2 Timothy 2:1
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
It seems as though men have always been fascinated with strength. We have all seen images of Greek or Roman statutes, they look like they have come off the pages of a body building magazine, making us wonder if every Roman official looked like the Incredible Hulk. We have also seen images of rockets blasting off, volcanos erupting, or a nuclear explosion. The sheer force involved in these phenomena is mesmerizing. Psychologists and business gurus encourage us to recognize our strengths in order to find happiness in life or success in business. It is not difficult to find lists of character strengths by which to measure ourselves. However, it has been my observation, the things Paul tells us to be strong in are strangely absent. While it is important to be strong in things like decision-making, seeing a task through to the end, or being creative, Paul exhorts us to be strong in other areas which have far more eternal value.
2 Timothy 2:1 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
Grace can be defined as the giving nature of God. The Bible teaches us, God loves us and desires to give what is best to us. The highest expression of His grace is seen at the cross, where He gave His Son to pay for the sins of the world. It is when we recognize we are sinners, and He has provided a way of salvation, that we become partakers of His grace. Sadly, many who have trusted in the grace of God for salvation, live out their Christian life as though grace was used up on the cross. They seem to live like Jacob, who was constantly striving and manipulating to get ahead, rather than walking with, and trusting in, the Lord. One of the greatest lessons to learn in life is, once you have received Christ, you are accepted in the Beloved. You are a recipient of God’s favor, and as you walk daily with Him, you will derive the benefits of His matchless grace.
Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
The phrase “be strong in” is used one other time in Paul’s writing; he refers to being strong in the Lord. One of the realities of life is there are many times when I am not strong enough. The other day I attempted to carry a piece of furniture out of the house, only to realize I would have to wait for one of my boys to get home. It was simply too heavy for me. Weakness is something we all have, and it stands in the way of us doing what God calls us to. Rather than failing to do what we have been called to because of our weakness, we must be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Whatever He calls us to, He will equip us for.
Questions for 2 Timothy 2
- According to verse 1-2, how did Timothy learn the ministry?
- Paul compares Christianity to fighting, competing and laboring. What can we learn from his comparison to:
- How can you apply verse 15 to your life today?
Verse 22 refers to running. What should we run from, what should we run towards?
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