2 Timothy 2:3–9
3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!
My apologies for those that were looking for spiritual food yesterday and I forgot to prepare that food. This brings me to a passage from 2 Timothy today that shows my failing yesterday to be a worker approved by God as taught in this passage. These truths are not just for Timothy and not just pastors, but for all of us. All of us are called to the work of God. This work must be carried out according to God’s plan and using what God has provided. We are so tempted to try to take matters into our own hands, to respond to people and situations according to the wisdom of man. This will only result in entanglements, races that are never won, and crops that will never be harvested. Later in these passages Paul commends Timothy to be a worker approved by God.
To be this kind of worker we must pay close attention to our attitudes and our responses. Are we being driven by our emotions and feelings letting our flesh win out over our spirit? Paul gives us three things to be reminded of to be a good worker:
- As a soldier we must remember that we have one authority, and we must adhere to the chain of command. God is in charge and God is sovereign over all. This is why we call Him Lord. A good solider keeps His eye on the commander to lead. We must never let the ways of the world overtake our commitment to God’s authority in our life. Is God Lord over all of your life today. If not, what needs to change.
- There is a finish line. God is there waiting for us there and through this journey of faith God is beside us every moment. Scripture says, “He will never leave us of forsake us.” The hope we need to keep going is that the trials, troubles, and tragedies of this life will not prevent us from reaching the finish line. God goes with you.
- Work the field of your life, till the ground to bring forth spiritual growth, weed the fields to remove sin, doubts, fears, and unholy pursuits, water the crops to bring forth the fruits of God’s purpose in your life.
The last charge from scripture is that the only tools we need and the only tool that is from God is the gospel of Christ Jesus. We look at the godlessness of this generation and we want to see it change. It will not change by eloquent words that we speak but with the truth of the gospel shared as our story. I am a sinner, God showed me the guilt of my life and the condemnation that results, in faith I repented of my sins and believed that Jesus died for me to take God’s wrath in my place, and I owe my life now and in the future to Him because Jesus loved me. This is the message that will change wicked hearts, it is simple but powerful when wielded in love for the those who are more like us than they are different, because we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.