Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. ~2 Timothy 2:1
Strength training is a necessity for keeping the muscles in our arms, legs, and torso strong. Aging and inactivity cause us to lose muscle mass, make us weaker, and, over time, make us susceptible to injury and lack of energy. In the spiritual realm, it is vitally important that we are strength training in our Lord. Paul told Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. God’s grace is His strength made perfect in our weakness. Grace is the gift of God to us for and through salvation. Grace is developed in us through service, suffering, and supplication. It is the outflow of a consistent and diligent walk in the Spirit.
We must be strong in grace as a coach.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Paul is describing the training and mentoring of servants of God. Developing servant leaders takes time, exemplary modeling, patience, and constant attention. Mentoring is when we show the way and then go the way. It takes grace to build committed, faithful men. As a coach, we have to correct them when they are wrong or in sin. We have to wait for them and give them time to catch up. We have to deal with the heartache of the few who disqualify themselves and become unfit. We must have strong grace in our coaching.
We must be strong in grace as a commando.
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” There are two essentials about being a soldier who pleases God. First, we need grace to help us stay focused. A good solider does not get entangled with the affairs of this world. He is in a battle against a hostile foe and must not put himself at risk of being hit by enemy weapons. Second, we need grace to help us have fortitude. Soldiers have to endure the hardness of discipline, watchfulness, warfare, weariness, and giving up too easily. Only by being strong in the grace of our Lord can we withstand the fierce conflict against our spiritual enemies.
We must be strong in grace as a contestant.
“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” The idea here is of a long-distance runner or a wrestler in a grueling match. First, a winning contestant must adhere to a disciplined life and schedule. His will must be in control of his body, and not the body over his will. Second, he must stay within the boundaries and keep the rules of the contest. Contestants who cut corners will be discovered and disqualified. We need grace to give us inner power to pace ourselves.
We must be strong in grace as a cultivator.
“The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.” Husbandry is hard work. A husbandman works year-round. He will sow, irrigate, prune, and keep watch from predators eating his fruit. He must be patient in waiting for the harvest. He cannot be idle. If he hires out men to care for his vineyard, he will want a diligent accounting of the results. The work of God involves cultivating the field, sowing seed, and reaping. We must be strong in the Lord’s grace in order to see the Lord’s blessing on our labor.
The ministry has many demands and requires a lot of multi-tasking. Serving God effectively cannot be done in our power. We must be strong in the grace of the Lord. Wait on the Lord, pray without ceasing, be saturated in God’s Word, and walk in the Spirit. Then, and only then, can we be strong in the grace of our Lord.
Have a grace-enriched God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Romans 8-10