Weekly Devotion 2/13/2017

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.  2 Tim. 2:3-6

Paul challenges Timothy with three different analogies: the faithful soldier, the obedient athlete, and the hardworking farmer. From the soldier we are inspired to endure.  Words can’t describe the level of endurance that is required of a solider.  Why do they endure?  To please their commander who had enlisted them.  The obedient athlete teaches the importance of following the rules.  Why is holiness important?  If we don’t walk in holiness we are disqualified.  The farmer expresses, a life of hard work.  God blesses hard work.  In order for the farmer to work so hard he must first partake of his crop.  We must receive from the Lord before we can be used by the Lord.  What is interesting is right before these challenges Paul writes, “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” It is only God’s grace that can equip for these challenges that are presented.   Be encouraged the struggle is worth it. “Beyond warfare is victory, beyond the athlete’s effort is the prize, and beyond agricultural labor is the crop.  Kent Hughes

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