No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 2 Timothy 2:4-7
“Paul gives three examples of how Timothy should serve if he is to fulfill his mission. He should be like a soldier who concentrates on pleasing his commanding officer, an athlete who submits to strict discipline, so as to win the price, and a farmer who has to work hard if he wants a good harvest.”
Solomon Andria in “2 Timothy” in Africa Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) 1504.
Today concludes our exploration of sharing through the from an African perspective. Let’s take with us these three examples as a reminder. Paul asked Timothy to reflect on three word pictures: the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer.
He referred to the soldier to encourage us to stay focused on pleasing God. He referenced the athlete to call us to play by the rules. And he mentioned the farmer to alert us that for our efforts we will receive a reward, a share of the harvest.
Reflect with Paul and Timothy on the three examples. Does one of them strike you as relevant for you to remember right now?
Jesus, help us stay focused on pleasing you as good soldiers, grant us find victory with your strength and by playing by the rules, and bless us our efforts with fruit so we can taste a share of a great harvest. Amen.