2 Timothy 4:1-5 - “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

Have you had a chance to watch Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football — Thanksgiving?

Lucy calls out; “Oh Charlie Brown! Come on, I’ll hold the football and you kick it.” 

Charlie replies; “Ha! Hold it! You’ll pull it away and I’ll land flat on my back and kill myself.”

“But Charlie Brown it’s Thanksgiving!”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Oh Charlie Brown, one of our greatest traditions is the Thanksgiving football game and the most important tradition is the kicking of the football. Come on Charlie Brown it’s a big honor for you.”

“Well, if it’s that important, a person shouldn’t turn down a big honor. Besides, she wouldn’t try to trick me on a traditional holiday.”

There he goes running at the football saying; “I’m going to kick that football to the moon — Aaugh, slam-bang!” Flat on his back!

For the most part during the fall season we have much to celebrate and be thankful for. However there is always a need to be on guard for ourselves and for our neighbor’s well-being.

The reality is there’s always some element of greed, some type of scam lurking around, and times of festivities and celebrations seem to heighten that type of activity.

So, rather than point fingers or pour out negativity, I thought perhaps, my own shared thoughts would a least bring it to the front for consideration.

Have you read the verse Matthew 10:16 (KJV) – “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

What’s this have to do with the Peanuts illustration?

Charlie Brown knew Lucy. And vice versa. Lucy tapped into the goodness of Charlie Brown’s nature. Using key, well placed words to lead him into the trap, appealing to his willing equable nature, saying such things as — “greatest tradition” “most important” “big honor”. Which lead to SLAM-BANG! “Oh good grief.”

Such deception whether it’s for a crude joke, financial or personal gain, revenge or simply to embarrass or humiliate, is the by-product of the world.

May each of us not focus on the things or ways of the world but focus on our part.

Hebrews 12:2 — “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

As I was saying we a have shared part with Jesus. Let us focus on our part. 2 Timothy 4:8 – “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me on that day.”

In our opening passage of Scripture we are given a charge. It’s more than a command, it carries with it a moral obligation.

So what I’m suggesting is not to allow the misdeeds of others detour us from our charge to preach the Word, to be prepared in and out of season.

The Scriptures of 2 Timothy 4 tells us, right in the first five verses, that people will not put up with sound doctrine, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it actually happens around us.

How about we do our part as the apostle points out? “But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

I’ve probably shared this next saying more than once, but I tell myself this very thing constantly, “Stay busy doing the do’s and you won’t have time for the don’ts.”

There’s already plenty of hurt in the world. Let us be encouraged to lessen the hurt first by not willingly adding to it.

Just before the book of Revelation, there’s a small book named Jude, which consists of 25 verses.

In my Bible, just above the 17th verse is the title, “A Call To Persevere”. I draw your attention, beginning with verse 22, “Be merciful to those that doubt, save others by snatching them from the fire, to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupt flesh. To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy.”

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Fulfill all the duties of our ministry. May each of us be thankful that we have been charged with a part in the Lord’s ministry.

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