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Instant

Read This Week: 2 Timothy 4

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. – 2 Timothy 4:2

Instant. We are obsessed with this idea in our society. Everything has to come right now. We want instant food service, instant text responses, instant delivery, and instant money. We like instant cameras, instant coffee, and instant results. We’re all about immediate gratification in our lives.

However, there are a few things that we don’t seem to desire in an instant. When it comes to truth, correction or accountability, we like for that to be a slow burn. It’s our nature; we embrace things that we want right away but often the things that we really need can wait. They aren’t received in the moment.

Paul understood this about us and told his apprentice, Timothy, to always be ready and willing to share God’s word. He knew the value and importance of God’s spoken words to help, correct, encourage, and reflect the truth even when we don’t want it.

In fact, it is for that reason that we should always have a sense of urgency to speak the truth in love and compassionately correct while being open to receiv the same. We are talking about the most important things – life, death and eternity. God’s word is powerful to change our hearts and the hearts of others in all places at all times. We have to be ready in an instant.

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Please join the conversation and contribute your thoughts on this topic below in the comments section. Click in the box marked COMMENT and then click SUBMIT COMMENT when you’ve finished your post.

35 Comments

  1. Javaid Ahmed on March 4, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    To me, this shows and reinforces how society perpetuates the idea that everything needs to be now, within a moment’s notice and like mentioned, instantly gratifying. This is where social media, phone devices, and other venues can take advantage of people who succumb to this way of life. Finding our breath and asking God for guidance before making decisions, before getting angry, before jumping to conclusions gives us the life we are meant to live.

    With God’s guidance and love by our side in all decisions and deep thoughts, it allows us to access our spiritual nature and act through love rather than through superficial gratification. If we give God our “instant” need, then happiness begins to increase and we no longer need to fill an empty hole of fake gratifications but can be fully enriched by God and true, spiritual love. That is living. That is heaven on earth.

    • Ken on March 4, 2019 at 11:52 pm

      Nice one, Javaid. It seems to me that there are so many cheap facsimiles to what God has for us. Really, we can get exactly what we need from Him and do not have to settle for second best.

    • Reach on March 5, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      There is a lot of tremendous insight here, Javaid. If we would only be intentional about hearing from God, then we can experience the instant gratification we all desire. The gratification of peace, hope, and love. There is not a person on earth that doesn’t want to experience those things.

      How do you practically access that in your life? What are the things that you incorporate into your walk to help you seek the instant gratification of God’s word over the things of the world that call for your attention and indulgence?

      • Javaid on March 5, 2019 at 11:36 pm

        I find that it is as simple or complex as we make it. Whenever there are too many indulgences and shiny lights begging for attention, I find it is most important to take a deep breath and focus on God. It doesn’t take a lot of time and can be accessed even in seconds, but its so important to connect with God and focus on the things that matter to achieve that peace and serenity. Even 20-30 seconds of pure focus can put things into perspective and eliminate the need to be impulsive and overly indulgent on instant gratification items in life. What I’ve found is that God’s Love is ALWAYS there at the ready for us, easily accessible and instantaneous. However, it is up to us as human beings to learn to embrace it and open our hearts to His blessing.

        A metaphor that came from God is that our heart and soul is like a window, and God’s love is there – loyal, waiting, full of love, right outside of that window. Whether we choose to close it or open it, God’s love is there. As long as we keep our “windows” open, we benefit from God’s love and peace.

        • Reach on March 6, 2019 at 7:09 pm

          Thank you for that reflection. It’s very important to realize that we don’t have to give in to the things that call to us for instant gratification. I think sometimes people feel like they don’t have a choice in the matter. But we have the ability to choose God’s way and a better path. It can be as easy as taking a step back and considering the better option, God’s option.

          I thought this was practical yet powerful: Even 20-30 seconds of pure focus can put things into perspective and eliminate the need to be impulsive and overly indulgent on instant gratification items in life. Anyone has the ability to apply this in their daily life. It can be done at home, work or even in the car. We can press pause in the moment, open the window to our hearts and let God speak to us so we seek his satisfaction and not that of the world. Good stuff, Javaid!

  2. Ken on March 4, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    In verse 2, God reminds me to always be ready. One of my favorite verses is 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV): “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

    You know when you meet someone that has a life full of God’s love, He just pours out of them. It is my hope and prayer, that our lives are so full of God’s love, that He just pours out of us too. I know for me, I am challenged all of the time to be present with God, in the Spirit and instantly flowing from Him. God is saying, “I am always available to you, with you all of the time and will never leave you. You can count on Me. You can trust in, rely and depend on Me.”

