The Soldier, the Athlete, and the Farmer!|
There is an amazing illustration in 2 Timothy 2:1-8
"Oh, Timothy, my son, be strong with the strength Christ Jesus gives you. For you must teach others those things you and many others have heard me speak about. Teach these great truths to trustworthy men who will in turn, pass them on to others.
Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, just as I do. And as Christ's soldier do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in His army.
Follow the Lord's rules for doing His work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. Work hard, like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop.
Think over these three illustrations, and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you. Don't ever forget the wonderful fact that Jesus Christ was a Man, born into King David's family; and that He was God, as shown by the fact that He rose again from the dead. (Living Bible Paraphrase)
Roaring out at me this morning is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:2 are my marching orders. Today I will do many things, but forefront in my mind is how to accomplish the task of disciplemaking.
I have spent so much of my life on endeavors that will not stand the test and time of eternity. The buildings I have built, and the properties I have acquired, the vehicles that I own, will one day be a heap of trash and rubble.
There are few houses standing from 150 years ago. And when was the last time you saw a 1934 vehicle rambling up the street?
And yet I am sure that all the owner's of 1934 cars took great pride in owning an automobile in those days. Today's auto collectors would do anything within reason to obtain such a vehicle. It would be worth thousands.
But time and rust and decay destroys almost everything. The life has been drained and the pile of vehicles in the back of any junk yard is of little value.
But what of a man named Mordecai Ham who in 1934, invested his life and time in sharing the gospel with a young man. He saw this young man accept Christ and go on the become the greatest evangelist of all time. Little did he know that when he shared his faith with this young man, that he would impact millions for Christ.
The ministry of Billy Graham is legendary. And today this "1934 model" of a man has impacted millions of people all over the world. Billy Graham certainly learned what God has impressed upon my heart for the last thirty years.
Their are only two things that are going to last forever, the Word of God and the souls of men and women.
This statement has burned in my heart for years, and it is the main reason I have spent thousands of hours on my website to reach the world. Spending time reading and studying the Word of God has enriched my life as I have helped many men down through the years. Real fulfilment comes in seeing these men reproduce themselves according to the principle of 2 Timothy 2:2.
So what is the lesson we can learn from the soldier the athlete and the farmer?
Read over the passage very carefully. Three principles jump out at me.
1. Don't let yourself become entangled with worldly affairs.
2. Follow the rules for doing his work.
3. Work hard.
So today, make it your resolve to incorporate these three principles into your life. Becoming entangled in the world is a very real problem. Our lives are so busy in this twenty-first century just keeping all the plates spinning. We have little time left to give of ourselves to people. Take a minute right now and think about your weekly schedule. Of the 168 hours this week, how many hours are dedicated to making disciples?
Following the rules is very difficult. We have learned to compromise our faith and our walk. Everyone does it! We call it fudging the truth or some other similar cliche. God's rules of integrity and honesty and truthfulness are permeated throughout the Word of God. Spend time in that Book today, and obey it.
And lastly learn to work hard. Today the leisure of many folks sitting in front of the television vegetating their life away, totally negates the principle of hard work. We have learned to be lazy people, We can work hard at our jobs, and then go home and rest from our hard work, and never give a thought to helping other people.
Today will you resolve to ask God to give you one faithful person in which you can invest your time and your life, and a person who will be able to take the gospel to the next generation.
Discussion Questions for this page.
1. Print out the three principles mentioned in this lesson. Put one copy on your refrigerator, another copy on the dashboard of your vehicle, and another copy in your Bible as a bookmark.
2. Continue to ask God to give you someone to whom you can invest your life. Be relentless in this prayer. God wants to do it!
3. Create a checklist to make sure you are doing the three principles in this lesson. If God has given you someone to go through these lessons with, then share your progress with them.