2 Timothy 1:7-14 (ESV)
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to[a] a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,[b]10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.[c] 13 Follow the pattern of the sound[d] words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
Growing up, summer break meant running with friends and
spending nearly every moment outside enjoying the day. One
afternoon, my friends and I decided to journey to South Park. A
dilemma arose, however, as we realized we had only 3 bikes but 4
people. Instead of yielding to the simple solution of running to the
park together, our creativity overpowered our common sense as we
decided to attach a wagon to the back of the bikes using a
combination of tied scarfs. Our invention worked rather well
(especially for me who got the wagon seat) until the first turn when
the bikes and wagon went left as I tumbled right into the grass.
When I first read today’s passage from 2 Timothy, visions of that
wagon ride continuously played in my head as Paul encourages
Timothy to rely on the power of God and boldly share the gospel.
Stuck in that wagon, I sat with complete dependence on the bike.
Only when I attempted to go against the bike and rely on my own
will did I tumble to the side of the road. In much the same way,
failing to depend on God often results in a crash-and-burn scenario.
God calls us to use the Spirit He gives us to fearlessly proclaim the
gospel and unashamedly share His love. While this appears a rather
daunting task, we aren’t expected to do it alone. The Holy Spirit
works unremittingly to provide us with the courage and wisdom to
live as we are called. Relying on our own abilities apart from the
power of God is about as productive as sitting in a wagon and
expecting it to move on its own.
Paul never tells Timothy that his ministry will be a walk in the park.
Relying on God takes a lot of discipline and trust and even then,
fails to solve all problems. Life is messy, ministry is messy, but you
are more than equipped by God to handle it. The end result is
definitely worth it.
Dear Lord, thank you for equipping us with your Spirit of power,
love, and self-discipline. We pray that you help us rely solely on you
and your amazing love so that we may boldly share your love with
everyone we meet. In your name we pray, Amen.
Written by Taylor Justison—Summer Youth Intern