I have been reflecting back on yesterday’s worship service ever since it ended. I am so encouraged by the response to my commissioning as the pastor of such a great church. I am so humbled as I think of the great responsibility of leading this body of believers to where God is taking us. The message preached by Richmond Goolsby was a great challenge to me and to our church. It has been heavy on my heart so I went back and read through II Timothy 2 this morning and God solidified the message in my heart and mind.
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. - II Timothy 2:1-3
Paul is encouraging young Timothy not to have an identity crisis as he took on the role of pastor. As we heard yesterday this is good advice for all Christians, not just pastors. For me, your pastor, and you, the church, the ministry is not something we get for ourselves and keep for ourselves. Our call is to be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus as we become good stewards of the spiritual treasure God has given us. Paul uses the word entrust which means to give over (something) to another for care, protection, or performance. It is our responsibility to guard this gift and then invest in the lives of others. And then we are to share the Word with our families, our neighbors, our communities, our towns, our state, our country and the world. You get it? We can’t be hoarders of this great gift. We must give it away. In the process we will have hardships and opposition, that is a given. But like we heard in the message yesterday and like verse 3 says we must endure hardship. We must remain strong.
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. - II Timothy 2:8-10
Paul is reminding us who we serve. What is so amazing is that I have music playing softly in the back ground, and I am rarely aware of what song is playing. But as I am writing this, God makes me aware of what song is playing, especially in light of verse 8. The song playing is “Mighty To Save” by Hillsong. The lyrics to the chorus are:
Savior He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save He is mighty to save. Forever Author of salvation, He rose and conquered the grave. Jesus conquered the grave.
God’s timing is amazing! Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead… Our God is mighty to save. Paul is saying always look to Jesus for the ability to advance the gospel because even if we are facing opposition, the word of God is not hindered, it is not chained. We need to always endure knowing Jesus is in us and with us; not for our sake but because there are those out there who do not yet know the saving grace of Jesus and we have the mandate to take this good news to those who do not know Him. Thank you Jesus for a great time in Your house yesterday!