Our scripture this morning is 2 Timothy 2:3-10.
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
Paul writes to Timothy to remind him of the duty we have in Christ. He uses examples to show how our focus must be on pleasing God and not letting outside things interfere with our efforts. Even when we are treated unjustly (as Paul is, imprisoned for preaching the Gospel), we are called to continue to the best of our ability.
How are we holding up in difficult circumstances? It is hard to share joyfully when we are oppressed by the actions of the world and beset by illness. Paul experienced both of these but continued in his ministry and he exhorts us to do the same.
We will always face difficult times and situations due to the sin that entered the world through our disobedience. However, God calls us back into a relationship with Him through our repentance and His forgiveness. The Good News of Jesus Christ is our gift from God and He is the only way we can be saved.
Gracious God, we are humbled that even though we have fallen You are willing to raise us with Your son into eternal life. Help us to love others as You first loved us, bearing the things of the world until that day You call us home. Amen.