Ever Faithful: The Farmer Pt. 2

The Farmer Part 2

2 Timothy 2:1-7

Planting the Seed

Once a man has had the soil of his heart tilled by the revelation of God’s truth, he  ready for the seed of faith to be planted. Seeding (or Sowing) is a matter of having the courage to sow in the first place. Many Christians are content in their lives, and uncomfortable with the task of sowing. They may find a freshly ploughed field ready, for the introduction of God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness, yet they will not reach into their bag of seed to plant.
 
I have found those who have an aversion to planting in others usually lack seed themselves! Christ called us to preach and make disciples. It was his final commandment! Yet when faced with this, many are content to shrug their shoulders and carry on. They are content with their mustard seed, why share?

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Ever Faithful: The Farmer Pt. 1

The Farmer Part 1

2 Timothy 2:1-7

The Farmer is an icon of patience, hard work, and consistency. He, more than anyone, knows the value of the hard work it takes day in and day out to reap a bountiful harvest. Paul encourages Timothy to emulate the farmer in his approach to hard work. The farmer has certain steps to follow in order to better ensure a good harvest and as we look at each of them, we will understand their significance to the Christian life.

Preparing the Soil

Before we can discuss the work of planting, watering, and harvesting we must first look at the soil we are using. When a farmer seeks to plant a field, he must prepare the soil and make sure it is ready for the seed. Oftentimes, we rush straight to the watering, expecting a harvest and we have not even prepared the ground for planting. The soil must be tilled and ploughed to ready it to accept seed for a healthy harvest.

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Ever Faithful: The Athlete Pt 2

The Athlete Part 2

2 Timothy 2:1-7

Open Competition

The church is a church of athletes, we are continually running our race, boxing with the flesh and competing with ourselves for the prize of hearing God say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant (Matt. 25:23).” But we do not compete by ourselves, we have other more nefarious enemies to contend with. They too serve a master and his name is Satan. They claim to serve themselves or perhaps no one, but we the Christian know that while some may claim that there are no “sides” and no “Teams” we truly know there is. You are either a slave to the world, to the flesh to death or a slave to Christ and there is no in-between (Rom. 6:15-23). We compete in this day and age not against governments or policies, not against taxes and legislation, we compete against teams of a different nature altogether (Eph. 6:10-20).
 
What are the other teams? It would take me more than a lifetime to go through all of them but some of the major contenders of this day are Pantheism, Secularism, and Relativism. Pantheism is to make the world God, Secularism is to make science God, and Relativism makes self God. All of these things are our competitors and yet they follow only one rule that of Idolatry. The Christian must be well drilled to deal with these cheaters but here we must make an important choice: Will you follow the rules or will you try and subvert them?

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Ever Faithful: The Athlete Pt 1

The Athlete Part 1

2 Timothy 2:1-7

Based on the Paul’s writings, he was a great lover of sports, or at the least, his audience was. He uses analogies of the athlete often throughout his letters. This is almost certainly due to the universal popularity of the Olympic games in the Greek/Gentile world. Athletes were rigorously trained and the ancient Greeks were proud of athleticism. They admired strength and talent, but all of these things were mute if the competitor refused to follow the rules.  Here in 2 Timothy chapter two, Paul focuses this trait: Obedience to the Rules.

Subverting the Rules

There was no prize in winning the bout through unfair means because it undermines the purpose of competition. If all athletes abided by the same rules, their talents would shine and the prize would be won according to their ability in the activity, not the subversion of it.

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Ever Faithful: The Soldier

The Soldier

2 Timothy 2:1-7

Marching

The Roman soldier was called a legionary. He was typically armed with a sword called a gladius and a shield called a scutum. All of his equipment together weight approximately 45 pounds. Discipline was the order of the day resulting in hours of arduous drills. A legionary could walk up to 20 miles a day in full equipment. He was molded with others in his cohort to be a well oiled machine totally in step with his unit knowing his place in the operation.
 
This seemingly simple task of marching was the first step for a roman soldier. Before being trained in combat, you first had to learn to march in step with your unit fully equipped. When Paul is commanding endurance, he uses the soldier as his example, and it becomes abundantly clear why. As the soldier marches in step, we are also to keep in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-25) as He is our spiritual commander.
 
This leads us to the next point, we need to focus on the commander’s cadence.

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