THE HOLY BIBLE (New Living Translation – 2 Timothy 4:16-18): 16 The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. 18 Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
THOUGHTS: Ever stood your ground on something, then turned around and felt like you were the only one standing? That’s similar to what Paul must have felt when he stood before the judge mentioned in this passage. However, for those who trust in God and make a stand in obedience to His calling, I am comforted in knowing that the same God that stood with Paul, will also stand with us! This is something that we can stand confident in the Lord about! However, may I also draw our attention to the remainder of verse 17, for Paul tells us that the matter of God standing by him was not for the purpose of Paul being lifted up in the eyes of his oppressors, but instead to give him protection, deliverance and strength to return to the ministry for which God had called him in the first place. Wouldn’t it seem natural that following such a rescue, we would assume that God might be telling us to escape the area to prevent a recurrence of getting caught by the Romans again? But look at what Paul shares with us: God rescued him and gave him strength so that he might go on to preach the Good News in its entirety for all Gentiles to hear. In other words, that he might go on to finish the job for which he was called! Distractions in ministry often tend to beset the ministry, however when we see God at work even in the distractions, we must stay on track and allow Him to carry on without regard to the circumstances being slightly different to what we originally thought. I believe that there are also times where God might cause distractions to cause us to return to Him, or refocus on Him, or draw even more strength from Him, so that we might be reminded of the true Commander in charge of our mission. Therefore, when commissioned by God, we must never lose hope, but instead surrender our all to the Commander and be prepared to accept instructions from Him, in His time, as we are on mission for His purposes! Like Paul, we will quickly celebrate our victories as we stand in amazement to the mighty works of God!
PRAYER: Father I believe that there may be times that we change ministry direction or focus, when instead You are merely trying to strengthen us and help us refocus on You as our leader. Please help us to examine ourselves and regain our focus on the Leader of our mission and the purpose for which You have called us. Please show us Your power so that we will not succumb to the distractions that Satan will send our way, especially while dedicated to Your work and Your will for our lives. Please continue to show us Your will and open our eyes to Your power, that’s absolutely necessary to help us fulfill Your will, so that everyone that we might come into contact with might see Your mighty works evident in our lives, and they may be convinced of their need for a Savior. I ask all this in the precious name of Jesus, AMEN!
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