Through the Bible Day by Day
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
“A GOOD SOLDIER OF CHRIST JESUS”
Soldier, 2Ti_2:1-4 : There is grace enough in Jesus for every need, but we must avail ourselves of it. We can expect nothing less than hardship, since life is a battlefield. Our one aim should be to please Him who chose us to be soldiers. In order to be all that he would have us be, we must avoid entangling ourselves in the conditions around us. We must resemble a garrison in the town where it is quartered, and from which it may at any hour be summoned away. The less encumbered we are, the more easily shall we be able to execute the least command of our Great Captain. How high an honor it is to be enrolled among His soldiers!
Athlete, 2Ti_2:5 : Life is an amphitheater, filled with celestial spectators. Probably our worst antagonist is found in our own heart. If we win the crown, we must observe regulations as to diet, exercise, purity, 1Co_9:24-27.
Husbandman, 2Ti_2:6 : We ought to be working for God in His vineyard or harvest-field; but we are allowed to partake of the fruits. It is imperative that we should be nourished while we labor. In all these positions we must remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. We must draw upon the power of His resurrection, and to do this, we must live on the heaven-side of the Cross. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live,” Gal_2:20.
Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
“APPROVED UNTO GOD”
The elect, 2Ti_2:10-13 : The Apostle sketches the experiences of the elect soul. It must endure, suffer, and die with Christ, that out of its surrender may come the truest, richest life, Joh_12:25. There is no path to lasting success save that of the cross and grave of Christ. It has been allotted to the redeemed in the divine program; each must tread it separately and with resolute purpose. But there is no doubt as to the sequel of a true life. The world of men may count it a failure, but God pledges Himself that as the pendulum swings here in the dark, it shall swing equally in yonder world of light. Three things are impossible with God-to die, to lie, and to fail the soul that trusts Him. Even when we cannot muster faith enough, His word of promise cannot be frustrated in the case of those whose faith is weak and trembling as the smoking flax.
The workman, 2Ti_2:14-18 : The one anxiety with us all should be to stand approved before God. As the r.v. margin suggests, we must hold a straight course in the word of truth. Our testimony should resemble an undeviating furrow. Let us construct in our life something which will be a permanent addition to the well-being of the world, so that at the last the Master may say that He is satisfied.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
“A VESSEL UNTO HONOR”
Two men had been named whose teachings had overthrown the faith of some; but in contradistinction to this lamentable defection, Paul turns with thankfulness to the firm foundations of faith on which the Church is built. They stand firm, because they rest on incontestable facts, and are authenticated by the Christian experience of centuries. Medallion inscriptions were often placed on foundation stones. Here are two affixed to those of the Church-one between God and the believer, the other between the believer and the world. What a privilege to be known by God! What a responsibility to work worthily of Him before men!
From the house the Apostle proceeds to the vessels within. Each of us stands on one of those four shelves. But those to be honored and which are most often in the Master’s hands are not necessarily the gold vessels, but the clean ones, of whatever material. Cleanliness counts more with God than cleverness. Do not be anxious about your service; be ready for the Master to use you. Lie like a silver cup in the trough of the fountain, 2Ti_2:25. Repentance is God’s gift, but there is a peradventure in it. Men are drunk with the world’s drugs; they need to be recovered. Notice that we may rescue for God men whom the devil has entrapped.