I was at my daughter’s home the other day and the day we got there it was 70 degrees. That night a cold front came in and the next morning it was 40 degrees. We had been flirting with Fall like conditions, but when the cold front came through it was official. Fall was here….. winter was almost here! We went from shorts and a t shirt to long pants and a light jacket. It’s amazing how the changing of seasons can change your attitude, your outlook, even your personality. The cold, cloudy weather brings on the desire to take more naps and veg on the couch. The sunny days make you want to go out and throw a Frisbee or take a walk. Different seasons, cause different emotions. We as believers are a lot like this as well, and it affects our faith to the point of wanting to serve or not wanting to serve. Following all of God’s Word, or just following the easy parts. Loving your neighbor, or tolerating your neighbor. Seasons change and so do people. There is always the tendency to let the “thing” of the moment drive who we are and what we do. The temporal thing can sometimes become our foundation if we are not careful and that foundation will fall and disappointment will abound. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 for Timothy (and us) to preach the word in season and out of season. At the beginning of verse 1 Paul makes a very solemn decree where he says, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom.” That’s a very strong statement to begin an instruction part of this chapter and Paul’s serious attitude behind that statement is seen in verses 3 and 4. He speaks of people NOT enduring the sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled. They will find teachers who tickle their ears and make them feel like where they are is the place to be. Those people will come to love and follow those teachers as long as they make them “feel” good about themselves. It’s kind of like Dr. Phil Messages for the weak of faith. Oooey, gooey faith is the one thing that will tickle their ears the most and they will continue on a path that turns them away from the truth of God’s Word. There’s that “changing of the seasons effect” and it is all built on lies, not the truth. Let me interject a bold statement about this whole group of people. This group is larger right now in the modern day church than those who are committed to preach God’s Word as it’s written. How can I say this? Well, let me ask you this. Why do people float around from one church to the other? Sometimes it is because they aren’t getting fed for that one hour of the week, or sometimes they aren’t liking the feed. Changing seasons, changing seasons. Do you see how weak this kind of faith is and how much it confuses the issue of serving Christ? If everyone would serve wholeheartedly in the area God has gifted them, we would have less complaining and more attaining.
Paul concludes this point in verse 5 by telling Timothy to “be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” Some great instruction from a great soldier of Christ. Remember, the seasons will always be changing, but we must stand firm and remain consistent in our work of preaching the gospel no matter if it’s summer, winter, fall, or spring. The seasons, they be changing. The Word of God doesn’t.
The Pilgrimage continues….