A picture of reliability (2 Timothy 2 v 1-7)
When you think of something that is reliable, what springs to mind? Maybe a faithful pet, an old lawn mower, or a Land Rover? These verses are all about reliability.
Read 2 Timothy 2:1
• What is Timothy to do?
• How many different people are mentioned here?
• What does this tell us about a reliable ministry?
Central to faithful ministry is training. That is, when the reliable message is passed on reliably to reliable people who will pass it on reliably! It’s a bit like a relay race.
Read 2 Timothy 2:3
Some imagine that the work of a pastor is easy. The pictures that Paul draws on, however, remind us that the work of teaching and training is hard. In fact, they are pictures of a Christian’s service— full-time pastor or “ordinary” member.
• What are the three pictures in these verses that Paul uses to describe gospel ministry?
• For each one, try to identify:
• what the main point of the picture is.
• how it relates to Christian service.
A devoted soldier
Life in the Roman military was very demanding. There was not space for parttimers. Soldiers were trained to follow
their commander’s orders, 100%, no matter what they thought themselves. Christians are soldiers of Jesus and, in the same way, are to have ears only for Jesus.
• Whose instructions do you find it easy to listen to instead of Christ’s?
The Bible makes clear that (just as in the army) even partial obedience is actually disobedience.
A disciplined athlete
Some top athletes have lost their medals because they cheated. In the ancient Games, the two main sports were distance running and wrestling. Both had very strict codes of conduct.
Read 1 Timothy 6:11
• Are there areas where you’re compromising?
A diligent farmer
The farmer has to work in all weathers in order to enjoy the harvest. Similarly, if we want to see people changed, trained and equipped for service, we must be willing for long-term strategies, and not settle for quick fixes.
• Is your life a picture of reliability? Are you devoted, disciplined and diligent?
Pray for pastors you know, that they will be reliable in their work. Next time you see them, why not ask how you can pray specifically for them and their work? That would hugely encourage them!
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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