    • Reach on March 5, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      Instant hope. That is an attractive notion, Ken. It might seem unbelievable on its face but that is what God places in our heart when we come into a relationship with Jesus. And it’s His hope that should come out of us in an instant as Peter encourages in the verse you referenced. Like you, I pray we can all be communicators of God’s hope.

      Can you imagine what our days and environments would look like if they were being constantly infused with the hope of God through us?

  3. Heidi on March 6, 2019 at 2:05 am

    In 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul is teaching Timothy to be faithful to his post, in good times and bad. Timothy needed encouragement to remember his responsibility to be faithful in his ministry to God. What this means to me is that no matter what is going on around me, I am to be faithful in God’s work, through all seasons in my life and that God knows the outcome, He just wants me to be willing to trust Him and to be ready to do as He tells me to do!

    • Reach on March 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      This is such a needed thought and idea, Heidi. I think one of the most underrated and often not referred to characteristics of God is His role in our lives as the Sustainer. We know him as the Savior and Rescuer but often times we forget that he is our Sustainer through all seasons no matter what they hold. This is a great reminder of his faithfulness and goodness.

  4. Trina Barnhardt on March 7, 2019 at 3:29 am

    II Timothy 4 is a Charge from Paul in the presence of God and Christ Jesus to urgently preach the Word!
    C.4:2 Paul reminds Timothy to always be ready no matter the circumstances or trials and tribulations because it is Timothy’s responsibility as a young preacher of the Word to show others by warning, correctionen, encouragement that the ways of the world are wrong.
    Why? As Paul became older and knew of the disarray of the Romans, he states to Timothy in 4:7 that “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith!” C 4:8 “As to what remains henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness for being right with God and doing right which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that day and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing.” Paul is preparing young Timothy to not have fought but to continue to fight, to prepare a ministry that is worthy, honorable and noble. Gather those that yearn for the truth, to hear the Gospel and stand firm in my truths spoken to you.

    4:14-16 says, “Take note of those that have wronged me, resisted, didn’t come to my defense and know the temptations of the flesh and myths and man-made fictions.” In 4:17, Paul reassures Timothy that the Lord stood by him and proclaimed victory in Christ Jesus and he will do the same for Timothy and all that minister the true Word of Christ encouraging forgiveness and assurance that God The Father will take care of the wrongdoings and may the Christian’s follow steadfast in Faith, proclaiming the same victorious blessings bestowed upon Paul, taught to Timothy and charged Timothy to share. 4:18 He will preserve and bring me safe into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

    My friends, I end with this thought and question. As we go through this journey of life, how is our ministry? If death is imminent, have we fought the good fight? Have we finished the race? Don’t wait!

    • Ken on March 7, 2019 at 8:11 am

      Thank you for that Trina. Each day is truly presious, a gift from God. I am inspired not to waist it.

    • Reach on March 7, 2019 at 4:30 pm

      Trina, such wonderful and challenging thoughts from you. It reminds us, as we live our lives daily, to be consistently aware of how we will finish the race and the legacy our lives will leave behind. Every decision, choice, activity, and purpose should be measured in light of eternity and finishing this life well for God’s glory. It would give us greater perspective and perhaps even guide our lives with better consistency.

    • Heidi on March 7, 2019 at 9:21 pm

      Thank you for this post, Trina! That was amazing! Keep on sharing because you’re a blessing!

  5. Ken on March 7, 2019 at 8:05 am

    At men’s lunch today, God brought my attention to the following verses:

    2 Timothy 4:3-4 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC): “For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, and will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.”

    God is saying to me: “Seek My instruction and don’t be deceived by counterfeits. I am looking out for your good. I am the Way, Truth, and Life.”

    God is so wise and learning from Him, is so much better than the world. To truly win, is to walk with God.

    • Reach on March 7, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      It’s so easy to get distracted by things that look and sound good but God’s wisdom and instruction is so much better and certainly for our greater good.

  6. Heidi on March 7, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    In 2 Timothy 4, God knows we will have good times and bad times. Look for people like Paul that can help you in your seasons of life. Learn how to be ready in season and out of season as you receive what you need from God, then encourage someone to get what they need from God, not the world. God is looking for His people to be faithful to Him no matter what is going on!

    Everyone has a ministry and ministry is two-fold: to the Lord and to our fellow believers. Ministry is the calling of every Christian, not just the ordained. Each of us is to respond to the challenge of ministry as we follow Jesus. Jesus came to serve, help us, encourage us, desires us to come to Him in good times and bad and to help us in our seasons in our life and to be ready in our seasons to reach out and share the good news!

    • Reach on March 8, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      It’s always good to be reminded that every believer is a minister. The work of ministry is not contained to those called to do it vocationally. That’s so important to know in this day and age. Thank you, Heidi!

