I've always wanted to be strong. My heros growing up always were! He-Man, Hulk Hogan, Spider-Man... strong guys, for sure. Now that I am a lot older and a little more mature, I still want to be strong, but a different kind of strong. I want to be strong in the Lord.
How about you? If I asked you how you want your Christian walk, how would you answer? Probably not something like, “I really don’t want to experience too much of the Holy Spirit at work in me. Just want to struggle with anxiety, temptation, and doubt the rest of my days here on the earth…” Of course not! You and I would say we want to be strong!
But then what if I asked, how is your walk? Are you walking strong? If you are, thank the Lord! If you are not, thank the Lord, because He has what you need!
There is a monumental task ahead of us at Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh. As the church is referred to as a body, each of us must be doing what the Holy Spirit empowers us to do. Our goal is not to squeak by, barely get the job done. We want to hit our launch strong. Each of us strong in the Lord, all of us strong in the Lord together. But how do I get strong?
God’s word has the answer! 2 Timothy 2:1 says, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus…”
This was written by the apostle Paul to young pastor Timothy. Timothy was to "be strong". The Greek verb endunamo[ma]o, which is stated as a present passive imperative, could be translated "keep on being empowered." Timothy was not to be strong in his own strength but in God's. He was to receive God's power and allow it to flow through him.
Feeling like you need strength? You can’t muster it up on your own, God is the source of strength! Jesus stated the same in John 15:5 when He said, “apart from me you can do nothing.”
It's the grace of God that empowers believers. What is grace? Grace is God giving to us what He requires from us. Let that sink in. God requires holiness from us. We don’t have it. So in His grace, through the finished work of Jesus Christ, He gives it to us! He requires righteousness, obedience, perfection… we don’t have it, so God gives it to us! And strength is the same. We are all weak, but the Lord wants us to be strong. So in His grace, He gives us strength.
It's God's grace that enables us to serve God. God's will is accomplished "'not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6). That's the kind of grace Paul spoke of here in 2 Timothy 2:1.
But Paul doesn’t leave it undefined. He illustrates what strength in the believer looks like using 4 pictures: the teacher, the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer (verses 2--6).
We are going to be looking at these 4 pictures over our next several Core Group meetings, and we would love to have you join us! We will be giving an update as to when and where these will be held in July, so be watching this site! You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. I would love to talk with you about the exciting things ahead.
Need strength? God has it all, and He gives it out! Join us!
p.s. - by himself = not strong