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Key Thought:

God promises to renew our strength and even take away our discouragements if we will just wait and reflect on God.

 

Paul gives young Timothy some important advice about how to live a life that’s built to last. Are you living the kind of life that’s built to last?

 

I.        Finding Strength (2 Tim 2:1)

 

Let’s begin by looking at the command in v. 1. The command here is to “be strong.” This Greek verb here is actually in the passive voice, so it’s more accurately translated, “Let yourself be strengthened”.

 

This kind of strength comes from outside of ourselves, from the grace found in Jesus Christ. It takes humility to admit that we’ve sinned against God and to trust in Christ for our salvation, but until we do that we can’t plug into God’s grace.

 

II.            Multiplying Our Influence (2 Tim 2:2)

 

If we want to live lives built to last, we need to multiply our influence through other people. Paul’s most effective years in ministry were the years he was locked in a Roman prison. This is because Paul had learned how to multiply his influence through people like Timothy, Silas, Titus, Luke and other coworkers he invested himself in. So even though Paul is locked up then he writes this letter, his ministry is still active through the people he’s multiplied his influence through.

 

We also multiply our influence through our involvement in Christian service. If you want to live a life that’s built to last, you’ll need to multiply your influence through other people.

 

III.          Truths we cannot forget

 

This brings us to another command followed by a series of three word pictures in vv. 3-7. Now the command is to “endure hardship,” The answer to what kind of hardship he’s talking about is found in the three word pictures. Notice the first word picture, that of a soldier. Soldiers endure hardship.

 

So the idea is that serving Jesus is like being recruited by Jesus to serve in his army. As it’s on the single mindedness and self discipline it takes to stay disentangled from things to please Jesus.

 

The second word picture is that of an athlete. Being a follower of Jesus Christ is like an athlete. It requires self-discipline and single mindedness.

 

The third word picture is that of a hard working farmer. So all three word pictures involve discipline, effort and single mindedness. Everything worth doing in life comes with a price. The same is true of living a life that’s built to last.

 

IV.         Centering Our Lives (2 Tim 2:8-10)

 

That brings us to vv.8-10. In v. 8 we find our fourth command, to remember Jesus. The focus of this command here means to keep on thinking about Jesus. Recall to your mind again and again who Jesus is.

 

The focus here is on Jesus’ resurrection and his descent from the ancient Hebrew King David. Both of these factors uniquely qualified Jesus to be the Messiah, the Christ. So remember that Jesus is the promised one, the Messiah, the Christ.

 

This is the message for which Pail is sitting in a prison cell waiting his execution. Yet despite his suffering, he is committed to enduring to the very end. He will not falter or waver, even if it means his own death. If we want to live a life that’s built to last, we need to center our lives around Jesus. This text is encouraging us to make the good news of Jesus the hub, the source from which all the spokes meet.

 

Their entire life is a battle for control, as they try to domesticate Jesus and keep him relegated to the religious part of their lives. It’s a constant battle for control, as Jesus keeps reminding the person that he is Lord, yet they refuse to let him be in the center, the hub.

 

V.           Don’t give Up (2 Tim 2:11-13)

 

Now the word, “remember” is the last command we have in this section, but what follows in vv. 11-13 is a kind of encouragement. This is the first “trustworthy saying” we’ve found in 2 Timothy, but we encountered two “trustworthy sayings” in 1 Timothy. The same is true of living a life that’s built to last. It means saying no to certain things just like the soldier, just like the athlete, just like the farmer. It means single minded devotion to the task, just like the soldier’s devotion to his or her commanding officer, just like the athlete’s devotion to winning, just like the farmer’s devotion to harvesting a crop. There are no short cuts in this area.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Do you want to live a life built to last? Here we find five insights into how a Christian can live that kind of life. If we want to live that kind of life we find our strength in God’s sources, we multiply our influence through other people, we are willing to pay the price, we center our lives on the good news of Jesus, and we don’t give up no matter what.

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