As we read the books of Timothy, it is clear that Paul is writing to a young man, living in big city and ministering to a mega church. He, (Timothy) is not only overwhelmed by the enormity of the task of ministry and leadership, but is also caught in the crossfire of life. He is too sickly, timid and isolated.
Paul himself, writing out of a Roman dungeon, drops 7 words – 7 reminders to help lift Timothy out of his dungeon of despair, rekindle the fire in him and take his Christian life, ministry and leadership to the next level.
It is not how well we preach or teach… It’s how well we live especially in tough times.
“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2. Timothy is reminded of his calling to impact others. To watch his life and doctrine; be steadfast in good times and bad – and be a good example of faith and trust.
The war on terror; the treat of ISIS can’t compare to the battle that rages for your soul.
“No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” 2 Timothy 2:3, 4. Timothy is reminded that soldiers obey orders strictly; do not get tired of their duty, but stick to it; and never dream of turning their back and running away when the fight intensifies on the battlefield.
The Christian life, ministry, leadership is not a sprint it’s a marathon. Train and prepare yourself for it.
“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2:5. Timothy is reminded that just like athletes, he must follow the rules of a disciplined Christ follower. Godliness, sincerity, pure motives, prayer, meditation, truth-speaking are just a few practices that help him win the price.
The Christian life, ministry and leadership is not just a walk in the park. Only the tenacious succeed at it.
“It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.” 2 Timothy 2:6-7. Timothy is reminded that – yes, the task is difficult; and working hard is essential, but he can find joy in the process by doing his part and letting God do His. If he is patient enough, and never give up, he will share in the harvest.
If there is anything pure, authentic in him/her; anything with an aroma of life to the believing and death to the unbelieving – you are standing in the presence of a minister. God’s man.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a minister who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. Timothy is reminded that he is a minister, not a fake or a counterfeit. He is a minister who renders unadulterated service to God and his people. One who doesn’t compromise truth, but is fearless and straightforward as he lives out and proclaim the word.
Everybody wants to be used, but not many want to be vessels.
” Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.” 2 Timothy 2:19. Timothy is reminded that the “world is yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.” (Moody)
The only thing that should matter to you is that you are His.
“The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.” 2 Timothy 2:24. Timothy is reminded that he is a servant of the Lord. He belongs to the Lord. When critics turn against him, he must never forget that he is the servant of God, and God will defend him.
If the christian life was a portrait, these 7 reminders would be the perfect word-picture to describe it. If the Christian life was a song, these 7 reminders would be the perfect lyrics to sing. If the Christian life was a strong tower, these 7 reminders would be the building blocks of enduring character.
- Never forget your calling to be contagious in your faith
- Never forget your duty as a good soldier
- Never forget to discipline yourself in this race that we run
- Never forget your responsibility as a minister
- Never forget what it truly means to be set apart for noble purposes
- Never forget to whom you belong
By so doing, you paint the perfect picture; you pen the perfect lyrics; you built the strongest tower of what the Christian life should look like.