17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
Have you ever been called on for something you were unprepared for? Perhaps in school you were called on by the teacher when you weren’t paying attention. Imagine sitting at church and pastor is reading a letter written by the apostle Paul and it calls out your name. This is what’s happening in this letter. Imagine being Archippus as the whole room turns and looks at you.
The intention was not to embarrass Achippus, it was to admonish him. Sometimes it takes us being called out to realize we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing.
Paul instructs him to do three things
1. “Take Heed”
He is saying don’t neglect the gifts God has given you. They were given with the purpose of using them for Him. An example of this would be the parable of the talents.
2. “The ministry which thou hast received of the Lord”
We don’t just wake up one day and say, “I think I’m going to serve in this ministry.” God gives us a ministry. Even when we choose a ministry God has put the seed in our heart. I want to mention one important thing. Ministry is not a position, it’s people. God has someone for you to serve. He has someone he made you to have an impact on. We harm the people we are supposed to reach when we neglect the ministry God has called us to.
3. “That thou fulfill it”
I was taught that greatness is not measured in years, it’s measured in decades. It’s easy to think “I’ve served, I’ve put in my time, now I can sit back.” There is one problem with that thought process. Worldwide two people die per second. In the approximately one minute it took you to read this, 120 people have gone into eternity. Our job to reach the world with the Gospel is getting more difficult by the day. We all need to fulfill the area God gave us.