Testament

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
‭‭II Timothy‬ ‭2:1-13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Testament

Over these nearly three years, the Lord has prompted me to begin the emptying out, the relaying of the treasury of knowledge that He has given me, for the use and edification of others. Through my walk with the Lord, He has revealed much to me in His word, and by His Holy Spirit. In many ways, these many mornings have been my death bed confession.

Do not be alarmed! I’m okay!

Though nothing is critical now, I know that my days are numbered, and I will someday see my Lord face to face. The timing is up to Him. Before I am gone, He has given me the opportunity to share the good and the painful, the comforting and the afflicting truths that I have learned about my Lord. I learned most of all, that He is always faithful.

Paul was nearing the end of his life. He had spent years traveling, doing ministry and suffering for the cause of Christ. Chained up in a rented house in Rome, he shared all that he had with Timothy and with us.

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
II Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV

Standing for the word of God and being faithful to teach it, will make you enemies. In the midst of the struggle, we as followers of Jesus are instructed go and make disciples, raising up teachers and preachers who can rightly divide the word of God.

As in any ministry that requires the equipping of people for the ministry, there will be those who have their own agendas, and will go after others seeking to defame and draw followers of their own. Those in leadership need to be equipped for these battles, for they will come.

The greatest tool is to keep life simple. Focus on God, family, and then others. I tell you the truth, I do not allow myself to be entangled in others lives. Even when I sit in church, I have learned to have a filter over my ear-gate, not allowing stray conversations to enter in. This is an essential skill I have learned.

I shun gossip, for it is of the devil. I myself have been the subject of many slippery morsels of gossip, for I have the tendency to demonstrate thick, impenetrable boundaries. People have difficulty seeing into me, so they make up their own realities concerning me.

“And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.”
II Timothy 2:5-7 NKJV

We are in a race of faith. It is not an opportunity ti sit idly by in the pew, twiddling ones thumbs, looking forward to the Cracker Barrel lunch coming up. It is a daily fight for righteousness, where we must remain in the lanes, whose demarcations are eternal and set forth in the word of God. If we are faithful, there is a crown awaiting us.

It race that is all consuming, and becomes more intense with every step. I can tell you, there is no moment when one can cruise, for the evil one is pacing us, kicking at our strides, hoping to cause us to stumble. Paul knew this and he related it to Timothy, for he knew that his race was almost done.

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
II Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV

Number one rule in ministry: feed yourself first! You can not give to others the riches of God’s grace, if you have not first fed yourself. Make time daily to seek after the Lord, taking your portion of the daily manna, that is the Scriptures, taking time to pray over what you have read, and buttressing your daily experience with God, with worship.

“Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
II Timothy 2:8-13 NKJV

Brothers and sisters, let us be faithful to remember the Gospel: that the Lord Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose again on the third day. May this be in the forefront of our minds, and may we always remember what it has meant in our lives. May we never be a people who have forgotten what it means to be a sinner saved by grace.

Let us be faithful to share the Gospel, regardless of how it may have an impact on our lives, for the word never comes back void. We may die, but the word never dies, we may be imprisoned, but the word remains unchained.

May we never deny the Lord.

May we endure all things, knowing that the Lord has already won the victory!

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Revelation 2:10 NKJV

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https://www.allaboutgod.com/the-roman-road.htm

One thought on “Testament

  1. I love your application of the phrase, “Feed yourself first,” to the spiritual realm. Makes me think of Proverbs 4:23. “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

    Like

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