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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

endurance

As Paul is challenging and encouraging Timothy to start a church in Ephesus, he throws down the following statement in 2 Timothy 2:3, "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus." Paul knows all about enduring hardship and what it takes to remain faithful to the kingdom, and he wants to encourage Timothy to stay strong no matter what.

Jesus knew that following and obey Him was going to be hard. He talked about the difficulties His disciples would face all the time. "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world." John 16:33. He was also very straightforward about what it meant to truly be His disciple. "If you love Me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15. Here, we see Paul indicating and reminding Timothy that the road of faithful service is tough, and endurance is key.

This is just a simple reminder to forget about excuses. Jesus taught that we need to hold fast to Him, the Way, Truth, and Life. It's an extremely simple teaching and basic instruction, but yet excuses creep in over and over and distract us from Him. The bottom line is this, will you be a person of influence or not...will you endure like a good soldier/disciple of Christ or not? Will you compromise your integrity, grab ahold of excuses, and settle for the substitutes that this world has to offer or will you simply hold on to Jesus?

Jesus prays for you, us, the church in John 17. Part of His prayer is this, "May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me." John 17:21 When people observe and listen to you, do they have reason to consider Christ or not?

Hold fast to Jesus...don't settle for anything else...ever. Endure...Stay strong.

tim

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