As we start the new year, may we be encouraged by the three pictures of faith Paul gives us in 2 Timothy 2. He talks about three different people that represent our spiritual journey: a soldier, an athlete and a farmer:
2 Timothy 2:1-7:
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”
May we have the tenacity and single-minded focus of soliders, knowing that we are fighting for a cause much bigger than ourselves. May we trust God’s provision and protection, and make use of the armour He provides for us (Ephesians 6). May we set our hearts and minds on Him with dedication, discipline and duty.
May we train ourselves, like dedicated athletes, and run the race that really counts, and may we sow the right seeds – love, patience, perseverence, courage and faith – and wait paitiently for God to produce a harvest of fruit that glorifies Him.