What is your ministry? What is my ministry? Are you called to the ministry? Am I? What is a ministry anyway? Are all Christians called to the ministry? And if so, in what capacity? The word ministry, put most simply, in II Timothy 4:5 really means service. In what way are you called to serve?
“But you, be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry,” Paul writes to Timothy.
When I study the Word, I like to take it at face value. I know you’re supposed to consider the context and read commentaries and all that, but when I look at that text, I see Paul exhorting Timothy and the Holy Spirit exhorting me, to:
• Be watchful in all things.
• Endure afflictions.
• Do the work of an evangelist.
• Fulfill my ministry.
I take this very personally. The Great Commission, is, after all, to go and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15-18).
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues.
“They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”
The Great Commission is For All Christians
We all share in the Great Commission. We don’t get to say, “Oh, that is just for the pastor,” or, “That is just for missionaries,” or, “That is just for people who went to Bible college. No, this is something we all share. How you complete this, how you fulfill this, is a matter for you and I to settle between us and the Lord.
I like the way the passage reads in the Jerusalem Bible:
“Be careful always to choose the right course; be brave under trials; make the preaching of the Good News your life’s work, in thoroughgoing service.”
Maybe you’re not comfortable thinking about these things. I am just saying, you and I are accountable to God for how we interpret it.
I like to think of myself standing before God (which I am actually doing at this moment and so are you) and saying, “Well, I just didn’t think I could accomplish that so I quit. There is no condemnation, right? So I just figured I would just forget about that dream I had in the beginning.” I don’t think that would make God smile. Do you? Of course not.
Let’s check it out in the Amplifed.
“As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist; fully perform all the duties of your ministry.”
What this means to me is I am accountable to God for how I fulfill the Great Commission. Nobody gets out of this.
My ministry is to listen to God, obey what He says on a daily basis and be cognizant of what I am supposed to be doing with the days God gives me on this planet. I am without excuse, basically. As are we all.
Some of us are older than others. There comes a time if it has not come yet for you when you realize, “I don’t have another 50 years to get this right. And besides, I could die tonight.”
I remember when my dad used to read the obituaries. He was maybe in his 40s. I didn't think I would ever do it but I do now. I don’t read them every day. But I read them enough to know that people younger than I am die every day. I know that every day I live is a gift from God. Every day is another opportunity to live for Jesus, to glorify Jesus, to follow Jesus, and maybe even to do something of lasting value for Jesus.
Today I just want to encourage you. Remember why you’re here. Remember whose you are. Remember you are accountable. Remember He bought you. Remember you are not your own. You were bought with a price. Do your best to make every day count, every hour, every minute, conscious of the One who went to the cross to free you from death. He deserves our all. Let’s give it to Him. Amen.