Life at the Crossroads
Lord, thank You that today is the day You have made; I will rejoice and be glad in it, giving thanks to You.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 1:1-7
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.
None of us lives a lifetime; we live daily lives at the intersection of a day’s challenge and God’s grace.
Two men are standing at two very distinct crossroads. Paul sees the shadows lengthening in his life. He is coming to the end of a second and final imprisonment in Rome. The issue for him is: Will he finish well? Will he pass on the flame of the Gospel? For Timothy, who has walked with Paul for 18 years, the question is: Will he take hold of the promise of life entrusted to him? Will he shrink back, or will he leap into his calling as the next generation pastor and evangelist?—where his life is destined to be forged in the mingled fires of suffering, conflict, joy and ecstasy.
Second Timothy is going to show us what it looks like to hit the tape; it will show us what it takes to be forged.
“…the promise of life that is in Jesus Christ” (1). Don’t miss the words anchoring this letter. What is offered here is not biological life (bios), the life of biography, which is always running down, fading out, decaying and disappointing. No, this is zoe, life which is from God blazing from all eternity. This is the life of transformation brought by the Gospel: a new heart where a stone used to live.
And what does Timothy need? He needs a fire for his fears (6). Fear for Timothy and for us is always the silent companion waiting to keep us from this promised life: dread of the future, inadequacy, derision, death at the end. Fear always tries to build a gated community of paralysis around our hearts, but in Christ that is never the final word. Not a spirit of fear, “but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline”(7) rekindles the flame again, and again takes us through any crossroads. Hallelujah!
Name the crossroads you stand gazing at as eternity meets your days. Pray that God would invest his total power and love in you today.
Lord, these crossroads are mine. Lead me out of any paralysis, fear, and mediocrity, and lift me into Your empowering energy and footsteps today.
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