Lord, I would draw my strength from You this day so that all I do may please You.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 2:1-13
 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.  Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs-he wants to please his commanding officer.  Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.  The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.  Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.  Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,  for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.  Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.  Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;  if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;  if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat point do you think Paul is making in vs. 2-6?
Paul uses three graphic images to help Timothy focus on the long haul of the Christian life. Endurance is an unavoidable requirement if this “son” (1) is to follow in his spiritual father’s footsteps: “[you] endure … I endure … we endure” (3,10,12). Each image brings out a different aspect of endurance. The soldier endures hardship and the restrictions of his commission; the athlete works within the rules of the sport; the farmer is hard-working but is the first to taste the fruits of his labors. Still, in this age of overnight celebrities, there are no short cuts in the Christian life.
Although Paul uses his own experience as a prisoner for Christ as an example for Timothy to follow (8-10), he quickly moves on to the model for all Christians, Jesus himself (11-13). It is in drawing close to Jesus that Timothy can be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (1).
The “trustworthy saying” (11-13) contains a surprise towards the end. Consistency is at the heart of God. Even if some Christians disown him, he will complete his mission. He cannot be unfaithful to his great promises and purposes.
Are you having to “endure” in some way? How can you “draw closer to Jesus” in the days ahead?
Lord Jesus, draw me closer to You each day, I pray. I want to be Your faithful follower.
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