You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.2 Timothy 2:1(NASB)
There are many challenges for the Christian to patiently endure, in the midst of trials and tribulation. Believers are exhorted to be diligent in the faith and strive to be approved unto God – a worker that does not need to be ashamed before Him.
The urgency of this message becomes increasingly intense as Paul's life draws to a close, and none more so than in this final letter to Timothy, his beloved 'son in the faith'.
Timothy had been faithfully taught the Scriptures from childhood and had been born again through the ministry of the apostle Paul, rendering him Paul's 'spiritual son in the Lord'.
Timothy had been called into pastoral ministry in the pagan city of Ephesus, and in his final epistle, Paul reiterates the special pastoral responsibilities Timothy had among the local churches, to teach, protect, serve, and care for the flock of God.
"Therefore, my son," is Paul’s compelling command to this younger pastor, "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." Be empowered, in the sufficient grace and strength that is our birth-right in Christ, is Paul's pressing directive.
This is not a strength that is manufactured by one's own effort or developed through one's cognitive abilities or physical adeptness. The courage and strength that Timothy, and every child of God, is exhorted to draw upon, is the divine strength that comes from God alone – as a gift of His grace.
It was not his own, limited, and inadequate strength that Timothy was to draw upon, but the fathomless and immeasurable strength of God alone – which is poured out in rich abundance on those that, by faith, are in union with Christ and maintaining close fellowship with the Father.
God has promised to supply sufficient strength for the tasks we are to undertake, not because of anything that we have done to deserve it, but through the unmerited and unconditional grace that has become our portion in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Not only is Timothy exhorted to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, but also to provide spiritual strength for those in His care – for in the following verse we read: "And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
May we be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and empowered to help and encourage others whom God has placed in our lives – and may we all grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus, for His greater glory and eternal praise.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the wise instructions we are taught in Your Word and for the spiritual strength and courage that I have received, through the grace that is mine in Christ Jesus. Thank You that I have been empowered to carry out the good work that You have prepared for me to do, and I pray that You would use me to help and encourage others, by the grace that is mine in Christ. This I ask in Jesus' wonderful name, AMEN.