DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-09-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 2:3-7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)
BIBLE TEXT: 3 Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, just as I do; 4 and as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army. 5 Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. 6 Work hard like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop. 7 Think over these three illustrations, and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you.
OBSERVATION: Paul told his son in the ministry, Timothy, that He should consider three different professions to help him grasp the importance of his ministry, because each have impressive drives that could teach him the values of hard work and dedication that will serve to enhance his aspirations. I believe that our time spent meditating this direction from Paul might also help us, even today.
APPLICATION: One of the things that my younger sisters dreaded while growing up, was to hear my mom tell them how she wished they would pay attention to the character and habits of their older brother! They were no different than most of us, for we tend to assume we are being told that what we are currently doing counts for nothing. But friends, notice that Paul was merely using these three professions because of the qualities that normally come forth from those who chose to follow these paths. Let’s look at each individually:
~ A Soldier – Although I have never been in the military, I am told that the first thing military leaders/trainers try to achieve, is to convince new recruits that they now belong to the military and they should therefore forget all other allegiance and everything else. When in battle, soldiers know that they are to follow the orders of their commanders and no one else. They are trained to have a one-track mind. As workers in God’s army, we must also have a one-track mind, for we are to listen carefully to His commands; and follow His orders only. Anything else will result in a half-hearted soldier who can be swayed by every distraction that Satan sends our way;
~ An Athlete – In the days that our Scripture was written, if athletes trained less than 9 months, they were disqualified from competition. Imagine if churches were to ordain leaders and pastors with very basic training and experience? Paul wanted Timothy to be fully trained and very aware of the extreme stress on himself while striving to win the battle of snatching souls from the pit of hell. Satan is very real, but our God is so much more! Strive to win and not settle for anything less, when it comes to winning the lost;
~ A Farmer – My dad was a farmer, so I know how much he dreamed about the end result when he slowly cleared the ground, planted the small seeds, and tenderly and patiently nurtured the plants through to maturity and reaping. I also remember the days of harvest, for he celebrated in seeing, reaping and selling the beautiful crop. Isn’t it very obvious to see the various levels of church work in everything I just described in farming? Paul knew that Timothy would be very familiar with farming, and would therefore apply its concepts to his ministry. This is a great reminder for us as we endeavor to share our hearts and lives in the ministry of Jesus Christ!
Friends, we each have a desire to succeed in life, but what are we prepared to do in order to win? Others have shown us through their various professions, And often all we need to do is to apply the same principles that they used, and most of all, listen closely to our Chief as we head out to do His work. To sit at the feet of Jesus and look around to see all those that we touched in some way with our lives and/or our ministry, is worth every minute of every hour that we spend here on earth in training, in executing and in celebrating successes. Oh that God may be glorified through all of our efforts, is my greatest desire!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we thank You for all that You are to us. We thank You for softly speaking to our hearts and guiding us into accepting You as Lord, and then helping us to share that love with others. But Lord, the times seem to get rougher each and every day, so I beg You to help us remember the one-track mind and dedication of a soldier; the training and aim to win, that athletes strive for, as we strive to win the lost for the Kingdom; and also help us to remember the patience and nurturing by our farmers as they wait in anticipation for the joy that comes with harvest time. Our work seems endless and often so unrewarding, but when we allow you to guide us and work miraculously in the lives of those we touch, we are confident about the joy that will come in the morning! Oh that You may be glorified today dear Lord, and oh that You may use us powerfully in Your kingdom work here on earth. This is my humble plea today for all my readers and myself! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!