Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thurs., 4/21/11 Devotion (2 Tim. 4:5)

Today's encouragement comes from 2 Timothy 4:5, where we read these words:

"But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

Paul's exhortation to his fellow-comrade in the church's ministry is a straightforward and difficult one. Timothy will need to be "watchful," or on-guard; and this in "all things." He will need to "endure afflic-
tions," (or persevere through difficult trials). On top of this, Timothy is to be always mindful of his responsibility to "do the work of an evangelist." Finally, Paul would have his young protégé not fall short of his life-goal, but rather "fulfill [his] ministry."

How do any of us--be we of the clergy or the laity--succeed at the high and holy callings (and commands) that God gives us? By deter-
mined faith in our Risen Lord Jesus. There is no room for laxity or slothfulness. The faithful Christian is on a mission; and his or her life is never without challenges and blessings (on faithfulness).

[Puritan quote of the day: "Christ does His church more good now that He is in heaven . . . " --Richard Sibbes, in, "Glorious Freedom"]