Friday, December 14. 2018                                                                                                              

2 Timothy 2:1-7

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

The Christian life is a call to holiness, and by implication a call to engage in spiritual conflict with evil. It is a fight of faith against the devil who is ever strategizing, seeking the downfall of Christians. It is a battle in which Christians have the upper hand, if they remain strong in the Lord. Consequently, Paul in the Bible reading for the day, uses three illustrations to call Timothy to alertness which will enable him to be strong in the Lord. The first illustration is the use of the soldier (vs 3-4). This is a call to perseverance in the midst of suffering for the sake of the gospel. The Bible tells us that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”(2 Timothy 3:12). Earlier, Jesus had to draw His disciples’ attention to this reality: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Soldiers of Christ are not intimidated by suffering while in the battlefield, because the joy of the Lord is their strength. Beloved, is this your experience?

The second illustration is the use of the athlete (v5). This is a call to willingly make sacrifices and live lives of strict discipline. The Christian is running a race to meet his Redeemer, and he does it with utmost discipline to qualify for a prize. Living a disciplined life is strength to the believer. Could this be said of you?

The use of farmers (v6) is the third illustration. This speaks about living a life of patience and hard work. The devil always works against our patience so that we can become downcast. Are you discouraged this moment? It is a ploy by the devil. Be strong in the Lord.

PRAYER: Pray with Nehemiah 8:10.