WORD PICTURES FOR CHRISTIANS

WORD PICTURES FOR CHRISTIANS

 

Dear friends, welcome to today’s broadcast. GOD has been faithful to us in sustaining the broadcast. Continue to pray for us so that the door of utterance may be open to us as we communicate clearly the message of our LORD JESUS CHRIST which brings healing of the soul, spirit and body.

Today’s message is titled: Word Pictures for Christians.

WORD PICTURES FOR CHRISTIANS

Our text is from 2 Timothy 2:1-7.

 

2 Timothy 2:1-7

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 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. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

 

 

Let us Pray.

PRAYER

Heavenly FATHER and the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, grant thy servant unhindered utterance as I minister to my brethren in CHRIST. What we do not know teach us; let the entrance of YOUR Word cast light on our paths. FATHER, Let our understanding be fruitful…in Name. Amen!

 

WORD PICTURES FOR CHRISTIANS

The Book of Timothy is a letter written to Timothy by Apostle Paul. In trying to train Timothy to be a Christian Leader the Apostle used Three Word Pictures familiar to an ordinary man to show him what the life of a Christian should be. The three pictures are:

  1. A soldier: The streets of Israel were filled with Roman Soldiers because Israel was under the rulership of Roman Empire at that time. The Apostle compares the life of a Christian to that of a soldier.
  2. The Second Word Picture was an athlete: The Romans and Greek Empires were filled with athletes competing for laurels the time Apostle Paul was writing to Timothy as a mentor.
  • The third Word Picture is that of a farmer: Majority of the Jews and people at the time Paul was writing Timothy were farmers. People could identify with these Word Pictures. The discipline of these three sets of professionals stand as an example for Timothy and even for any person who professes Christianity in our own time.

Let us consider them one after the other.

 

  1. A Soldier: In verse 3 the Apostle said to Timothy, You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. What are the marks of a soldier that should characterize the Christian man or woman?

A soldier is tough. He endures hardship. They undergo strenuous trainings: they stand late, get up early, run until they can hardly stand. They go through tough assignments. Similarly, the Christian life is not always easy. GOD allows us to go through some tough circumstances and situations to prepare us for future spiritual battles. It is a serious error and deceit for certain preachers to tell some fellows that the Christian life is easy and filled with only blessings: no problems – open doors and breakthroughs.

In 2 Corinthians 6:4-10 Apostle Paul gives a personal testimony. He said:

 

2 Corinthians 6:4-10

But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

.

The list goes on and on, according to the letter of Apostle Paul to Timothy. You can read it yourself in 2 Corinthians 6:10. It does not give an impression of an easy life – afflictions, distresses, stripes, imprisonments, tumults, labours, watchings, fastings.

In 2 Corinthians 6:4-10, the exact words are:

1 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;

As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

10 As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Most successfully Christians are usually people who have endured tests and trials. They qualify for higher responsibilities. When you have passed though trainings like a soldier, and GOD examines you as a soldier examined, if you are successful, GOD can now entrust you with great responsibilities in HIS kingdom. Every Christian man or woman must learn this truth.

You should expect suffering and tough times in your life. It is even more profound now with the increasing persecution of Christians in Nigeria. You must also see sufferings and tough times as GOD’s way of preparing you for greater responsibility in future.

Another characteristic of a soldier is that he should be focused. Soldiers usually should not get involved in civilian matters. They are focused on the issue of defense of the countries territories. Therefore they avoid distractions. Today’s Christians are distracted by fashion, by friendship, social media, computer games, internet activities. There is no harm in some of these activities; but as a soldier keep yourself focused because of your future.

Another characteristic of a soldier is loyalty. A soldier cannot afford to be disloyal to his commanding officer. Our LORD JESUS is our commanding officer. We cannot afford to disobey HIM. A Christian must show loyalty at all times. We must be good soldiers of the cross.

Hello friends, are you a true soldier of the Kingdom of GOD? Where is your loyalty? This message is for you to examine yourself. Have you trained to endure hardship? Do you think you can withstand persecution? Or would you readily deny your Lord to save yourself?

  1. While you meditate on these questions let’s go to the second Word Picture; and that is an athlete. In verse 5 it says, And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Timothy 2:5).

I love watching athletics. The moment of receiving medals are normally glorious. I wonder how it will be in heaven. Here again an athlete trains in tough circumstances. An athlete is disciplined up to what he eats. An athlete is persistent. He does not give up. An athlete is a team-player. Apostle Paul emphasizes that the athlete must compete according to the rules. An athlete knows he or she will be disqualified if he does not compete according to the rules of the game.

We must keep GOD’s rules. GOD’s rules revolve around justice, righteousness, holiness, love of your neighbor as yourself. Today self-love reigns supreme that people can eliminate others so that only they can exist. Even the church has rules; organizations have rules; schools of any level have rules; the larger society have rules called norms. Each culture has good rules called norms.

Those who profess CHRIST as SAVIOUR must stand out in a culture by their character and accomplishments; and not necessarily by what they wear or eat. Friends, you are Christians, right? Are you living for CHRIST? Have you compromised your faith? Have you sold your brethren because of your greed and covetousness?

 

  1. The third Word Picture is that of a farmer. Farming entails hard work. It requires patience and assertion of raw strength. Farming is slow work. There is a season to sow and a season to reap. A farmer is always conscious of seasons and times. Farming comes with rewards. When you harvest you forget the season of hard work. Most people want supernatural explosion and divine upliftment. You will need to prepare yourself to handle these blessings. You need to acquire the disciplines of a soldier, the disciplines of an athlete and a farmer’s, as the Apostle counseled Timothy.

As I close I leave you with the same words: fellow Christians, be strong in the grace that is in CHRIST JESUS. Learn to endure hardship as a good soldier because the days and years ahead will test your commitment to CHRIST.

Let us Pray.

PRAYER

Heavenly FATHER, YOUR People are facing a period of persecution, trials and temptations. Teach them to be like soldiers, athletes and farmers: so that they can acquire the relevant disciplines to stand for YOU at all times…in JESUS MIGHTY Name I pray. AMEN

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