Lord, I don’t want to fade away like a shooting star, so pull me into the pulse of Your strengthening grace today.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 2:1-13
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.
“I am obliged to bear witness because I hold, as it were, a particle of light and to keep it to myself would be equivalent to extinguishing it” (Gabriel Marcel).
Paul tells Timothy to be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus (1). Chesterton wrote that we need to learn to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again. So it is with grace, which provides unmerited favor and undeserved kindness. Grace seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. The essential reality of grace is that God cares for sinners not after they have turned to him, but before. It has nothing to do with our loveliness; it is being loved when you are unlovable.
So, Paul tells us and Timothy that if we dwell in grace, we will overflow: in this case (2) to four generations: Paul, Timothy, faithful men, and to others. To know the grace of Jesus Christ and hold it as private possession is to watch it die stillborn.
Here we find three unremarkable images which encourage this overflow of faithfulness, patience and wonder. The good soldier (3) has done with secondary entanglements. He is down to the essentials. He is under an authority bigger than himself. (How often have you heard: “I don’t really know what the Bible says about that, but let me tell you what I think…”). The athlete (5) is under the self-discipline of training (1 Cor. 9:24-27). He is ready to lay aside every hindrance and weight (Heb. 12:1), focused on finishing the race. The farmer (6) works remote from all the glamor, fame, and recognition. He lives with expectant hopefulness. He waits for the crop in wonder and mystery beyond manipulation or applause.
Remember Jesus (8), keeping your eyes on what is unseen, and live with vigorous grace in this world.
Consider these images in prayer: what is God revealing to you through them, and what next step will you take?
Lord God, let Your wondrous life find a way out of my heart this day; do not let it die a stillborn thing locked away from the next person I meet.
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