Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Endure Hardship

"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything." - 2 Timothy 2:1-7 NASB

We are not soldiers, athletes or farmers for God. Our goals are different but those vocations have qualities that we bring to our cause and our cause is clear. We entrust grace thinking to faithful people.

Soldiers share in hardship together. What is expressed here is the team aspect of our calling.

Athletes must have an internal mindset to push themselves and compete within certain boundaries so they are not disqualified. This isn't team. This is singular determination and commitment. This is learning to run inside the lines so that our effort is not disqualified.

A farmer lives on what he or she is doing. He doesn't plant to please others. The carrots his family doesn't eat are for sale and He makes sure there are a lot of carrots.

"By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:17-19 NASB

A disciple studies under a master to make what the master makes. That ancient disciples swept the floors, cooked the food and did menial tasks for the master to be close to him so that they could learn.

If Jesus is our Lord we have taken on a love apprenticeship. When we follow Him we learn to love and learn the doctrines of love. Hardship, sweat and tears go hand in hand with the joy, learning and laughter.

Faithful witnesses of the cross say, 'It is finished. He is risen. Cease from striving. God has loved you with a perfect love.'

If this is true and can be a provision for every suffering person on the planet then comfort must take a backseat. Our liberty is real and becomes focused. We plant so that there will be more than we ourselves can eat.

This love will cast out all fear.


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