Tag: hard-working farmer

Pass it on!

Scripture reading for September 20th: 2nd Timothy 2, Psalm 38, Proverbs 2

2nd Timothy 2: 1-7 “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”

Paul is preparing to leave this earth behind and gives final instructions to his son in the faith, Timothy. He encourages Timothy to be strengthened by grace. Those who are humble and teachable receive grace. This grace is the Gospel message of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Paul used three short statements concerning soldiers, athletes, and hard-working farmers to help Timothy understand. Soldiers often suffer because they are under discipline and in training for battle. These men must maintain their focus on the mission of their commander. Athletes compete to win by training hard and following the rules of the contest. Farmers know that hard work is required before the harvest rewards them for their work. As Timothy thinks on these, Paul knows the Lord will open his understanding further to life application.

Psalm 38:20-22 “Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good. Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord of my salvation!”

Prayer: Father God, strengthen me today in grace! I need Your mercy and grace through faith to fulfill the mission You have given me as my Commander! Fill me with the Holy Spirit and write Your laws on my heart, giving me understanding to walk in paths of righteousness and to live with integrity. Open the eyes of my heart today to see how to love You fully and love my neighbors to Your glory.

Proverbs 2:20-23 “So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.”

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The unashamed workman!

Scripture reading for October 23rd: 2nd Timothy 2:1-21

The world has ways of intimidating the Christian.  Christians have been made fun of, ridiculed, marginalized, and even physically threatened and tortured, even martyred!  Paul, himself, knew the dangers, had the tee shirt, and was in jail as he wrote to Timothy about the calling to preach the Gospel.

“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.” (2nd Timothy 2:1-3)  Timothy was to set his heart to the task at hand.  After winning people to Christ, the task of discipleship meant finding those who would reliably follow Christ and equipping them to take the Gospel to others.  Through multiplication the world would be reached.  This work would require enduring hardship because of the spiritual opposition.

The central message was the Gospel of Christ Jesus.  Jesus was the Son of God, died for our sins, was raised from the dead and is coming again.  If we chose to live for Him here, we will reign with Him when He comes.  If we disown Him, He will disown us.  Timothy was to entrust this message to the reliable workers.

“Keep reminding them of these things.  Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.  Do your best to present yourself to God as on approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2nd Timothy 2:14-15)  Timothy would need to stick with God’s word and faithfully preach it.  Wrangling about words and petty doctrines instead of the Gospel message and godly living was useless.  False teachers always tried to get the people off the proper track.  Timothy must correctly handle the word of truth in order to be approved of God.

“Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2nd Timothy 2:19)  The unashamed workman will confess Jesus Christ as Lord and back it up with a holy life.   God is faithful to keep His own!

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