By Mickey D. Brackin
Senior Pastor, Mars Hill Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg
Focal Passage: II Timothy 2:1-13
Paul begins chapter two with an imperative yet loving command for Timothy to be strong and to remain strong in the faith (II Timothy 2:1). Unlike those of chapter one that have “turned away” Timothy is instructed by the present passive imperative to “be strong,” and “keep on being strong,” strengthened by God’s grace to live faithfully and fulfill His calling. While many are turning away from the faith, Timothy is commanded to be strong and stay strong.
In verse two, Paul gives Timothy and the church a beautiful picture of discipleship. It is critical that Timothy understands his responsibility not only to preach, teach, and live the Word but also to invest into the lives of other faithful men who will in turn be faithful in teaching others.
Warren Wiersbe wrote, “It is our responsibility to guard the deposit and then invest it in the lives of others.”
In the light of the defections of others, Paul calls Timothy to faithfulness.
Paul uses several practical metaphors to make his point to young Timothy (vv. 3-6). Paul paints the word picture of a hard fighting soldier, a hard training athlete, and a hard working farmer. All these Timothy would have been very familiar with.
Timothy must understand the importance of staying focused to his task and calling no matter the battles, struggles or hardships. The aged apostle does not write these words hastily with a spirit of “knowitallism” (writer’s word) but rather with a spirit of a seasoned veteran who bares the scars of his faithfulness (II Corinthians 11:23-28).
In II Timothy 2:7, Paul emphasizes simply — Timothy do you get this? May the Lord help you and “give you understanding” of the importance of these truths. Paul, the spiritual father, is helping Timothy in the present as he prepares him for the future. John MacArthur states, “Faithful service to the Lord has always come with a high cost.
Throughout the history of the church, the cost of discipleship has continued to be high. Millions upon millions have severely suffered for the cause of Christ, including those who had laid down their lives.”
As this suffering and persecution escalates it is imperative that Timothy remains focused on Jesus Christ and the gospel (vv. 8-13). Timothy is called on to remember Jesus, Who He is and what He has done! When the battle rages, when the persecution comes from outside, when the opposition mounts from the inside, Timothy focus on Jesus! In your battle as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ remember God’s faithfulness.
A British pastor, Edmond Mote, put it this way in 1834: “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand! All other ground is sinking sand.” B&R — Brackin is senior pastor of Mars Hill Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg.