Who Said You Had to Deserve what God Gives You?March 13, 2016
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
— 2 Timothy 2:1
Timothy was the pastor of the world’s largest church of that time — the church of Ephesus. It was also the most famous church in the world. Started by Paul, this illustrious congregation included the apostle John as a church member. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also a member of the church in her old age. It was a church like none other before or after it.
What a privilege it was for Timothy to become the pastor of this well-known and powerful congregation! After working side by side with the apostle Paul for many years, he had finally become the leader of his own work. It was a huge assignment for a young man, but after working with Paul all those years, Timothy was ready to step into his own pulpit as the senior pastor of the cherished Ephesian church. As far as we know, it was the first time in his life he served in such a position.
By the time Paul wrote the book of Second Timothy, however, things weren’t going so well in the city of Ephesus. Nero was persecuting the church, and, as a result, church members were deserting the Lord in order to save their lives. Leaders in the church were waging war with each other over doctrinal issues; others didn’t like Timothy and consequently rebelled against his leadership. This young pastor must have felt like he had a mess on his hands! After receiving the honor of becoming senior pastor of the world’s largest church, he may have felt like he was failing at his job.
Have you ever felt like you were failing with an assignment that was given to you? Or perhaps you feel like you were dealt an unfair hand — that a major assignment was transferred to you just at the point when all hell was about to break loose. Maybe you believe that there was nothing you could have done to change the negative developments that followed. But even if you can logically explain why everything fell apart under your guard, do you still feel responsible for this failure?
It is quite possible that this is how Timothy felt as he presided over the huge church of Ephesus and watched the developing internal problems, such as the defections and the decline in attendance. Many of these things would have occurred regardless of who was senior pastor, but I’m certain Timothy struggled with feeling like he was a dismal failure. He needed a touch from God! He needed strength to stay there and to do what God wanted him to do.
That is why Paul wrote, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). The word “strong” is the Greek word endunamao, and it means to be empowered or to be made strong. If you refer to the January 12 Sparkling Gem, you will see that this is a compound of the words en and dunamis. The word en means in. The word dunamis means explosive strength, ability, and power. It’s where we get the word dynamite.
Thus, this word endunamao presents the picture of an explosive power being deposited into some type of container or vessel, or some other form of receptacle. In this case, the destination of this power was Timothy! He needed power, so Paul told him, “Be strong.” It’s almost as though Paul was saying, “Timothy, it’s time for you to receive the supernatural, dynamic, explosive power that you need! You were designed for this power.…”
Because Timothy was struggling with feelings of failure, he probably didn’t feel worthy to receive a supernatural touch. This is why Paul said, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
The supernatural strengthening you need doesn’t come because you deserve it. God makes His supernatural power available to you and me for free! That is why Paul goes on to say, “…Be strong in the grace….” The phrase “in the grace” is important, because it could be translated, “…Be strong BY MEANS OF the grace that is in Christ Jesus….”
God’s grace makes this strength available to every Christian soldier! This is good news! God’s grace never runs out! His power is available to anyone who releases his or her faith to receive it. And because it’s available by grace — for free — a person doesn’t have to feel worthy to receive it!
As long as there is still grace, there is still a free, supernatural, empowering, inner strengthening available to you — if you reach out and take it. You have to receive a new touch of God’s power freely — by means of God’s grace. The devil will always be around to tell you that you’re not good enough, not worthy enough, not faithful enough to deserve anything from God. But who said you have to deserve anything God gives you? Because Jesus died for you and washed you with His blood, you are a candidate for everything that God possesses!
So quit beating yourself over the head, telling yourself how bad you are and how terribly you’ve failed. If you really did mess up the assignment God gave you, just repent! Then open your heart and ask the Lord to give you a new touch of power so you can get up and start moving again! And if the devil tells you that you’re not worthy to receive a new touch, just answer him: “Devil, I’m going to lay hold of the steady current of God’s power that comes to me as a result of His grace, and there’s not a thing you can do to stop it!”
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I have been made worthy by the blood of Jesus Christ to receive every good thing You have planned and prepared for me. Forgive me for the times I have placed limitations on Your ability to bless me because I thought I wasn’t good enough. It is clear that You want to bless me IN SPITE of me! You are so good to do all the wonderful things You do in my life. Today I thank You for choosing to bless me with the extra strength I so desperately need in my life right now. Thank You for making this power completely available for free!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I declare that thoughts of unworthiness have no place in me. What Jesus does for me, He does for free — just because He loves me. I do not have to worry that I’m not good enough to receive of His goodness, because my feelings don’t have a thing to do with His good pleasure to bless my life. He wants to bless me regardless of anything I do, because it is God’s nature to bless and to do good in my life. Today I receive the power God wants to give me by His grace. I receive it without hesitation, knowing that this is His good pleasure for me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Name ten things God has done for you that you don’t feel you deserved. Write them down and really meditate on the grace of God that has been demonstrated in your life.
2. Did the Lord bless you in spite of your feelings of unworthiness?
3. If you need a touch from the Lord today, why don’t you take a few minutes right now to open your heart and let Him fill you to overflowing?