“In the presence of God and Christ Jesus…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.”
When I was a newer believer I would often tell others I was praying for patience. Especially since my family was still young. Many people would respond, “When you pray for patience God gives you something to be patient about.” For a time I even adopted this saying to encourage others. However, as I have grown in maturity in my faith I have come to realize that when I pray for patience it isn’t God allowing more situations in my life to be patient about it is His highlighting the situations that I choose to allow impatience in my life. It is God using my choice of impatience to draw me closer to Him and His peace.
Patience that can only come from Him is required in every aspect of our life. Think about items that require assembly and you realize you have only half or no instructions or you, ahem, refuse to follow the instructions, about driving in crowded cities, or the enormous line you’re waiting in for your favorite ride at an amusement park, which seems to be the entire park populations favorite ride.
God’s patience is also required in our responsibility as believers in Christ. Our job as disciples is to preach or herald the good news of the gospel. I love the word herald. To be a Herald is to bring good tidings of comfort, joy and truth about everlasting life through faith in Jesus. As much as it is our responsibility to spread the gospel, the same responsibility is put on the hearers of the gospel message. One definition of herald includes with it an eternal accountability to all who hear it. As believers we carry a collective burden to share Jesus with all God sends to us and those He sends us to. But, and this is a serious but, all who hear the gospel message also have a responsibility with what they will do with what they have heard. They will either disregard or they will choose to follow Jesus. I hope you have chosen or will choose Him!
In the presence of is a great reminder that even though we cannot see God with our physical eyes He is always with us and we are always in His presence. Are you aware that as we spread the good news of the gospel we are also to correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction? This can be a tall order for many, even in the Body of Christ because we don’t want to step on toes or cause others to feel offended. This requires us to be intimately connected to Christ on a consistent basis. Mary physically sat at her Savior’s feet. We too can sit in His presence through reading and studying His word. This is what loving the Lord with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind (Matthew 22:37) consists of.
Whether we are experiencing good times or challenging times spreading the gospel doesn’t stop. God’s instructions are clear, be prepared in season and out of season.
Not everyone is called to be a teacher of God’s word but we are all called to be Heralds of His word. Let’s do so by remaining in Him and asking Him to fill us with His patience and careful instruction so we can go out and fill a hurting world with His message in a place He already created in the world’s heart to receive.