Scripture text for Wednesday, May 5th, 2010: 2 Timothy 2:1-2:26
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I love the second verse from our passage for today, 2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” I’ll throw out the phrase “philosophy of ministry” to describe this principle because I believe it was a foundational element both for Jesus and the NT church. Clearly this is what Jesus did with the 12. He could have gone about his ministry in many other ways, starting a school comes to mind or a political movement or a commune but he did none of those. Instead, he took most of the time during his three year public ministry to invest himself in the disciples and then trusted them to do the same with others. They did so, or I wouldn’t be writing this devotional and you wouldn’t be reading it.
I was fortunate to have a strong Christian that helped me in my Christian walk for two years after I committed my life to Christ and I wish it could be true for everyone. We met weekly, prayed together, and held each other accountable for various things. I have had the privilege since that time to build additional relationships with many men and God continues to use these relationships to mold me. Our God is a relational God and our faith is a relational faith.
In the rest of chapter two Paul challenges Timothy, and us, to live faithful lives, to endure suffering and hardship as “good soldiers” of Christ, “flee the evil desires of youth,” and offers several other commands. He also mentions the goal, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed” (v. 15). This chapter and particularly verse 15 gave inspiration for a children’s ministry called AWANA (Approved workman are not ashamed), that has played a positive role in the lives of millions of youth.
The other interesting feature of this passage to me is the list of hardworking “workers” Paul draws analogies to: the athlete (v. 5), the farmer (v. 6) and the soldier (v. 3-4). Each of those individuals is committed to something beyond themselves and their lives are inherently attached to that goal. So it is with us. This is an important and needed reminder to me that my life is not my own, but that it is in the hands and under the direction of another (even when I pretend or imagine otherwise). So, pick your analogy but in any case let us get busy at our training, plowing, or marching for our Lord today.
Devotion prepared by Dave Timmerman