelica (III, 44-5)
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