April 16th, 2021 – Friday Early Evening
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” ~2 Timothy 2:1
You may have heard the word “grace” defined as “unmerited favor”; if so, that would be correct, at least in many circumstances. You see grace (Greek “charis”), like many words, has different meanings in different settings. It can mean things ranging from favor, goodwill, and loving kindness to that which affords joy, pleasure, sweetness, etc. to things like thanks, recompense, and reward. All of those are wonderful things and they each are important in Scripture; however, there is another, perhaps expanded meaning to the word “grace” and it is the one that is found in this passage. In simple words, that meaning is “the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace”.
To gain a bit more context to the meaning of this verse and this use of the word “grace”, take a look at some of the things that Paul communicated to Timothy in chapter 1: Paul opens his letter with a reminder of the will of God and the promise of life found in Jesus Christ. He blesses Timothy with the grace (favor), mercy, and peace of God and expresses his great desire to see Timothy. Paul reminds Timothy of the gift of God which is in Timothy and of the reality that God has given Timothy a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind (or discipline). He then urges Timothy to suffer with Christ and to completely entrust himself to the Lord and to the works that He has called His children to. Paul commands Timothy to hold fast or retain the standard or pattern of sound words in the faith and love of Christ Jesus and to guard (through the power of the Holy Spirit) the precious treasure that has been entrusted to him. Paul then offers some examples both of those who have forsaken him and of one who has helped him.
It is immediately after those instructions, encouragements, reminders, and exhortations that our verse today comes. Fitting the context with the definition of “grace” used in this passage, it seems the command to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”, then, is a command to be strengthened in living in step with the Spirit of God – with all trust in God, controlled by His power, love, and discipline, and obedient to His call no matter what the cost. Paul’s command to Timothy is a command that is applicable to every believer; every one of us is called to live surrendered in Christ, enabled by His Spirit, and filled to overflowing with His fruit. This is the life of one who has been shown the favor of God through Christ Jesus and the one who lives strong in the grace that is found in Him.
Is this your life? Is it mine? Look at such favor, mercy, and peace that has been poured out on us through Jesus! See such abundant power and purpose! Remember His faithfulness and preeminence! Own His calling on your life and let Him take over everything – dominating your every thought, word, and action through the power of His Holy Spirit. Don’t fear the battle or the suffering that may come. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus!