P’s and Q’s : II Timothy 2:3-10
“Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.” (verses 3-4)
What is Paul’s purpose in using the metaphor of a soldier in this passage?
What do good soldiers do in the hardship of battle?
How can you relate to this role in your personal life?
How can you step up in the battle(s) you are fighting?
“Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” (verse 5)
An athlete can’t win unless he plays by the rules of the game. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” How do “rules” make a game of football or basketball more fun, fair and exciting?
How do the “sidelines of scripture” protect you and provide for a better game?
“The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.” (verse 6)
What place does hard work have in your grace-filled walk with Christ?
James says, “Without works, faith is dead.” What does this passage say to you about the connection between a farmer, an early harvest and working diligently in your faith?
“Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” (verse 7)
In John 16:13, Jesus said that “the Holy Spirit will guide you into truth”. What is the relationship among truth, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God?
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel…” (verse 8)
Why was it important for Paul to remind his people that Jesus was a “descendant of David?” (Read II Samuel 7:12-13 – this is God speaking to David through Nathan the Prophet.)
Why was it of particular importance that Paul, specifically, testified that Jesus was raised from the dead? (Read I Corinthians 15:3-8)
“For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.” (verse 10)
Note also II Corinthians 11:24-27 – “Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”
When Paul speaks of “suffering for the sake of the Gospel,” he knows suffering in the most extreme manner. In verse 10 of this chapter, he says he endures his suffering so that people may know Christ. Think about it. All of that suffering for others’ salvation. What is that communicating to you about serving others in a sacrificial way?