Today’s Bible reading is Ezekiel 4 and 2 Timothy 2.
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim 2:1).
That’s a thought worth turning over in your mind throughout the day. Strength is available. It’s not strength within you or me. It’s the strength of grace that is available in Christ Jesus. You can “be strengthened” by Someone beyond yourself today.
How? How’s that work? Notice two tracks from 2 Timothy 2–things to avoid and things to pursue.
First, things to AVOID:
Charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. (2:14)
Avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness. (2:16)
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. (2:23)
Do you want to be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus today? Don’t quarrel. Steer clear of irreverent babble. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies. Why? Because they ruin the hearers. They lead into the tunnel of ungodliness. They breed quarrels. They don’t strengthen us or build others up because they flow in the opposite direction of grace.
But there are also things to PURSUE:
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2:22)
Strength is available today. It’s not strength within you or me. It’s the strength of grace that is available in Jesus. You can “be strengthened” from the start of 2021. But you have to trust that Christ knows what he’s talking about when he tells you to avoid the foolishness of this world and pursue what will build you up and encourage others.
God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (2:19)
Let’s act like those who are his this week.