Be Strong in Grace 2 Timothy 2
Timothy was like a son to Paul. He raised him in Christ and Timothy now has the pastoral responsibility for the people entrusted to his care. This is the last letter to Timothy that Paul would write before he was executed by Nero. Severe persecution continued against believers and Paul urges Timothy to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
Paul uses three different examples in his encouragement to Timothy in regard to ministry. The first is to endure hardship like a soldier. Soldiers are trained to focus, to stick to the mission at hand, to follow orders. Secondly, Paul uses the example of an athlete. In order to win the athlete must train, compete according to the rules and keep at it until the victor's crown is won. Finally, the example of the hard working farmer. Pastoring in South Dakota gave me a bird's eye view of the hard working farmer. There were many nights, when the crops had to be brought in because storms were coming. The farmers would work night and day to accomplish the work that needed to be done. When it was calving season, night and day they watched after their stock to make sure all went right.
Paul said to "reflect on these things..." Think about it. All three examples were hard working, don't give up, stick-to-it type of people. Paul was saying to Timothy, no matter what comes against you as a pastor, work hard, preach the word, and keep yourself in the middle of God's grace.
This is not only wise instruction for myself as a Pastor from God's Word, but to each of us who are called by God to spread the good news of Jesus! Each of us, no matter our "call" in life, has a responsibility to be the very best we can be for the Lord. Be strong, work hard, and be faithful to God has called you to do!
Serving the Lord faithfully together is such a privilege!!!