Today’s reading: 1 Chron 18:1–20:8, 2 Tim 2:1–13, Ps 85:1–13
Today’s theme: Called to Generosity
Today we are taught a lot about our calling. One way of summing up our calling is that we are called to be generous with our riches, time, resources, energy and abilities. We all have a part to play so act out the miracle of your new life in Christ today.
1 Chronicles 18:1–20:8
Be generous and faithful
These also King David dedicated to the LORD, together with the silver and gold that he had carried off from all the nations, from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek. 1 Chronicles 18:11 (ESV)
David shows us a great example of how we should be with all the Lord has given us. David was so generous and faithful to the Lord that he did not just make himself rich with the spoils of war but instead laid them up to be used by his son Solomon in the building of the temple.
Jesus commends this type of attitude in us as believers with both our physical and spiritual resources being dedicated to the Lord’s service. We see this in His parable about the coins (talents) in Matthew 25:14-30.
Play your part in God’s government
So David reigned over all Israel, and he administered justice and equity to all his people. 1 Chronicles 18:14 (ESV)
David was more than just a military commander. This small section shows us that David reorganised the government of Israel at the highest levels with capable administrators helping to establish an efficient kingdom state.
Joab, who by the way is David’s Nephew who we see proves his military ability in the next chapter, was made head of the armed forces. Meanwhile, courageous and loyal Beniah was made the head of the elite bodyguard detail (like the secret service).
In the body of Christ, Jesus like king David has organised His kingdom giving each member it’s role to perform for the good of the whole. We need to know what our office is and function within that calling.
1 Corinthians 12:18 tells us “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.”
Romans 12:4-8 teaches us “…so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us….”
Use your strength for God
Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the LORD do what seems good to him.” 1 Chronicles 19:13 (ESV)
Joab’s military leadership really shines through in this passage. This is the type of strategising we see in military geniuses like Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Julius Caesar or Attila the Hun. Joab shows his heart for the Lord in this call to rally his troops as they enter battle.
Like Joab said, let us use our strength for the body of Christ and the kingdom of God. Paul knew this and so worked harder than all the other Apostles in 1 Corinthians 15:10. Paul also reminds us in 1 Timothy 4:10 that we are called to toil and strive for God’s kingdom.
Beware complacency, laziness or compromise
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army and ravaged the country of the Ammonites and came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. And Joab struck down Rabbah and overthrew it. 1 Chronicles 20:1 (ESV)
Here we start to see the slow burn of complacency and compromise with David. It was the time of the year when kings go to battle, but instead David stayed home and sent Joab his military ace. They got the victory but this behaviour set the precedent for the fall David would have with Bathsheba.
We must not be caught out by complacency, laziness or compromise. As in David’s case we may not see the result of the rot straightaway but it will soon become apparent. We must be sober, on our guard and not give the enemy an inch in our lives.
1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 reminds us not to sleep but to stay awake and be alert. We must not get drunk on our own pleasure and comfort, we must stay sober.
Peter in his call to holiness proclaims in 1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
At war every hour
And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. 1 Chronicles 20:6 (ESV)
This giant with his 24 digits can be seen symbolically for the giant enemies we face each hour of the day. We should identify the giants that come to torment us and like David and his men, kill every last one of them. Jesus told us to take up our cross daily and follow him in Luke 9:23.
2 Timothy 2:1–13
Called to teach
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2 (ESV)
This is the first of four analogies (Teacher, Soldier, Athlete and Farmer). Paul uses these to speak of the Christian life and ministry. Each points in some way to the need for whole hearted devotion in spite of difficulty.
As a teacher Paul encourages Timothy to pass on what he has learned from him (Paul) to faithful men who could also teach others. We see 4 generations here, Paul, Timothy, Faithful Men and Others.
Although the context tells us this is in regards to the continuation and spread of the ministry. Each of us is called to pass on what we have learned to the upcoming generations. We must grow and be mature as Christians so we can pass down what was passed down to us. We don’t need to make up something new, our faith is not novel. It is our duty to pass down the historically orthodox Christian faith to each generation.
Called to fight
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 2 Timothy 2:4 (ESV)
The second analogy for the Christian life is life as a soldier. As soldiers we endure harsh conditions, we are disciplined and willing to lay our lives on the line for our King. We obey commands, we show discipline, we fight, we defend, we protect, we have lives dedicated to duty.
We must not be short sighted, only concerned with life now. We must see the greater vision of the army and our commanding officer and seek to please Christ in faith.
Called to run and work
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 2 Timothy 2:5–6 (ESV)
The next two analogies are of an Athlete and a Farmer.
Athletes need to be very disciplined, they need to watch what they eat and be disciplined in exercise and training. We need to be careful about what we eat spiritually and we need to constantly exercise our spiritual senses.
Athletes also have a drive to win, to gain the prize, to finish the race well. We can apply all of this to our walk with the Lord, we should run to win.
Farmers need to work hard. They get up earlier than everyone else, they need to show patience and perseverance in all seasons as they work ploughing the fields, planting the seeds and tending the crops. We are called to perseverance for our own lives but also as we work to see fruit in others.
The word of God is not bound
for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 2 Timothy 2:9 (ESV)
Nothing can stop the word of God! Even though Paul was in chains the word of God cannot be put in chains. This is why God allowed His word to be recorded in written form, this ensures the message goes where men cannot go and can be passed from person to person.
Thank God we have the unstoppable word of God. We should seek to see the word spread to every corner of the earth so that God’s elect may obtain the salvation that is in Jesus.
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Psalm 85:10 (ESV)
This is seen in full on the cross where Jesus was sacrificed in our place, making peace between us and God.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 2 Timothy 2