I would like to share with you a few words somewhat parroting what I gleaned from my pastor Mike Collins message this past Palm Sunday.
So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain.2 Timothy 2: 1-7 (Msg)
I thank the LORD that His faithfulness does not rely on my own ability, agility or control. In fact without Jesus I think we would have little to no chance of remaining faithful to God or anyone during the stress, traumatic events, health & financial crisis our world is currently experiencing.
Paul gives us three examples of groups of people who in their individual occupations must execute extreme discipline, will power and inner strength under pressure if they intend to rise to the top of their field and be fruitful.
All of these disciplined are trained to be faithful, steadfast and courageous under hardship. I believe they understand they are competing with factors against their control. Success or survival, provided everything goes 100% according to a well executed plan, may go awry quickly. If they lose heart, get ill or injured, they may never compete or plant again.
There are those who rely solely on their own abilities, while others may trust in a supernatural God, who can help them with these difficult trials. When we follow and trust in Him, He will lead us and guide us in the path of righteousness and we will yield an eternal harvest.
In the passage below the Apostle Paul reminds us to remember the LORD, and His example. In the years together Jesus and His disciples faced many trials during His ministry. In the minutes and hours before His crucifixion Jesus struggled in the garden in a battle against His own will as a man. He was arrested. His disciples deserted scattered. He was was tried unjustly, He was in a race with death, but in the end Jesus arose from the ground and is alive today. He will receive His believers for eternity and He will return again victorious over all His enemies.
Jesus is the living Word of God and we are not a powerless bride. He said, I will not leave you powerless or without comfort. We have the Holy Spirit and He is near and dear to us. This Corona Virus is unseen, but we see the effects on our world, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. Jesus is still Lord over all, and all that will come and all that will go.
We don’t have to be afraid and we can be of good courage because He has overcome the world and all of the darkness that it contains.
Good Seeds Will Rise through this.
Fix this picture firmly in your mind: Jesus, descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. It’s what you’ve heard from me all along. It’s what I’m sitting in jail for right now—but God’s Word isn’t in jail! That’s why I stick it out here—so that everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory. This is a sure thing:
If we die with him, we’ll live with him;2 TImothy 2: 8-13
If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him;
If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us;
If we give up on him, he does not give up—
for there’s no way he can be false to himself.
But with God, we can rest assured that His plans and purposes were already laid out, and if we are trusting and obedient to Him, we can not only enter the mission confidently, but with the extra assurance that we are supernaturally covered by the power, purpose and sovereignty of God. We can do our best for God, not in our own strength, but through His alone.
Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples, throwing believers off stride and missing the truth by a mile by saying the resurrection is over and done with.
Meanwhile, God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones:
God knows who belongs to him.2 Timothy 2: 14-19
spurn evil, all you who name God as God.
I think of my oldest son Gary Jr. He became a chef. His grandfather was a Master Chef. He served a meal for Princess Grace at one of the posh hotels in Miami. There is a lot of work that goes into cooking a meal for royalty. But you know what? You can’t cook a fine meal without good ingredients. That starts with the farmer and the seeds he plants. Good seeds rise! But, that is just the beginning! Each ingredient has to be cultivated, harvest, sent to the market, purchased, washed, cleaned, and cooked precisely. All this before presenting, serving and cleanup!
In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.2 Timothy 2: 20-21
We must remember during this time not to grow idle but to find the tools, the materials, the strength to muster up the time to spend with the LORD, get His assignment and then be obedient like a good soldier, athlete and farmer to discipline ourselves and do the work necessary for the harvest.
Good Seeds Rise In The Time of War
Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.2 Timothy 2:22-26
Now, is perhaps the greatest opportunity on the planet to share the gospel and the message of hope for an eternal Kingdom. The Kingdom of God will not pass away but will be forever. It is a supernatural Kingdom that can not be seen with our natural eyes, but must be seen through our spirit being.
Ask Jesus to help you to not become fearful. Don’t be afraid to ask for Him to increase your faith and to help you grow deeper in Him. Ask Him to help you be bold to pray for the sick, and to intercede and to share your faith openly. Be willing to discipline yourself asking God to help you to be a good seed that will rise to the top in this hour of despair, death and despondency.
Faith, hope and love become stronger as Jesus modeled for us in the garden of Gethsemane when He prayed and said, “Not my will, but thine be done.”
Let His Children say, “Not my will, but thine O’ Father be done.”
Good Seeds Rise to the SonShine
You are one of God’s Treasures!
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