Today we are reading from 2 Timothy 2: 1-13:
You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; 2 and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. 3 Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. 5 And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. 6 It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 The saying is sure:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
Today, Paul tells Timothy that he is supposed to be on mission, focused on what he is called to do. And to support this argument he gives a couple of interesting examples.
Timothy should look to a soldier. Or an athlete. Or a farmer. Look at these examples and be like that in his following of Jesus. I thought those were interesting examples because you know what I think of when I think of those things? Frustration.
A soldier may not always be privy to what their commanding officer wants them to do. They may not always understand the mission, they just have to complete the task in front of them, to the very best of their ability.
An athlete, when they first start, will most likely not be very good. They have to learn. They have to grow, they suffer defeat, and they fail. But they keep being faithful. And in time, they will achieve that goal.
The farmer will wait months for the crops to grow. And they could do everything right but there is no rain. Or too much rain. Or too hot. Or not hot enough, then it could all be for naught.
Each of these examples, “victory” is not always in their control. All they control is being faithful and keeping their eyes on the mission in front of them. They do not control the outcome. They control their faithfulness.
That’s a great example for us as Christians. We are to be faithful, regardless of the outcome, because honestly, we don’t control that anyway. We keep focused on the mission, and be faithful, allowing God to control the outcome.
Today, be faithful with the task in front of you. Learn from it. Grow from it. Keep focused on what you are called to do. And trust God with the results.
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