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 exhortations) that God gives us? By sincere and living faith in our Risen Lord Jesus. This faith will put a spring in our step; and it will work against laxity and slothfulness. The faithful Christian is on a mission; and his or her life is never without challenges and blessings.
[Puritan quote of the day: "Christ does His church more good now that He is in heaven . . . “ —Richard Sibbes, in, "Glorious Freedom"]