You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others. – 2 Timothy 2:2


Long-term success is achieved only if there is a successor. Paul knew this and thus instructed Timothy to impart everything he had learned from him to other reliable people. In 2 Timothy 2, Paul used three images of a reliable, faithful person.

First, he said a faithful person is like a soldier (2:3), who will endure hardship as part of his calling. Good soldiers do not get involved in things that distract them from following their commanders; no matter what, they maintain their focus. In order to be faithful to Jesus, our total focus must be on fighting the battle of faith with Him, not on gaining worldly position.

The second image of a faithful Christian is that of an athlete (2:5). An athlete must follow all the rules if he wants to win the game. To break the rules means instant disqualification. The image of the athlete reflects the need for character in the life of the Christian. Only those who live pure lives within the constraints of God’s commands will win the prize.

The last image of a faithful Christian is that of a farmer (2:6). Diligent, hardworking farmers are models of patience. The seeds they sow into the soil must gradually grow into crops. If the farmer wants to reap a harvest, he cannot become impatient and dig up the seed to see if it is growing yet! Similarly, we must be patient with our growth and that of others in the Lord. Patiently we must wait for the harvest of spiritual growth.

If you find a focused, pure, patient servant of the Lord, invest your time in that person. One day he will do the same for someone else, and your life will have counted for something great.


But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you. – 2 Timothy 4:5

Do you feel called into ministry? In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul outlined four sequential steps that should occur for entering the ministry. It is important information for anyone who is called to minister.

First, he said to “keep a clear mind in every situation.” Learning to observe carefully what is going on around you will begin your ministry training. Watch and learn from seasoned pastors, missionaries, and teachers to see how they minister.

Second, Paul said, “Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord.” After a season of watching and being under the care of your ministry mentor, you will enter a season of flying solo. Your flight may be rough at first, but all of us have to encounter a little hardship in order to test our mettle!

The third stage of entering ministry is to do the work of an evangelist, “bringing others to Christ.” Every minister should be a soul winner. Timothy was a pastor, not an evangelist, but Paul told him to throw himself into personal evangelism anyway.

Finally, Paul said to “complete the ministry God has given you.” The day will come when you will put on your ministry like a custom-fitted jacket. The preparation will be over, the ministry will fit you, and you will enjoy your calling for the rest of your life!

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