Day 15

Be Strong in Grace

from the 1 & 2 Timothy reading plan

2 Timothy 2:1-13, Romans 6:1-14, 1 Peter 4:1-5

BY Seana Scott

The television dulled the sound of my sniffles. Everyone from school hung out at the homecoming game, but I sat on the couch, at home. A neighbor shared the gospel with me months before and I decided to follow Jesus Christ. But as I scrolled through sitcoms on homecoming night my sophomore year, I considered calling up my old friends and returning to our old habits.

But just the thought of rebellion made me nauseous. And then I realized something that surprised me. It was better to sit on my couch following Jesus, alone, than hanging out with the wrong friends. I had spent years living in rebellion and now, I wanted to live for Christ. 

When Paul told his son in the faith to be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ (2Timothy 2:1), Timothy faced much more suffering than teenage loneliness. He faced persecution, conflicts within the church, and the stressful responsibility of equipping believers. I wonder what his temptations might have looked like when he felt defeated, weary, lonely. Whatever they were, Paul encouraged Timothy to remain strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we forget what it means to live under grace rather than the law (Romans 6:1–14). The law burdens us with unrealistic expectations and the unending anxiety of not measuring up. Grace frees us from all of that. But freedom through grace is something we have to stand in, remain in—as we endure whatever suffering we encounter (2Timothy 2:3,11–13). 

So how can we follow Paul’s encouragement and “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Timothy 2:1)? Paul gave Timothy spiritual instructions through three images that might also help us (2Timothy 2:3–7): a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer.

The soldier demonstrates our need to focus. When we keep focused on the grace of the gospel, we face our temporary suffering with strength because we know the promise we endure for—eternal life (John 17:3). The athlete metaphor is a reminder to live according to the rules of the kingdom. Sometimes when we endure opposition or trials, we are tempted to operate according to our own ideas, rather than the rules of the game. Finally, Paul encourages Timothy with the image of a farmer. Farmers rigorously till soil, plant seeds, water, and pull weeds, all examples of serving diligently.

Following Jesus is not easy—but He is worth it. And our coming reward is sure: we will live and reign with Him (2Timothy 2:11–12).

Post Comments (62)

62 thoughts on "Be Strong in Grace"

  1. Lisa Semoy says:

    Praying for you and your family

  2. Claire B says:

    Karin, prayers sent now

  3. Tesza Larios says:

    Thank you JESUS for the grace that you have given us, each and every day

  4. Kelli Carlson says:

    Thanks for reading my comment and your encouragement :)

  5. Karin Bridle says:

    Thank you so much. I’m so Blessed to have SRT and sisters in Christ like you. I will keep you and your father in my prayers too.

  6. Gwineth52 says:

    Dear She, K Swenson. Ah, the big “D”. Stands for Depression…and the Devil. Ah, my sister, I know them well. They lock hands. They can choke & convince us how unworthy & irredeemable we are. Let us lock arms in willful defiance each day. Through painfully honest prayer, praise & petition. Through immersion in scripture. Through the love of those who would never betray our vulnerability. (One She said last week…”Our emotions are not the true indicators of truth; only the Word of God”.) Suffering, yet filled with the Spirit. Fighting, yet faithful. May our good & gracious Lord lead you to a “sound” counselor & “trustworthy” medication. As Jennifer Loves Jesus said this morning, “The enemy is relentless. Remember the resurrection”. Because our be-ing-ness belongs to Him. Thanks be to God!

  7. Kimberly Ziehl says:

    I’m praying for you as I sit in the hospital with my dad who attempted to commit suicide. While he did not succeed he will have a long road of physical recovery to his but also emotional. I pray she finds healing and knows how loved she is not only by her family but by our savior. Depression is just as much of an illness as any other disease. I pray for your family during this time as well that you can feel comforted by Jesus as well. This battle, while it is unfortunate, you were made for. God knew each of you could take on this battle and hopefully one day you’ll be able to help somebody else get through it.

  8. Karin Bridle says:

    I just got off the phone with my daughter and my 17 year old granddaughter is in the hospital due to suicidal thought ( very vivid ones like smashing her car or hanging herself in the woods) It came out that she has been smoking pot but who knows what else. Apparently she hears voices and they are telling her to do these things. Ella was baptized about 3 years ago ( she wanted to) so I know she loves The Lord and he will not let her go but my daughter is beside herself and blaming herself. Ella has an older and a younger sister.Please pray for Ella that she can get back on track and pray for my daughter and her family to know God’s peace .
    Thank you.

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