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Monday, July 20, 2015

Faithful Service

The weekend is over time to start a new week with these words of wisdom to Help us get through this week with Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-10 Bible in a Year: Psalms 26-28; Acts 22 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. —2 Timothy 2:3 Having served in World War I, C. S. Lewis was no stranger to the stresses of military service. In a public address during the Second World War, he eloquently described the hardships a soldier has to face: “All that we fear from all the kinds of adversity . . . is collected together in the life of the soldier on active service. Like sickness, it threatens pain and death. Like poverty, it threatens ill lodging, cold, heat, thirst, and hunger. Like slavery, it threatens toil, humiliation, injustice, and arbitrary rule. Like exile, it separates you from all you love.” The apostle Paul used the analogy of a soldier suffering hardship to describe the trials a believer may experience in service to Christ. Paul—now at the end of his life—had faithfully endured suffering for the sake of the gospel. He encourages Timothy to do the same: “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3). Serving Christ requires perseverance. We may encounter obstacles of poor health, troubled relationships, or difficult circumstances. But as a good soldier we press on—with God’s strength—because we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who sacrificed Himself for us! —Dennis Fisher Dear Father, help me to be faithful in my service to You. Thank You for the strength You provide to help me persevere through suffering. Share this prayer on Facebook with your friends. God’s love does not keep us from trials, but sees us through them. INSIGHT: Paul often uses colorful metaphors to describe the Christian. Sheep (John 10:27), salt and light (Matt. 5:13-14), and ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20) are well-known examples. In today’s reading Paul uses three common professions to describe the motivation and challenges of the Christian life. He speaks of the perseverance and allegiance of the soldier (vv. 3-4), the dedication and discipline of the athlete (v. 5), and the diligence and patience of the farmer (v. 6). Paul also uses these metaphors again in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 9:7,27).

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