Day 4--Read: 2 Timothy 2:5-6
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
Reflect: Paul uses two more metaphors in these verses to instruct Timothy. What characteristics are described here that are essential for Christian growth?
Consider: Performing as an athlete demands a commitment to a regimen of training and to the rules for the game. Paul may have been emphasizing either or both, but the context appears to spotlight the self-discipline and stamina needed for training and preparation. Paul used the analogy of the farmer to show that the one who works hard has the first claim on the fruits of the work. The phrase “to receive a share of the crops” is not an appeal for a diligent worker to receive an adequate salary. It promises a spiritual reward from God for a job devotedly done.4
Respond: Obedience and endurance are essential for Christian growth. How has God used these to help you develop as a believer? Spend time today reflecting on those times and giving Him thanks for the work He has done in your life.
4 Thomas D. Lea and Hayne P. Griffin, 1, 2 Timothy, Titus, vol. 34, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 204.