Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season. 2 Timothy 4:2
What a waste of time, thought Harley. Her insurance agent was insisting they meet again. Harley knew it would be yet another boring sales pitch, but she decided to make the most of it by looking for an opportunity to talk about her faith.
Noticing that the agent’s eyebrows were tattooed, she hesitantly asked why and discovered that the woman did it because she felt it would bring her luck. Harley’s question was a risky detour from a routine chat about finances, but it opened the door to a conversation about luck and faith, which gave her an opportunity to talk about why she relied on Jesus. That “wasted” hour turned out to be a divine appointment.
Jesus also took a risky detour. While traveling from Judea to Galilee, He went out of His way to speak to a Samaritan, something unthinkable for a Jew. Worse, she was an adulterous woman avoided even by other Samaritans. Yet He ended up having a conversation that led to the salvation of many (John 4:1–26, 39–42).
Are you meeting someone you don’t really want to see? Do you keep bumping into a neighbor you normally avoid? The Bible reminds us to be always ready—“in season and out of season”—to share the good news (2 Timothy 4:2). Consider taking a “risky detour.” Who knows, God may be giving you a divine opportunity to talk to someone about Him today!
Whom might you meet today? How might there be an opportunity to talk about Jesus? How can you go out of your way to share the good news in a bold but loving, sensitive way?
Jesus, teach me to see the doors You’ve opened for me to share Your love, and give me the courage to tell others about You.
Paul writes this, his last letter, knowing he’s about to die. So when he says, “I give you this charge: Preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:1–2), his exhortation carries even much more impact for Timothy. Bible scholar William Hendriksen tells us that the word for preach literally means “to proclaim before the public.” That is what Paul wants Timothy to do. Significantly, Paul has a specific warning for him, signaled by the words “the time will come” (v. 3). And what will happen at that “time”? “[People] will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (v. 3). In chapter 3, Paul had instructed Timothy to hold to the truth of the Scriptures. Now, he urges him to preach those truths regardless of their unpopularity. His directive to Timothy has not lost its relevance for us today.