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. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.
Strength. Faithfulness. Men want these, but they don’t happen naturally. Fear and infidelity come naturally. Paul encourages Timothy toward strength and faithfulness. He is appealing to the heart’s desire for those things, but they must be encouraged! They don’t just happen.
The encouragement comes to be ‘strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.’ Being strong in grace… what does that look like? How can a guy like Timothy (or a guy like me) be faithful to the gospel of grace? It takes strength, to be sure! It takes the determination that other things will not preempt the truth of God’s Word or the power of His grace that is found in Jesus.
This Gospel is also reproducible. Not by chance but by design. It has a witness to the hearts of people. God is using this Gospel of grace to draw people to Himself, offer them hope and healing and to build His family. These things ‘entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.’ And so within this generation and from generation to generation the Gospel is delivered to the hearts of people.
Strength and faithfulness is required because there will be difficult days. “Endure hardship with us” Paul writes to Timothy, “like a good soldier.”
I am encouraged by these words and am taking them to heart! I need to be a reliable man who entrusts the Gospel to other reliable men. I need to not be surprised by hardship, but endure it like the soldier for Christ that I am. I intend to please my Commander! It all begins with being strong in His grace. This is what makes this life in Christ so different. It is not confidence in my own strength and resources, but confidence in His grace.
Lord Jesus – You are Lord and I respond to You and Your grace today. Teach me, Lord, what it means to be strong in Your grace. I know that You want me to engage the battle for the hearts of people. This requires more than I have… so thank you for the strength You provide! Thank You for Your Presence. Fill me with Your Spirit and increase my strength in Your grace today. Lead me to the battles You have for me and be victorious today.