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 evan-gelist, fulfill your ministry."
Paul's exhortation to his fellow-comrade in the church's ministry is a straight-forward and difficult one. Timothy will need to be "watchful," or on-guard; and this in "all things." He will need to "endure afflictions," (or persevere through difficult trials). On top of this, Timothy is to be always mindful of his responsi-bility to "do the work of an evangelist." Finally, Paul would have his young protegee 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 humble faith in our Ris-en Lord Jesus. There is no room for laxity or slothfulness. The sincere Chris-tian is on a mission; and his or her life is never without challenges and bles-sings (on faithfulness).
[Puritan quote of the day: "Christ does His church more good now that He is in heaven . . . “ —Richard Sibbes, in, "Glorious Freedom"]