Paul's challenge must become our mission in life. He tells Timothy "to preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." He also reminds the new pastor in Ephesus that many will not listen to the truth because they need someone to "tickle their ears" with a sermon filled with jokes and stories. His challenge is not only to preach the Word, but to preach it when it is popular and when it is not. We are to preach the Word when it is "pc" and when it is not. We are to preach the Word when it is legal and when it is not. How do we do that? We preach through our lives and with our mouths. At times, the strongest message you can supply has absolutely no words to it. While Paul wrote this for Timothy, a new pastor, God wrote to each of His kids who now serve as "preachers" in every arena of life. We preach at church, and we preach on the soccer field. We preach in our neighborhood, and we preach at our place of employment. We can even preach on the golf course sometimes with words and sometimes without any words whatsoever. Paul reminds Timothy that he has done this throughout his Christian life even when people imprisoned him or stoned him or tried to kill him. His testimony is simple: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." Timothy has big shoes to fill and so do we if we are going to make a real impact upon this world.

Help me, Lord, to preach the Word in every season. Help me to stay faithful in this war, in this race, and in this life knowing many have done so before us and will do so after us.