As a missionary in a foreign land, we are concerned for the spiritual and emotional health of
our coworkers because when they get discouraged, they leave the Lord’s work. When they leave, the burden increases on us to the point that it can make us want to leave as well. Then who will finish the work there?
19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (NIV)
Who are you Lord?
I AM the chief shepherd who was stuck down and my sheep scattered for a little while. But at my resurrection I gathered my disciples back and made them under-shepherds to care for my flock. They in turn passed on that mantle over the centuries to believers today.
Under shepherds, there are wolves who would tear your flocks apart from the inside out. Yet I have protected my church to this day. Stay encouraged. Pass that strength on to your fellow under-shepherds and the rest of your flocks. Satan will see to it that you will find a million reasons and provide you with a million temptations to make you quit the ministry. It is imperative that you hold on to your faith regardless of the situation that you are currently facing and help others to hold on too. No one is an island; if we would be honest, we all need encouragement. Be honest. Be humble. Ask for encouragement before it is too late. Don’t put on a facade. Greet one another with the intent to encourage them to remain faithful.
I send my greeting to each of you through my Word so that you will remain encouraged in these hard days. Take that encouragement and pass it around. Every letter from Paul to every church contains my greetings for this express reason. One day we will greet each other in person, I am so much looking forward to that day.
We need each other very much, much more than we think. Satan knows this and will do what he can to divide us and separate us. When a log falls from the fire place, it quickly goes out and the rest of the fire is also diminished. When enough logs have fallen out, the fire dies. God will stand by our side when people leave us, but it is still a hard thing to be left on our own.
Just knowing that our brothers in arm are doing well brings comfort and encouragement and staying power. Too many times when people leave the work, there is a feeling of abandonment creating a desire and permission of sorts (excuse rather) for us to leave too, saying, “if they can leave for that reason, then I should be able to leave as well”. Knowing that people are faithful in their work encourages us to do likewise. Positive peer pressure can help us keep faithful to the work of Christ. It is not our sole motivation, but can help.
All for 2 Timothy,