Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
I grew up playing sports all year long; soccer was in the fall, basketball was in the winter, softball was in the spring and then in the summer, though considered the “off-season”, was when all of the sports seemed to mesh together. You see, the summer wasn’t really soccer season, it wasn’t really basketball season and it wasn't really softball season. It wasn’t always convenient to go to practice or to drive to away games on a perfect summer day, but regardless of the inconvenience, I was prepared to play whatever sport that day brought. Why? Because I had been training for it and I had a desire to be in the game.
This idea of being prepared in all seasons is something that we see encouraged in 2 Timothy 4:2. Here, Paul urges Timothy to, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
Much like studying a playbook to learn strategies before a big game, the Bible gives us clear instructions to get us ready to share Biblical truths with others. In the verse above, Paul is exhorting Timothy to continue to boldly preach the word. He then goes on to lay out some specific ways in which this is accomplished. As believers, there are a few things that we too can take away from this. We must be prepared to speak the truth at all times and in all circumstances. We must be ready to correct those who misunderstand God’s word, to rebuke those who deliberately misuse the gospel message and to encourage others by sharing the love of Jesus Christ with them. We are to do this with sincere patience and with careful instruction, so that through both our actions and our words, we are providing others with an accurate portrayal of the gospel.
In sports, there is this idea of keeping our eyes on the prize and it can be very beneficial when we are playing to win. For an athlete, the objective is always to win. For the Christian however, we must recognize that winning an unbeliever to Christ does not depend on us. We can wear the full armor of God as a uniform and have every Bible verse memorized, but if the Holy Spirit does not move in the heart of the listener, then there can be no victory. God does not need us in order to win, but still, He recruits us to be a part of His lineup, so it should be our objective to serve Him faithfully by sharing the truth when He puts us in the game.
When the Lord calls us into action, it isn’t always convenient. Like playing an away-game at a rival school in the middle of summer, it may mean having to leave our comfort zone to go to places that are unfamiliar and to be around people that we don’t really like that much. But, as believers we must always be prepared to play. Why? Because we are on God’s team and God’s team does not get an off-season.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, have five children, one son-in-law, one soon to be daughter-in-law, and one wonderful grandson. Donna and Bryan have recently moved back to their home state of Arkansas after livingin southeast Alabama the past 23 years. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.