Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 2 Timothy 2:3-7 (NIV)
Will I endure hardship like a good soldier as I love, follow and serve you? Will I serve you like a good soldier, hoping to please my commanding officer, and not allow myself to become entangled in the civilian affairs of this world? Will I enter your training like an elite athlete preparing for the highest levels of completion? Will I be like a hardworking farmer hoping to bear fruit for you and receive a share of the crops? Who is asking me these questions? Am I asking them only of myself? Who wants to know my answers to these questions? You may have asked these questions of yourself, but they did not originate with you. You may want to know your own answers to these questions, but you are not the only one wanting to hear your answers. These questions originated from you? Yes, they did. You want to hear the answers to these questions from me? Yes, I do.
I will endure hardship like a good soldier in your service. I will serve you well, like a good soldier, hoping to please you, my commanding officer. I will not allow myself to become entangled in the civilian affairs of this world. Can I work hard, serve well and stay clear of civilian entanglements with my own strength, abilities and perseverance? No, I cannot work hard, serve well and persevere in a way that will be pleasing to you without your help. I need you. I need your help. You will have my help. Will you rely on me? Yes, Lord, I will rely on you. That will be very good.
Are you asking me to enter training like an elite athlete preparing for the highest levels of competition? I’m not even sure what this means. I have no idea what this training will require of me. Will you be my coach? Will you train me? Will you prepare me for the race that I will run in life? Yes, I will coach you. Yes, I will train you. I will prepare you for the race that you will run in life. Will you enter my training? Yes Lord, I will enter your training? That will be very good.
You have said many times that you want to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. That is true. That is the desire of my heart. It takes an attitude like that of a hardworking farmer to bear a rich and abundant crop for me. Will you work hard? Will you persevere? Will you keep on working until the time of harvest comes? Yes Lord, I will work hard. I will persevere until the time of harvest. I will keep on working until an abundance of fruit is born for you. That will be very good.
Lord, thank you that you have helped me to endure hardship. You have been with me through every difficulty, trial and hardship. You have given me your strength to endure everything that this life has thrown at me as I have loved, followed and served you. Amen
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