  7. Sam Centers on March 7, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    As we were having our Tuesday evening Bible study on 2 Timothy chapter 4, God spoke to me and reminded me that we are called to spread his love, joy, and understanding to others. He has given us the exciting promise of himself, his love and faithfulness to us and an eternity with him.

    • Heidi on March 8, 2019 at 10:45 pm

      Love that Sam!

    • Reach on March 11, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      Praise God for his faithfulness and the promise of himself as we go through this world!

  8. Jeri Centers on March 8, 2019 at 2:25 am

    In 2 Timothy chapter 4 verse 7, God was saying to me that many men would have given up long ago on the truths and standards of the revealed word of God but Paul’s faith never wavered, regardless of the hardship he was facing. He ministered to the very end.

    God has a job for each of us to do in this life, and like Paul, we need to complete what the Lord Jesus called us to do. He believed in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord just as strongly at the end, as he did when he first met him on the road to Damascus. We should live the same way.

    • Heidi on March 8, 2019 at 10:48 pm

      Awesome Jeri!

    • Reach on March 11, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      This is a great post. May we all believe in God’s power and purpose for us at the end of our lives with the same excitement, passion, and intent that we did when we first started our journey with Him.

  9. Alma Schmidt on March 8, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    2 Timothy 4 was an interesting chapter. I have a song to share:

    Thanking you, thank you, Oh Lord
    Always standing by us standing by us giving us strength, hope, and love
    You encourage us through others
    Showing us how to forgive
    Forgiveness will set us free, set us free
    Thanking you, thank you, Oh Lord
    For your love, hope, peace, and faith

    God is so good. He gives His love even when we wander or miss the mark. He still loves us and waits for us with his arms wide open. He believes in us all of us. So no matter, he’s in our hearts waiting for us to respond. Love you, Jesus.

    • Heidi on March 8, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      Thank you for the song and sharing!

    • Ken on March 10, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      I love your new songs from God, Alma. It’s so awesome to hear God sing through you. Here’s a cool song: https://youtu.be/xtiUjNT_vAM

    • Reach on March 11, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you for sharing your heart, Alma. I heard this song recently and you reminded me of it. It is called “Goodness of God” and a section of it says this:

      I love You, Lord
      For Your mercy never failed me
      All my days, I’ve been held in Your hands
      From the moment that I wake up
      Until I lay my head
      Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

      And all my life You have been faithful
      And all my life You have been so, so good
      With every breath that I am able
      Oh, I will sing of the goodness of Go
      d

      Feeling thankful for God’s goodness and love no matter what.

  10. Rick Tongg on March 9, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Reading 2 Timothy 4, Jesus is saying to you and to me: be ready to do what I say, when I say it. It may not seem like the best time to you, you might be busy doing something else. But if I tell you to move, do so. If I tell you to speak, do so. The more you do, the more faithful you become and the better accustomed you will be to following my will.

    • Heidi on March 10, 2019 at 12:46 am

      Wow! Thank you, Rick, for sharing. I love to hear Jesus through you.

    • Ken on March 10, 2019 at 10:36 pm

      Good one, Rick. I have seen that with God too. Being a Rapid Responder has served me well. Responding to God, while waiting on Him for others. Ken

    • Reach on March 11, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Thank you for your post, Rick. That obedience to God is so key to living the life He desires for us. Obedience when it is not popular, when we can’t see the results and when we don’t feel like it. Yet, obedience to God and his Word will never lead us astray in life. Appreciate your reminder.

  11. Sam Centers on March 10, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    First off, thank you, God, for another week in the life. Today as we continued in 2 Timothy chapter 4, God drew my attention to verse 2 and was saying to me to go into the world and speak of Him to others. I may not feel like it is the right time or place and will want to do what makes me happiest, but I will know I am following God’s word. We must preach his word with such urgency to the ones that don’t readily accept it as well as to those who do. Because the ones that do, will be more willing and able to share his words the ones that don’t.

    • Ken on March 10, 2019 at 10:57 pm

      I’m so proud of you, Sam. God is truly flowing His love and compassion through you.

  12. Ken on March 10, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Today in church, when reading 2 Timothy 4, God impressed on me that He is not just speaking to Timothy through Paul, He is speaking to us – right here, right now. God is saying, “I charge you to preach the Word, evangelize and perform at your ministry. Do it with a sense of urgency and even though it may not always be easy. Be persistent, run the race, fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith.” In the end, you win.

    • Reach on March 11, 2019 at 7:12 pm

      Persistence is sometimes the biggest secret to life. Sticking with it when you want to quit. But as you said, if we finish the race with God through faith, we win.

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