All of us have inherited something from our parents. Most of these qualities are passed down unintentionally, simply by virtue of our relationship. But the pattern for discipleship, and therefore the completion of the Great Commission, is more intentional. In order to finish the Christian task, we must be willing to engage in this process of multiplication. Paul’s charge for Timothy is for the rest of his life in ministry—the last word from a spiritual father. “Be strong . . . suffer hardship . . . remember Jesus Christ.” Those are the words of counsel to Timothy in a fallen world, in an imperfect church, facing many persecutions, and many dangers, as he lives and ministers. It takes courage to lead and courage to follow. These words are not only inspired words for all those in the Ephesian church, and they are suitable words for us today, as we multiply courageous ministry. The notion of endurance presumes an active, courageous Christian life. No endurance or courage is necessary if we seclude ourselves from the world and don’t spread the gospel. However, the calling to follow Jesus requires activity, and thus, endurance. In this final trustworthy saying, Paul gives Timothy the incentive of enduring in faith to the end of our lives as he had modeled. What is one area of your life in which you need a greater dependence on the strength and grace of Jesus to live out courageous ministry? How are you going to remind yourself of that need this week? How are you following the pattern of Jesus and Paul right now in multiplying disciples?
PRAYER – I hereby surrender everything that I am, and have, and ever will be. I take my hands off of my life and release every relationship to You: every habit, every goal, my health, my wealth, and everything that means anything. I surrender it ALL to You. By faith I take my place at the Cross, believing that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, according to Your Word, I was crucified with Him; when He was buried, I was buried; when He was raised from the dead, I was raised with Him. I deny myself the right to rule and reign in my own life and I take up the Cross believing that You are in my and I in You. I thank You for saving me from my sins and myself. From this moment on I am trusting You to live Your life in me and through me, instead of me, to do what I can’t do, quit what I can’t quit, start what I can’t start, and–most of all–to be what I can’t be. I am trusting you to renew my mind and heal damaged emotions in Your time. I thank You now by faith for accepting me in the Lord Jesus, for giving me Your grace, Your freedom, Your joy, Your victory and Your righteousness as my inheritance. Even if I don’t feel anything, I know that Your Word is true; I am counting on Your Spirit to do what Your Word says– to set me free from myself, that Your resurrection life may be lived out through me, and that You may receive all the glory. I thank You and praise You for victory right now in Jesus’ name, Amen.