1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
Lord Jesus--Timothy had training at the feet of Paul. As Paul was reflecting from his imprisonment, those times of teaching must have been something he rehearsed in his mind and heart. There was nothing taught in secret, nothing that needed to be hidden. The goal was to make life the school and each follower a teacher.
3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.
This is the first of three metaphors that Paul uses to encourage Timothy. The soldier for a Roman was a symbol of many things. For a Roman like Paul, they were stability in the middle of a chaotic world. They were the might behind Roman law that had brought order to the Mediterranean. There was no time for anything but doing what the commander needed. Lord Jesus, you are the commanding officer. In this day that will begin all to soon, help me live a life pleasing to you.
5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
Lord Jesus--This picture of an athlete competing is one that flashs through my mind from time to time. My life is lived out running a race. Help me run the right race, with endurance through out according to the rules.
6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
Lord Jesus--There is a seasonal element to farming. Winter is not the time to plant seeds...but knowing the time to plant and the time to expect harvest is something that you are just beginning to teach me. Lord of the Harvest bless the seed, the tender shoot and the ripening crop. It is after all your farm anyway.
Thank you for this day that will begin in just a few hours. Lead, guide and protect.