“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.”II Timothy 4:1-2
Not long ago, they were advertising a Zero PT Day at work when I first began with my current employer. I was excited to be part of the company, and I tried to get involved in everything I possibly could. I briefly looked at the details of the event, signed up, and forgot about it. I later received emails to verify my involvement noting there were meetings to follow that would explain more details of the event. I showed up for my first meeting, and it did not take long for someone to yell at me for not sitting in the first two rows. I dared not turn around, and I listened intently to the instructions that were given. Apparently, I had signed up for a mock boot camp which was to mimic the first day of basic training. I vowed to do push ups and run prior to the event but the days passed, and I did little to train for what I was about to encounter. I had no idea what was coming, but I was soon to find out the extent of my commitment.
The week before the event came, and I was “enlisted” into the Coast Guard. I was given a sheet of information that I was to learn prior to the event along with a list of other enlistees. We got together and practiced parade rest and same basic formations. We thought we were prepared for the event and left feeling confident. The night before the event I could hardly sleep and my alarm clock went off around 2:45 in the morning. I woke up with a nervous stomach and an excitement that gave me adrenaline even without the coffee. I bolted out the door and arrived at a location to get one final practice in before the event. We completed a quick walk-through and then proceeded across the street to participate in the event. As soon as I entered the garage I was being screamed at and being told to exit my vehicle immediately. I quickly parked my truck and threw my keys and sprinted to a line I was told to get into. I was not worried about my keys nor was I worried about anything else but to make sure I was not going to be screamed at.
I learned early on that morning that I was going to have to follow commands to the T if I was to be successful. I was going to have to do whatever I was being told to do whether I liked it or not. There was no excuse of being tired, and there was no “chicken” exit I could run to. I did not care how I looked, and I didn’t care that sweat dripped into my eyes. The pain of sweat in my eyes did not compare to my aching arms and abs. I can assure you the drill instructors held my full attention, and I was ready to complete their next command. I saw some enlistees who were crying and others who had tapped out. I had thoughts of quitting but it is just not in my DNA. The sun rose and we finished our day but I still stood at full attention. A drill instructor laughed at me and told me it was over, and I could relax and be at ease. We all stood at attention and they prayed to end the event and gave us dog tags to signify our completion of the event. I did not take those tags off for a day or so, and although it was only for a few hours, it seemed like I had accomplished something significant.
I think of Paul’s charge to Timothy, and I imagine Timothy looked up to Paul and waited for his instruction. Paul knew if Timothy was going to be successful in the ministry that he had to be willing to preach the Word no matter what. There were going to be times and days when he would be persecuted and there would be others who would not agree with the sound doctrine he would be preaching. He may get yelled at or even worse, face death for the Word he was teaching. He was commanded to allow the Word of God to reprove, rebuke and exhort and to be patient with those to whom he would be preaching. The Bible is a double edged sword and is used to show us what we are doing wrong and to correct us. It is also used to encourage us unto good works and to teach us the natural consequences of reaping what you sow. The Bible is where we get our teachings and without it we are lost. All mankind will be judged by the Creator, so it is our job to preach the Word no matter the circumstances and to always be ready at the Lord’s command.
I think back to the Zero PT Day and I remember how important it was to be ready at all times. There was no off time and there was no daydreaming. I was commanded to be on at all times and to obey the commands I was given. Where are you today friend? Are you ready to preach the Word in all seasons? Do you allow the Word to change your life? Do you use the Word to help change the lives of others? Do you stand at attention waiting for the Word of God or are you out in left field daydreaming about the allure of the world? God is coming again and we must be ready and make sure others will be ready as well. We must be obedient to His command and be ready to preach the Word He has given us. Judgment day will come quickly just as Zero PT Day came for me. Will you be ready when the trumpet blows or when He calls you home? Will you have done all that He has asked you to do? Remember there will be no excuse that will suffice, and there will be no one else to blame. May we stand at full attention and be ready to always preach the Word, and may we do it with all long-suffering. God’s Word is always in season and may we be found faithful in always preaching the Word.