Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Be Strong!

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

In today’s verses Paul was urging Timothy to be strong. I urge you as well to be strong in Me.

With Paul’s impending martyrdom, he was passing the torch of leadership, mission, and equipping of new leaders to Timothy. To do all the things Timothy needed to do, he had to choose to be strong and “empowered by the grace that is in” Me! He needed to soldier on through possible suffering. He needed to endure and complete his race of faith. He needed to work hard until he was able to enjoy the harvest of all of his work.

Timothy needed to be strong in the simple and clear message of My good news. He needed to be strong and not let the threat of prison, or even death, steal away the truth that nothing can stop My message and the cause for which he lived. He needed to be strong in confronting those who dissipated the strength of My people with their “bickering over words” and “meritless arguments” and “ungodly babbling”. Timothy needed to be strong in completing his mission and in not being ashamed of My message. He needed to be strong morally and pursue the right things by avoiding immorality and evil in all its forms.

My dear disciple, being strong is not just about your will power. It is also about your commitment to be strong through the power of the Holy Spirit living in you. Nevertheless, being strong does mean you have chosen to be strong before your strength is tested. It is about a commitment to stay on track with things that matter. It is the discipline not to feel like you have to show yourself strong in things that don’t matter.

I want you to be strong in the Scriptures. I want you always to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. I want you to trust the Spirit to strengthen you to make the right choices and do the right things, whether those choices and things seem easy or difficult. Choose to be strong and you will find that the holy reservoir of strength within you may surprise you! As Paul said to the Thessalonians:

[T]he Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

(2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 NIV)

Verses to Live

As you read these verses, not only see how Paul encouraged Timothy to be strong, but also write down what the Holy Spirit is saying to you about being strong!

But as for you, my child, be empowered by the grace that is in Jesus, the Anointed One. Whatever you heard me teach before an audience of witnesses, I want you to pass along to trustworthy people who have the ability to teach others too. As a good soldier of Jesus the Anointed, be ready to suffer with me. Remember that soldiers on active duty don’t get wrapped up in civilian matters because they want to satisfy those who recruited them. Look at it another way: if someone competes as an athlete, he won’t win the race and be crowned with the wreath if he breaks the rules. And the farmer who exhausts himself in the field should be the first to taste his harvest. Think about what I am telling you, and let the Lord give you clarity on all of it.

Remember Jesus the Anointed, raised from the dead, descended from David’s royal line. This is the crux of my good news! This is why I suffer and why I am bound and chained like a lawbreaker. But God’s word is not in chains! That’s why I endure everything for the sake of God’s chosen: so that they might experience salvation with lasting, eternal glory through Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King. Here’s a statement you can trust:

If we died with Him,

    we will live with Him.

If we remain with Him,

    we will reign alongside Him.

If we deny Him,

    we will be denied by Him.

If we are unfaithful,

    He remains faithful,

For He is not able to deny Himself.

Remind others about these things that I’m telling you. Warn them before God to stop their useless bickering over words. After all, splitting hairs does no good; it only ruins those forced to listen to their meritless arguments. Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth. Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle. Once these empty voices start to speak, Timothy, they infect and spread; and soon the body is consumed with its cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus fell victim to it, and they walked away from the truth by claiming that the day of resurrection has already arrived. They are clearly disrupting the faith of some who are not well grounded. Regardless of what they do or say, God’s foundation is strong and firmly in place, etched with this seal: “The Lord knows the ones who belong to Him,” and, “Everyone who invokes the name of the Lord ought to stop doing what they know to be wrong.”

Look, in the mansions of the rich and powerful you will find everything from silver and gold serving bowls to wooden containers and clay jars; some are used for special occasions — where honor is important — others are used for more mundane tasks. So tell them, if they will clean up their lives and purify themselves from dishonorable teachings that lead people astray, then they can become honorable vessels, consecrated and useful to the Master, made ready for every good work He has in store.

Timothy, run away from youthful desires. Instead, direct your passion to chasing after righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord with pure hearts. Excuse yourself from any conversations that turn into foolish and uninformed debates because you know they only provoke fights. As the Lord’s slave, you shouldn’t exhaust yourself in bickering; instead, be gentle — no matter who you are dealing with — ready and able to teach, tolerant without resentment, gently instructing those who stand up against you. Besides, the time may come when God grants them a change of heart so that they can arrive at the full knowledge of truth. And if they come to their senses, they can escape the devil’s snare and walk freed from his captivity and evil bidding.

(2 Timothy 2:1-26)

Response in Prayer

Almighty and righteous Father, I need Your strength to be the person You want me to be. I commit to choosing the right things and to doing the right things and to honoring You. I also know there will be times when I will be tempted by sin or I will feel outnumbered by those who do not love You or I will feel overwhelmed by the circumstances against me. I commit to doing the right thing in those situations. I will trust that You will strengthen me with Your might through Your Spirit in my inner being. Thank You for Your might and power released into the lives of everyday people that I find in the Bible. I want to be one of those mighty and courageous people who honor You. In Jesus’ name, I pray for this strength. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2016, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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