I AM the God of encouragement 2 Tim 1:3-18

We all need people in our lives that remind us and encourage us to walk with the Lord in

Guard your faith to be an encouragement

faithfulness.  We also need to be those men and women of encouragement to others as well.  Do you have someone in your life that you thank God for and remember in your prayers for their faithfulness?  And more importantly, are you that person for someone else?  How do you become that person? 

2 Tim 1:3  I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. 13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

‎Who are you Lord?

I AM the God who saved you from an eternity without me.  I AM the God who gave you the faith to believe in me.  What is that worth to you?  Now that you have eternity within you, are you living up to your full potential in me?  Do you want to live greatly?  Or are you content to live this life impoverished of power and purpose?  Your faith is free thanks to me, but you have to pay a great price to guard it and nurture it to grow by my Word so that you can be used by me.  It takes sacrifice and you will have to suffer many things in this world, but do not despair, for it is worth it.  I want you.  I want to use you to reach others.  I want you to be real and make a difference in this world.  But this won’t happen unless you are serious about your faith, your knowledge of me, and your potential future reward in heaven. 

You cannot be an encourager unless you are drawing encouragement from the Lord daily.  He is the God of encouragement.  Your encouragement comes from knowing Him intimately.  When we are encouraged in the Lord, we can be a joy to others in need around us by our “sincere faith”.  Do you know your God intimately?  Then you can comfort and encourage others with that same encouragement which you have received from the Lord like Onesiphorus did in Rome.  Being encouraged is something that you have to pursue as I brought out in my last post on chapter 1.  Your faith is something you must guard from allowing the evil influences and desires which the world brings your way to creep in.  The Holy Spirit protects your faith, but you must not subject it from these attacks.  It is so easy to let your mind and souls just wander away from the Lord and usefulness to him.  You must make it your priority to stay alert and encouraged like a castle guard looking after the walls of a fortress not letting riff-raff climb over the walls.

There are two types of heroes, the famous ones and the ones which nobody sees except God.  Men like Hudson Taylor, William Carrey, Nick Vujicic, Billy Graham, these are names which will be remembered through history for their faiths.  Yet at the same time Hebrews 11 says that there are countless faithful warriors and servants who nobody remembers except God above.  They did not share in the fanfare of the famous but have won the victors crown for their faith as well.  It is up to God which list you will be on.  The prerequisite for both is that you be found faithful and encouraged in your faith.  God says he rewards in public what is secretly done in private.  What is your private world like?

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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