Summary: Lives that refuse to plug into God’s grace are self sufficient lives, lives that rely on self and ego. It takes humility to admit that we’ve sinned against God and to trust in Christ for our salvation, but until we do that we can’t plug into God’s grace.
6/15/08 – Father’s Day – Passing it On
Passing it on…
I still remember the exact moment when I realized that I was truly an adult. It wasn’t my 18th birthday, or when I moved out of the house a few months later. It wasn’t even my wedding day, which came just two years after my 18th birthday. I first realized I was an adult when I was 26 years old, and I still remember the day. It happened when I held my newborn daughter in my arms.
If you’re a Christian you also wonder what kind of role your life will have played in fulfilling God’s purposes on the earth. You see, for a Christian a legacy is more than a nice inheritance for your children and a gold watch for twenty years of employment. It’s more than buying an RV and enjoying your grandkids.
It is about setting an example. It’s about living life in such a way that it encourages those in your world to believe that they too can find the love, peace, and joy that a life transformed by Jesus can bring. The way you live your life is important – no matter who you are and what limitations you have – you can make a difference… watch this video about a man named Clay Dyer.
Here is a man who won’t let a little thing like no legs and ½ an arm stop him from doing whatever he can to set a good example to those in his world. It is no different for you and I – physically or spiritually. Our number 1 job is to pass on to the others in our world what we have found in Jesus. Our own transformation is not complete until it results in the transformations of others.
Today we’re going to study 2 Timothy 2:1-13 and discover five insights to passing it on… the first four are based on commands – the last on a principle.
Be Strong in the Grace
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
The command here is to "be strong." This Greek verb here is actually in the passive voice, so it’s more accurately translated, "Let yourself be strengthened" or "be empowered". In other words, you don’t get strong by trying harder or drawing from your own strength. Being strong in this sense is not a matter of gritting your teeth and flexing your biceps.
This kind of strength comes from outside of ourselves, from the grace found in Jesus Christ. God’s grace is a kind of catch all phrase for everything God offers to infuse into our lives.
So here we find the first insight.
Every person’s life is like a power tool with an electrical plug. When we’re plugged into God and his resources, those resources flow into our lives to empower us to do that which we could not do on our own. The love we need to care about people, the patience we need when we’re frustrated, the courage we need in the face of fear…all these things come from being plugged into God’s grace. Lives that don’t plug into God’s grace won’t have the resources to leave a very significant mark.
Lives that refuse to plug into God’s grace are self sufficient lives, lives that rely on self and ego. It takes humility to admit that we’ve sinned against God and to trust in Christ for our salvation, but until we do that we can’t plug into God’s grace. We’ll find ourselves being like a power saw trying to cut wood without a power supply.
Only lives that are empowered with God’s resources will leave a mark that lasts.
That’s one reason why we meet together each week, to be empowered by God’s grace. To admit that we can’t do it alone, that we need God’s powerful grace operating in our lives to be the kind of people God wants us to be. Our worship breaks the spell of self sufficiency, so we can embrace a sense of God sufficiency.
Multiplying Your Influence
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
Now just to review what’s happening behind this letter, remember that the author Paul is in a Roman prison cell. He knows the time of his execution is nearing, that his life on this earth has reached its end. Paul had left Timothy in Ephesus to help the church in Ephesus recover from a major crisis. So Timothy is in Ephesus when he gets this letter. But now there’s a bigger crisis: Paul’s impending death.
So here in v. 2 Paul gives Timothy a plan for how to help the church in Ephesus before he leaves for Rome. The command in v. 2 is to "entrust."