The Whole Picture: Work Hard
Posted by Brad Quiring on September 5, 2017
2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Be diligent means to work hard with dedication. What is the hard work that is involved?
2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NKJV) 1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
First of all, we need strength, and that comes through the grace of Jesus – a free gift of blessings and power from Jesus
Second, we need to have the knowledge of the Bible
Third, with the strength in grace from Jesus and the Bible, pass it on to those who will continue – Create a legacy
2 Timothy 2:3-6 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops.
Work hard with dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul uses three figures to illustrate his point to be dedicated in our life in Christ. We base all this on the grace that we receive through faith in Christ.
The soldier: we endure hardship, difficulties and seemingly insurmountable challenges because we follow Christ
The Athlete: follows the rules. The soccer player doesn’t use their hands on the ball, the long-distance runner stays on the course, the tennis player hits the ball in bounds. By working hard, playing skillfully and following the rules, the athlete wins.
God has given us rules to live by, which we find in the Bible. When we work hard at obeying these rules and living according to God’s way, we will have victory over sin, over confusion, over depression, in our families and workplaces.·
The farmer: Receives the reward for their work.
The farmer ploughs, seeds, weeds, waters, and then harvests. All hard work that MUST be done. At harvest time, they take their produce to market and receive their pay. They take some of their harvest to the kitchen and enjoy the fresh, nutritious food. They don’t sell or eat halfway through the growing season, they get a reward at harvest
In life there are things we MUST do, and when we do it faithfully, God will reward us in the end, when we are with Christ forever.
2 Timothy 2:7-10 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
We may not fully understand all this right away, but God will give us understanding in all things, so stick to it. Paul suffered all kinds of injustices and pain because he followed the true Jesus, the One who died for our sins and was raised from the dead – this is the gospel, the Good News, that we find in the Bible and that we proclaim and live out to others.
Paul went through all of this for the sake of the “elect”, those who are the true Church, those who believe in the Truth of Jesus and have placed their faith in Him.
Therefore: let’s work hard for the sake of other believers in Jesus who also are working hard alongside us. When we set aside ourselves and serve others, it takes a huge burden off and gives us purpose. Remember, working for self is part of the sin nature, serving others is part of Christ’s new nature he has placed in us.
2 Timothy 2:11-14 11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.
Work Hard because God is Faithful and will keep all his promises to us. God is faithful by nature. We, by nature are not. We don’t cancel out or diminish who God is or what he does.
This takes the pressure off us, because God is always faithful and is faithfully working in and through us.
2 Timothy 2:15 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Our goal is to be approved by God through the correct handling of His Word.
· Our good works do not save us, but God does have good works planned for us when we have been saved.
· Studying the Bible and putting it into practice can be a battle.
· God will give the strength, wisdom and perseverance we need. He has given us His Holy Spirit, God Himself, to guide us and help us through everything. He has given us the Bible, which reveals the guiding principles for our lives and decisions.