Daring Faith – Daring to give God my best
After reflecting on Pastor Nic’s message this past Sunday, I was especially drawn to the passage from 2 Timothy 2:3-7, where it uses three illustrations to focus on faithfulness, and doing our best. I can highly relate to all three as they apply to our lives.
The Christian walk is often presented as spiritual warfare, of which I have experienced many times in my life of ministry. The only way to deal with spiritual warfare is to focus on Jesus and give Him our best. But what does that mean? We must realize that nothing in life is easy, and that anything worthwhile will be an uphill battle that we will need God’s help with. If you’ve been in my office, you have probably noticed that on the wall behind my desk, is a quotation I try to live out every day of my life. “Do your best & let God do the rest”. The most interesting part of that is, that I need God’s help do even do the first part of doing my best. We must realize we can’t do this on our own, and like it says in verse 3 “we must endure hardship”, spiritual warfare can be brutal!!!
The second illustration in 2 Timothy involves athletics. In our family of 4 sons, athletics has been a huge part of our lives for a very long time. This continues to be so with our grandchildren as well. In all our athletics we have had to learn to compete by the rules as verse four says, to do our best. Just like in spiritual warfare it is not easy and takes sacrifice and hard work to do your best. As all our sons have experienced over there years of competing, whether it’s being undersized or injured or other people just not showing up. When you are focused on doing your best good things can happen and will.
The third illustration on farming is also personal for me growing up on the farm in northern Indiana. A hardworking farmer must be conscientious, because hard labor is necessary before a farmer can enjoy a bountiful harvest. As a boy the lessons I learned when we worked so hard, and then got to enjoy the fruits of our labor was very rewarding. The overall one thing I’ve learned throughout my life is that laziness cannot be a character trait of faithful Christians. So, are we daring to give God our best or are we coming up short each day?
As I wrap this up I also thought about our work day this past Saturday, and how doing our best for others even in difficult situations, is so important. Keeping in mind that being the hands & feet of Jesus, to those who may not know Jesus, and doing our best for them can be a very big deal. So, I’m asking myself as well as all of you, am I going through hardship as a soldier for Christ? Am I training hard in my spiritual life as an athlete does? And am I cultivating like a farmer does, so I can plant the good seed for Jesus? And am I doing all the above to do my best for the kingdom of God? Am I doing my best, so I can make a difference in the world where God has placed me? Am I daring to give God my best? This is a great message series that hopefully we are applying to our lives.
Love you all, Pastor Randy