2 Timothy 4:5 – Be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

The third ministry gift Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:11 is that of the “evangelist.” Your fingers beautifully illustrate these five gifts which the Lord has placed in His church. The thumb speaks of the apostolic, as it touches all the other gifts. The prophetic is like the pointer finger, pointing the way. The evangelist, like the middle finger, reaches out the farthest. The ring finger illustrates the pastoral role and speaks of covenant relationship. The small finger speaks of the teacher. It is ideal for cleaning the wax out of your ears.

Paul addresses four areas of which he wants Timothy to be aware. He says be “sober in all things.” The message of the gospel is serious. The souls of people are at stake. You can have fun witnessing, but understand you are speaking of the eternal destiny of a soul.

Paul says, “Endure hardship.” Declaring the “gospel of the kingdom of God” will generate various kinds of hardships. Some examples are: financial, inconvenience, time and energy, persecution, mocking, rejection, and for some physical abuse, including death. Along with whatever hardships one might experience comes the joy of conversion. David declares, “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6).

Paul tells Timothy, who carries pastoral responsibility, “Do the work of an evangelist.” Timothy was not an evangelist, but was taught to think evangelistically. A man like Billy Graham is an Evangelist; his gift is obvious. We are all called to witness of the faith and win souls. Solomon wrote, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 11:30). Whatever your gift may be in the body of Christ, do the work of an evangelist.

Finally, Paul says to Timothy, “Fulfill your ministry.” One of the most fulfilling things in the life of a believer is to know your ministry of service. As I write these devotionals, I know, this task is a part of fulfilling my service to the body of Christ. No one person can do everything, but the Holy Spirit has assignments for each of us. Whatever assignments the Lord may have given to you, remember Paul’s encouragement to Timothy. You can always ask a person if they have any prayer requests. It is a great lead into sharing the love of God with another.

Father, I thank You for the Gift of the Evangelist. As Paul instructed Timothy, help me to do the work of an evangelist. Open my heart and my eyes to see people as You do. Show me the lost and the perishing who need to hear of Your great love revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.