2 Timothy 2; Jeremiah 7-8; Psalm 122
As followers of Christ, we need a laser like focus on our activities. We are to be focused on doing the will of God and proclaiming His love. How often does our commitment to Christ get bogged down in non-essentials. When troubles come because we follow Christ, do we get side tracked dealing with the troubles or do we keep our focus on Jesus? “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.” (2 Timothy 2:3-5) Paul uses two illustrations to bring this truth to life. Soldiers have a job to do. They are to defend their country. They are not to get involved in the affairs of the world – they need to focus on their job. Athletes, in what is truly a prophetic statement, must compete according to the rules to gain victory. Those who take shortcuts, those who get involved in other activities end up falling by the wayside. Pete Rose and Barry Bonds are two great baseball players whose careers are in asterisks because they chose not to follow the rules. As followers of Christ, we are to do things His way. We don’t use deceptive methods, false promises or take any shortcuts in proclaiming the gospel. We make sharing the gospel our focus in life.
Lord, how easy it is to get sidetracked into good things sometimes. Causes that are important, but done without proclaiming Your love. The needs of my country. Remind me that I need to keep my focus on You, follow Your rules, and endure the hardships that come because of that.