Attributes of the Faithful
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.—2 Timothy 2:3-6
There are three striking images in this text. Each focuses on a different occupation, and from each, Paul derives an attribute he hopes Timothy will pursue.
The first image is of a soldier. For those who have served, you know there is nothing worse than a soldier in a unit that is persistently out of line. Nothing creates more chaos. Therefore, Paul draws attention to the importance of a soldier's focused obedience. How their focus is aimed at pleasing their commanding officer's orders.
The second image is of an athlete. For those of you who are athletes, you understand that there are those on a team who push the limits of every rule. And these players are exhausting. So Paul draws attention to how an athlete competes. This is because great athletes know how to both play by the established rules and win the prize.
The third image is of a farmer. And for those of you who farm, you know you cannot cheat hard work if you want productive results. In fact, there is no such thing as a lazy farmer—it's almost oxymoronic. Therefore Paul draws attention to the continuous effort a farmer gives in preparation for every coming season.
Paul clarifies these images so that Timothy will make the connection between his role as a disciple and how it's comparable to the attributes of a great soldier, athlete, and farmer. He hopes he will pursue three occupational attributes—focused obedience, competing rightly, and give continuous effort for the kingdom.
So now we must ask ourselves today—to which attribute do you need to give attention? Focused obedience? Competing rightly? Giving continuous effort? Today choose one, develop it, and as Paul said, "share in the suffering" for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
ASK THIS: Which attribute do you need to pursue? (Share it in the comments below)
DO THIS: Pursue it by the grace of God and for the gospel.
PRAY THIS: God, align my heart and action with yours.
PLAY THIS: Chelsea Moon. Trust and Obey.
SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY DEVO
short | sweet | daily
Get into the Bible daily with Vince Miller. Cancel anytime.