The date was February 7, 1943, in the midst of World War II, the day that the legend of a hero was birthed off of the Solomon Islands. Howard Walter Gilmore was a submarine commander in the United States Navy, captain of the USS Growler, skillfully leading four Pacific patrols during World War II. On its fourth patrol, the Growler approached a Japanese Convoy and prepared for a surface attack, when suddenly the convoy escort, Hyasaki, closed in on the Growler, preparing to ram her. In a burst of machine gun fire directed at the bridge of the Growler, Gilmore would be wounded. As he struggled to hang on to the frame of the ship, he gave the command to clear the bridge. After his crew had entered the submarine, Gilmore would issue his last order: Take her down. An officer, hearing that order, closed the hatch and submerged the crippled sub, saving the rest of the crew from attack from the escort ship. The commander was never seen again, sacrificing his life while leading his crew to safety.
Young Timothy was Paul’s child in the faith, carrying the heavy burden of pastoring the church at Ephesus. Paul considered Timothy his “own son in the faith,” and recognized that this young man’s “unfeigned faith” had a rich family history, being passed down to him from his “grandmother Lois, and…” his “mother Eunice.” Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul would pen two letters to this “dearly beloved son,” words to counsel Timothy through two different seasons of his life.
At the writing of I Timothy, it was an exciting time to be at that pastor’s post, and Paul encourages his young protégé to “keep that which is committed to thy trust,” to “fight the good fight of faith,” to be watchful of false teachings, and “doctrines of devils.” Timothy had to be on a spiritual high as Paul instructs him on the details of handling this growing and thriving congregation located in the heart of one of the most pagan cities in Asia Minor. But as Paul pens II Timothy, times are changing. Nero is the Roman emperor and the insanity of persecution was wreaking havoc on the early believers and those young local churches, leading to death, defections, and internal rebellion. It is with this backdrop that Paul instructs Timothy to be “instant in season, out of season.” “Instant,” to stand upon, militarily we would say to stay at one’s post, “in season,” the Greek equivalent of pleasing times, “out of season,” those bad times. Timothy would need this encouragement to stay at his post, to dig in and find the courage to stand firm in his duty of reproving, rebuking, and exhorting his flock, regardless of the “season” in which he found himself.
We also need to stay at our post, regardless of good or bad seasons. Whether it is in regards to our personal ministry for Christ, our duties as a parent, our responsibilities toward our spouse, or our personal walk with Christ, we too need encouraged to stay the course, be instant, remain faithful, even when our personal circumstances make standing firm difficult and unpopular. Don’t abandon your post, hold the fort…victory is so near!
II Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
See the mighty host advancing, Satan leading on; Mighty men around us falling, Courage almost gone. “Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still; Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will!”<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1620-62863cb423f04' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1620&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1620-62863cb423f04' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1620-62863cb423f04' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>