By Pat Russell
Going Deeper September 20, 2020
Sermon from Pastor Bruce Spear
Scripture for the day: 2 Timothy 2:1-10
Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. 5 And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. 6 And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. 7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.
8 Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. 9 And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. 10 So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.
Paul could not be with Timothy as he led the church in Ephesus, but he could give Timothy a heart-felt reminder of the guiding truths that had led Paul since meeting Jesus in person. He knew these truths would keep Timothy filled with “power, love, and self-discipline.” Paul then encouraged Timothy to “teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”
As Bruce begins his transition from being pastor of our congregation, we can listen for the voice of the Trinity coming to us through his preaching, just as Timothy listened to Paul.
This is how I listened today: Bruce is Paul and the church (you and me) are Timothy. What does my heavenly Father say to me for these days through the relationship of Paul and Timothy? How might I make myself available to the grace of God that “fuels” the saints, just like the fuel of a 747 taking off, during this time of transition in our church?
In what ways might I “endure the suffering” of others in these days of sickness, unrest, natural disasters, and church transition? Which metaphor – the soldier, the athlete, or the farmer – might I dwell on in prayer so that I might gain insight for my living faith? How can I “endure the suffering” of transition along with Bruce and Susan in the days ahead? What might I do or be as an encouragement to them?
What hope strikes at the core of my being in verses 8-10 that will keep me centered in the way I experience life now and life through the transition ahead? I was struck by the truth that no matter what happens in my life or in the life of our church (as Paul was in chains), the Word of God is NOT chained in any way.
These are suggested means for you to Go Deeper with the truths brought to us today by Bruce. We are dear daughters and sons who will pass these truths on to others.