Morning Prayer Thursday, 13 May 2021
Never Give up Your Loyalty
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2: 15 NIV®
The Christian faith has always been passed from neighbour to neighbour
from generation to generation, and from culture to culture.
No one is born a follower of Jesus Christ.
They must hear the Gospel and learn for themselves how Jesus died and rose again
to save them from their sins. They must believe it and receive it and walk in this Truth by faith.
Paul knew what it meant to suffer for the Truth of God’s Word.
He had been beaten, imprisoned, and persecuted.
In fact shortly after he wrote his second letter to Timothy,
he was beheaded for his unwavering confidence in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Yet what did he tell Timothy his young protégé and spiritual son? Never give up.
Paul reviews Timothy’s godly heritage:
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which lived first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
2 Timothy 1: 5
Timothy’s mother and grandmother had raised him well and taught him the Scriptures.
(So parents and grandparents take heart and know that the seeds of faith and wisdom
you’re sowing in the lives of your children and grandchildren will bear much fruit.
You may not see the fruit right away but it will come.)
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
2 Timothy 1:1 4
In 1 & 2 Timothy, Paul provides valuable counselling and teaching to Timothy as a young leader in the church:
on worship; elders and other leaders; false teachers; the love of money; also the importance of working out disagreements in the church etc.
Church family, many of you might well have heard these words preached at ordination services;
as well as at services for other ministers of the Gospel.
Many of these spiritual gems also apply to us as we live our lives as Christians in a world which has become increasingly more secular.
Over nearly eighteen months, we have been going through hard and distressing times in our families, communities and countries
as the world battles with the corona virus pandemic.
However, no matter what we are facing, God is on our side and there is nothing impossible for him,
so we lean on the Word of God and the promises of God.
Paul used word pictures to help Timothy remember how to honour God and lead his people.
FIRSTLY: he must be like a worker who does his best to present himself as one approved (2 Timothy 2: 15),
seeking to please his master, the one he serves. Loving others can never lead us to compromise the integrity of God’s Word.
SECONDLY: Paul describes the home of a wealthy person, where there are articles not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay (v. 20)
The owner of the house puts some of his vessels out on display for all to see,
but the rusty tools and dirty buckets are kept out of sight, in the garage.
Those who speak the Truth, uphold the Truth and live out the Truth are instruments of honour,
but those who modify the Truth and water it down are instruments of dishonour.
Let us as believers always seek to be instruments of honour, useful in the hand of God and prepared to do any good work.
THIRDLY: Paul urges Timothy to be God’s obedient servant (see v.24).
Satan is forever trying to divide our loyalty, to have us offer partial obedience, but we must not compromise.
As Jesus said, ‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.’ (Matthew 6: 24)
We cannot serve the Lord and something else: that’s compromise. In today’s world it is difficult to swim against the tides of culture.
How many of us would rather watch television than spend time in the Word of God?
How many would rather hide our faith than boldly share the Gospel?
Every day we are tempted to make excuses and explain away the parts of Scripture that run against the current of our culture,
to water down the Truth of God’s Word to make it more palatable.
We know the end of the story, God’s Word does not change. We live in an age where confusion abounds, even in our churches.
God has entrusted His people with the Truth of His Word, and it is our job to pass it on to the next generation of believers.
- How has God answered your prayers in the past? Let those memories fuel your faith.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self- discipline. (2 Timothy 1: 7).
- What are you afraid you might lose if you stand up for the Truth?
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1: 13)
- How is God calling you to advance his Kingdom today in your home, workplace and community?
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2: 1)
(Source: My Journal: ‘Don’t Ever Give Up’ by Michael Youssef)
Let us pray:
Almighty God, give us wisdom to perceive you, intellect to understand you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you and life to proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Attributed to St Benedict (480–543)
Holy Spirit, think through me, till your ideas are my ideas.
Amy Carmichael (1868–1951)
Let us pray for peace between Israel and Gaza.
Father God, we pray for a cessation of the attacks and counter attacks
as tragically these lead to more loss of life, injuries, destruction of property and infrastructure on both sides.
We pray that any intervention by the international community to bring about peace will be fair and unbiased.
Father, we pray that the church and other religious leaders will play a vital role
in bringing about sustainable peace in this unending and bitter conflict.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
We pray for school, college and university students who are sitting exams
after several months of disruption in their lives.
Father, please give them the strength and courage to be well prepared despite all their challenges,
so that they will be successful.
Exams, even under settled times are difficult,
so please give them special wisdom and insight with their studies.
We pray that families will be supportive and provide conditions which are conducive to them.
Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy.
May God’s blessing surround you each day,
as you trust him and walk in his way.
May his presence within guard and keep you from sin,
go in peace, go in joy, go in love.
Cliff Barrow (1982)