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GOOD SOLDIER, ATHLETE AND HARD WORKING FARMER

PEOPLE OF GRACE by Gale Maiden

 

BE STRONG IN THE GRACE WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS

As a spiritual father the Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son Timothy (2 Timothy 2:1-7) emphasizing the fact that grace exercised through faith will produce great inward strength. We know that Jesus the Christ is full of grace and that all of the fullness of this grace have we as believers received (John 1:14-16). The Apostle Paul as we all know consistently imparted the word of God’s grace to those who would receive (Acts 14:3; 20:32).

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus...” (2 Timothy 2:1, parenthesis added, NAS)

As we will see in 2 Timothy 2:7, the end result of being strong in grace produces an understanding in all things. What an unfailing combination to have the grace of God for unlimited strength and the grace of God for unlimited understanding!

 

222 – 2 Timothy 2:2 MINISTRY MANDATE

Paul next tells Timothy that he has a responsibility to share the grace message having been heard in the presence of many witnesses. Paul emphasizes to Timothy that he is to entrust this message of grace to faithful men who are capable of teaching others. This verse was spoken many years ago to our Father’s Heart Ministry and as we have exercised this mandate grace has been released with great results. (The number 222 Biblically speaking suggests righteous decisions.)

“And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2, NAS)

THE HOW TO’S OF BEING STRONG IN THE GRACE OF GOD

The Apostle Paul uses three different occupational positions to explain how that the strength of grace and understanding in all things is imparted to believers who walk in the faith given by God.

(1) GOOD SOLDIER

Suffer hardship (IN UNION) with {me,} as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Timothy 2:3-4, parenthesis added, NAS)

The Apostle Paul asks Timothy to suffer the common hardships or afflictions which accompany faith leading to grace (See 2 Timothy 1:8). Timothy well understood that all Biblical suffering is a result of temptation. The writer of the New Covenant epistle to the Hebrews clarifies this truth.

…For in that he (Jesus) himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor (successfully aid) them that are tempted. (Heb 2:18, parenthesis added, KJV)

Timothy was being encouraged to gracefully embrace every temptation thereby suffering until the temptation is overcome. Paul wrote that those who suffer with Christ by embracing and overcoming all temptation will reign with Christ. This is what godly soldiers of Christ Jesus do! Paul then says that no good or godly soldier of Christ Jesus entangles himself in the temptations (affairs) of this world. It is only in having the faith word of God and not the tempting words of the world that great grace is demonstrated in our lives. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

(2) ATHLETE

And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Timothy 2:5)

Strong grace is demonstrated in those who in the likeness of competing athletes run according to the rules. Rules or regulations in the Kingdom of God are called faith. Each of us has a God given measure of faith or set of instructions. John the Apostle tells us that the victory which overcomes the world is our God given faith. We win the prize of the high calling of God in
Christ as we simply obey our loving Heavenly Father’s faith rules for the race.

(3) HARD WORKING FARMER

The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. (2 Timothy 2:6, NAS)

We are all farmers in the vineyard of God. We are from the beginning called to be fruitful and multiply. God is the husbandman of the vineyard and gives all of our successful faith instructions for producing fruit, more fruit and ultimately much fruit. This is a very interesting verse in that it asks hard working farmers to receive the first portion of the fruit of the field. As I pondered the God reasoning behind this instruction it made so much sense to me that I must first know my crops. As I partake first of my share of the crops there is established in my spirit a revelation of the product. As the remaining crops are shared among recipients there then exists a mutual communion and respect for the crops.

If I give you an apple from my orchard and have never tasted thereof there exists no common ground for relationship because I have never partaken of my own crops. Great grace and strength is found in unity.

As a young convert I mistakenly gave away most of my crops having never received my share. I recall that this wrong approach to the harvest did result in disunity and confusion for all parties. When this command is correctly exercised, great grace is realized.

GRACE UNDERSTOOD IS AN UNDERSTANDING OF ALL THINGS

Consider what I say (concerning grace), and the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (2 Timothy 2:7, NAS)

It is in an understanding of grace that we will acquire for believers an understanding of all things. I have a personal, practical and effective definition of grace. Grace is God’s ability in me to accomplish all that I have no hope of accomplishing!

UNDERSTANDING SO THAT I CAN STAND UNDER

I am hearing in the spirit a cry throughout the earth for understanding concerning the present times. The Lord dropped this phrase recently into my spirit. I heard the spirit say that, "Only in understanding are we motivated and empowered to stand under."

We are called to undergird the works assigned to us from God. If I can understand the faith works assigned to me then I can with grace, confidence and assurance place my shoulder and heart under such to demonstrate the Kingdom of God in the earth. Again I believe that by grace understood all things will be righteously discerned and understood.

We as the Church of God in the days ahead will see that only the understanding which has passed through the filter of understood grace may be called the Kingdom of God on earth. Glory to God!

 

May the love and grace of God consume you,             Gale Maiden

(Note: Grace is the FIRE OF LIFE. See my article titled "Outpouring of the Holy Spirit and Fire of God" at www.fathersheartministry.com/revival.htm)

 

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