Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:3–7
“Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.”
2nd Timothy is one of Paul’s final letters written approximately three years before Paul gave his life for Christ in Rome around A.D. 64. Paul was in prison during the writing of this very personal letter to his “beloved son” in the faith, Timothy. When we observe this scripture let us observe it in the same light Paul wrote it in as if we were in prison for heralding the truth. We can see these observations:
- Paul wants Timothy to endure the sufferings of the gospel with him
- Paul wants Timothy to avoid get caught up in the affairs of this world, but please God
- Paul wants Timothy to achieve the crown of life by abiding by the law of the faith
- Paul wants Timothy to tell others that the minister is worth the offering that is given him.
Endure the Sufferings of the Gospel
Those of us who follow the Lord Jesus Christ are called to minister in some way. Anytime you minister to the Word before God in Christ’s name, some level of persecution will arise. It is not a question of if persecution will be seen, but a question of when and how often. In asking what this passage means to us how we should apply it to our lives we must visualize ourselves in Timothy’s place. Do we have enough faith that we will hold onto the gospel no matter what the cost? Hopefully the answer is yes.
Don’t Become Entangled in the Affairs of this World
Paul tells Timothy that a good soldier is out to solely please the one who enlisted him and does not get entangled in idle worldly affairs. We need to give most of our attention to God and leave behind those things we used to do in our idleness. No longer should we involve ourselves in philosophies of man, who “educated thinking” only stack question upon question. We all, as ministers, need to focus on the things of God, for this focus produces a personal faith that allows us to endure persecution and trial in patience.
Obey the Law of Faith
Faith has a law?? It says in this passage that faith has a law that is so important we need to abide or live our lives continually in it. So what is the Law of Faith? The Law of Faith says that by having faith, you now have entered God’s grace. You have obtained freedom from sin and the law. Now use that freedom to glorify God. You can glorify God by keeping yourself holy and loving the church first, and the people of the world, second.
The Minister is Worth His Work
Nowhere in the New Testament are you required to pay tithes. You are, in fact, released from such a law. So are we to not give to the church at all? The answer is this. You are required to give what the Holy Spirit settles your heart with giving. Look, God loves a cheerful giver. So whether you believe in tithing or not, you should want to do it with an attitude that is cheerful, in that you are helping the furthering of the gospel. If you have an attitude with giving to God like it is paying the power bill, then God really does not want it. Meditate over this and come to a general cheerful conclusion.
Heavenly Father, we approach you today with a heart of humility, knowing all things are yours and every good thing comes from you. Lord we understand that we all will be called to lead a ministry in the church and we pray Lord that we fulfill our calling in a manner worthy of your calling. We understand that we need to set aside the objectives of the world and make you our primary objective. We understand that we are free to do whatever we will under faith, but Lord grant us the strenght to serve you each and every day. Lord make in our heart a cheeful and giving heart so that whether we give time or money, we can give it to you, not as one in debt to you, but as one who is happy about giving. Lord as always, if there be any that read this who are unsaved, I ask Lord that they recieve the gospel that will save them from your wrath, eternally. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!