Thursday, July 13, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

               Equipping the people of God

                          2 Timothy 2:1-13                      

                            Susan Abraham

                      Sehion MTC - Plano, TX


No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.

    There are several points that Paul reflects on in 2nd Timothy chapter 2:4-6. One, the importance of keeping focused, two, following rules, and lastly, working hard. Paul uses three different examples from a soldier who is focused and eager to please his commanding officer, an athlete who follows the rules to successfully complete a race, and a farmer whose hard work produces his harvest. These principles can be applied to our lives as well to better equip us as His followers to work diligently for His kingdom. Staying focused on God in today’s world has become rather difficult. It is easy to get caught up in the things around us but setting time aside to spend with the Lord can ease our tensions and bring clarity to a world that is chaotic. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” When we are focused on Christ, He has our attention and our hearts.

    Through His Word, God has given us the basic instructions and rules to lead a good life. The Bible gives us knowledge, strength, motivation, guidance, and most importantly the message of salvation. 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17 says, “16. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,17. so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” When we follow God’s Word, we are keeping His teachings in our hearts and walking in love as stated in 2nd John 1:6. When we have this love in us, we can share the gospel, which is what Christ intended for us to do. Knowing God on a personal level and understanding His Word can prepare us to run the “race” that is set out for us. Philippians 2:15-16 says, “Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”

    Jesus never said this road would be an easy one. In 2nd Corinthians 11:23-28, Paul refers to his own sufferings from being in prison, flogged severely, ship wrecked multiple times, and even facing death on several occasions. He was a great example of someone who was persistent in working for what he was called to do. Even though he faced many hardships, he knew ultimately it was for the glory of God. Paul’s hard work enabled him to plant spiritual seeds as referred to 1st Corinthians 3:6. He knew that salvation was a gift that was given to him and in return he needed to share Christ’s love and the message of hope to everyone.

    We too can use our talents and gifts that God has entrusted us with to bring change and hope to those around us. The seed we plant which is God’s Word is free to all and can bring an abundance of blessings to those who receive it in their hearts. Spending time and focusing on God’s word will help us when faced with life’s challenges. The moment we allow Him to take over our hearts, He will use us in ways we never thought possible.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, Help us to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things. Keep away all that would distract us from Your word and develop in us a teachable spirit and attentive ears that listen to Your still small voice. Give us insight and understanding into Your Word as we spend time with You daily. Help us to mature in faith, grow in grace, and come to a deeper knowledge of You. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

“The more you focus on yourself, the more distracted you will be from the proper path. The more you know Him and commune with Him, the more the Spirit will make you like Him. The more you are like Him, the better you will understand His utter sufficiency for all of life’s difficulties. And that is the only way to know real satisfaction.” John MacArthur