“Be Strong in Grace”

2 Timothy 2:1 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 

Timothy had a task before him similar to that of Joshua.  He was called to continue leading the church at Ephesus on his own.  He would continue to uphold the truth of the Gospel for his generation as Paul prepared for his soon departure to heaven (1 Tim. 1:11, 2 Tim. 1:14, 2:2, 3:6).  What Joshua was to Moses, Timothy was to Paul.

Timothy’s task was not easy.  In 1 Timothy, he must confront false teaching (1:3-7, 20).  He is to give order and direction to men and women in the church (2:1-15, 5:3-16) and appoint qualified leaders (3:1-13).  He is to teach sound doctrine, and set an example of Christian living (4:6-12), preach, teach and do the work of an evangelist.  Faithfulness to this included adversity.  It was no easy task especially as a young man (4:12), not in his home church.  Twice, Paul exhorts him, “…fight the good fight of faith.” (1:18, 6:12).   

By the time Paul writes 2nd Timothy, things seem harder.  The frustrations of ministry had brought this young capable man to tears (2 Tim. 1:4).  Nevertheless, Paul urges him on.  Notice the main commands. Verse 8,  “…join with me in suffering for the Gospel according to the power of God.”  Again, “Retain the standard of sound words…in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” (1:13).  And verse 14, “Guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure…”  This theme comes to a climax in 2:1, “My son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  Each command is wedded to the spiritual means of doing it.  This final climactic means is grace.  Timothy, in light of the pressing difficulty – be strong in grace.

What a wonderful word from a man who learned this secret for strength.  Paul’s life was a mingling of ministry and suffering.  His words come to Timothy with the happy assurance of experience.  Paul had learned to be strong in grace and was commending this his spiritual son and ministry apprentice.   What a word of fatherly care.

Grace can strengthen our hearts in adversity.  It reminds us, “if God is for us, who can be against us?”  Grace extends our hearts beyond the troubles to the good outcome God is working together for us (Rom. 8:28).  Grace assures us that God is using our suffering in His cause of saving others.  Grace gives us joy to think that Christ has already overcome evil – even what attacks today.  Being strong in grace looks to our unsurpassed reward at the end of the race (2 Tim. 3:7-8). It’s all worth it.  God will make it good.

Today, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  Rest in His grace.  Rejoice in His grace.  Take heart that your labor is not ever in vain, in the Lord.

Thanks…and see you Sunday.
Pastor Dave

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