Daily encouragement

Video by

Katie Fox

ACF Devo Team

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2 Timothy 2:11

Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him.

Behind the Scenes

How many Bibles do you own? Are the pages frayed from frequent use is it collecting dust…somewhere? In the days of the early church, the followers of Christ only had the Old Testament scrolls (if they could read), word of mouth, and the testimony of letters from those who had walked with Jesus himself. They didn’t have access to the Holy Scriptures the way we do today!

Paul is writing to Timothy, a fellow partner in the teaching of the gospel. This verse is part of what is called a creed, which is a set of beliefs that people would sing or repeat aloud to one another so that the truth is not only spoken in word but lived out in the heart. The early church not only needed to hear the transforming message of the gospel, but they needed to understand what it meant to live with Christ: that what they did each day matters in this life and for eternity to come.

If we die to our old selves and allow Christ to make us a new creation, what does that actually look like? If we zoom out to the bigger picture, we see that, in the verses prior, Paul uses three metaphors: a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer, to instruct us on how to live with Christ while waiting for eternity.  

He writes, “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops”(2 Tim 2:4-6).

Make it Real

Living in Alaska, you have probably come across someone employed by the military; you either know someone, are married to that someone, or are that someone!

A soldier understands their mission, why it is essential and how to accomplish the task at hand. They recognize the authority over them and believe and trust in how the mission is carried out, even to the point of death. A soldier can’t be distracted, can’t do whatever they want, but must follow a chain of command. We, like soldiers must recognize the authority of Christ over us. As Christ lived out his days on Earth, he recognized the authority of his Father’s mission. Christ didn’t get entangled or distracted in human squabbles; he always got to the heart of the matter in accordance with his mission: to save and redeem.

When an athlete wins the Tour De France or a tennis player sweeps a Grand Slam title, they are immediately embraced by their coaches and triumphantly swept up with their teammates. They share their pinnacle of accomplishment with those who got them there. Living in light of eternity, we need the Holy Spirit as our coach and the Church as our teammates. We need to be reminded of truth, the purpose of our training. We need to be encouraged when the tough gets going, carried when we can’t seem to walk, and led when we can’t find the way. We can’t run our Christian race alone.

And as much as we train, we need to work. Farmers prepare the ground: they pull the weeds, clear the rocks, and till the soil. They understand the seasons and work within each season to harvest a crop. The Lord has placed each one of us on a particular “ground” in a particular “season” to accomplish his will of redeeming his creation to himself.

How we live today helps us and those around us begin to taste eternity. We bring the Kingdom to Earth by living under Christ’s Lordship, being led by the Holy Spirit in community to live out the life God calls us to and working the ground we have been placed on - sowing or reaping within our season.

Are you, like a soldier, aware of your mission and focused on what it takes to complete the task God asks of you? Are you an athlete, practicing self-discipline, training with others, and celebrating the victories in your life? How about a farmer, looking at the fields, assessing the season, and doing what it takes to reap and sow a harvest?

End in Prayer

Lord, make me like a soldier with discipline to heed your Lordship. Help me to train with the prize of eternity in mind. May I press into the Holy Spirit as my guide, living as part of the church to encourage and be encouraged. May you show me what it means to work where you have me so that I might bring the Kingdom of Heaven to those around me. Amen.

Written by

Hollyn Roberts

ACF Devo Team