June 11, 2019

2 Timothy 2:1 (NLT) — 1 Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.

I have a routine of going to Anytime Fitness Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Because of that I have had opportunity to see a few strong guys and gals that frequent the place. Because of the persecution that Christians were facing at the time Paul wrote this letter to Timothy he exhorted him to be strong and not cave in and turn away from the faith in Jesus.

Notice that Paul didn’t tell Timothy to join a Fitness Center so that he could build up his physical strength. In fact he mentions nothing about physical strength at all. Physical strength doesn’t come into play very much when one is to endure suffering. Go back and read the story of King Saul who was a big strong guy; the bible said that he stood head and shoulders above all other men, and yet he turned his back on God.

I believe Paul was referring to mental and spiritual strength because he talked about grace that came because of what Jesus had done for us on the cross. The grace of God is what caused God to send Jesus to save us in the first place. Timothy never had to lack confidence wondering whether or not he was forgiven. Christ forgave all of his sins. Timothy never had watch his every move and walk around on egg shells as if he was on probation. No Jesus had forgiven every sin, no probation required. Knowing this about the grace of God would give Timothy great confidence and boldness, of mind and spirit, in the face of suffering. He would be suffering because he was a Christian not because God was disappointed with him or because there was some sin that hadn’t been forgiven.

Titus 3:7 (NLT) — 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

But not only is grace favor it is also strength. It says this in the first chapter of John:

John 1:12 (NLT) — 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

Right is the Greek word exousía which means the power to do something.

So without the God grace or God’s power we never would have been able receive Jesus. Out sinful nature surly didn’t have the power. The only power it had was to cause us to go on sinning. It had no power to do anything righteously.

Titus 2:11 (NLT) — 11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.

Remember that it is by grace or God’s power that we have been saved >

Ephesians 2:8 (NLT) — 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Both the grace(power) and the faith came from God.

The Apostle Paul knew what it was like to receive the strength of God’s grace >

2 Corinthians 12:7–10 (NLT) — 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So because of his experience with the power of grace Paul could encourage Timothy.

Do you need strength of mind and spirit to face what you are going through today? Call on God to fill you with His grace. Do you know someone else who needs strength of mind and spirit? Tell them to call of Father God and ask him to fill them with His grace.

Acts 13:43 (NLT) — 43 Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them to continue to rely on the grace of God.

Be Inspired Hilltop!