Exhortations to Timothy; the coming of apostasy; steadfastness in the Scriptures; the charge to preach.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Tim. 2:3).
The ministry of Paul was marked by much suffering that demanded great endurance (II Cor. 11:22-28). He was in Roman prisons many times, but through it all, he never considered himself a prisoner of anyone other than Jesus (Phil. 1). He had also endured many other afflictions. He was beaten many times. He was shipwrecked. Often times, he faced opposition even from the Church because of his past. He even lived daily with some unknown ailment in his physical body as a spiritual challenge. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure (II Cor. 12:7).
Paul knew that his end was near and he was deeply concerned that Timothy, his son in the faith (I Tim. 1:2), be prepared as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. He urged him to endure hardness and told him the secret of his success by urging him to Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed (II Tim. 2:15). It would appear from the things Paul was charging Timothy with that he was entrusting this young man to take up where he would leave off at the time of his death. The letter brings to mind the passing of the mantle from Elijah to Elisha. Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee . . . I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me . . . nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so (II Kings 2:9-10). The Scripture conveys what would happen at Elijah's departure. There is more than one similarity here. Timothy was being summoned to be with Paul here at the end of his life. Both of these great spiritual leaders, Elijah and Paul, were preparing their students, their sons in the Lord, for the task of stepping into their shoes and leading the church in their respective times.
A good soldier of Jesus Christ obeys our Lord's orders. He knows that Christ is concerned for his welfare and will not leave him alone in any situation. Timothy needed to understand that even though he might face persecution and afflictions, that Christ would be with him. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Heb. 13:5). The promise is clear from the Word of God. Christ will be with Timothy and all believers through the good and the bad times. Just like God led Paul through his hardships to a great life of service, He would do the same for Timothy.
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier (II Tim. 2:4).
Thought for the Day: The will of God will not lead where the grace of God cannot keep.
2:4 entangleth himself, becomes involved; 2:23 gender strifes, create or initiate quarrels or arguments; 3:3 incontinent, without self-control; 4:15 be thou ware, be aware, be on guard.
Prayer Suggestion: The promises of God should be an encouragement to you to seek God in prayer (Amos 5:4,6).
Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 1:37