Devotional: Be Strong in the Grace of Jesus Christ
Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-13
“So you, my son, be strong [constantly strengthened] and empowered in the grace that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus” [2 Timothy 2:1 Amp. Bible]
Timothy is struggling with fear and feelings of being ashamed of the gospel. Paul is desperate that Timothy should overcome these feelings and commends him to be strong in the grace found in Christ Jesus.
What exactly does Paul mean when he speaks about being strong in the grace found in the Lord Jesus? The Greek Word for “strong” is ‘endunamoo’ meaning “to be empowered,” “to be enabled,” or “to be strengthened inwardly.” This word is in the passive voice and the present tense! Literally, it means to allow God to strengthen you and to do so moment by moment. This kind of strengthening is supernatural and does not depend on your own effort.
Reliance on our own natural strength to achieve spiritual results is doomed to failure.
It is grace that will empower Timothy. Many people trust God for His grace to save them, but sadly then rely upon their own strength and efforts to serve God. We often understand the meaning of amazing grace for salvation but fail to recognise that this same grace is the key to being strengthened and to serve God effectively. Paul writes, “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak” [2 Corinthians 12:9 TEV]. In this verse grace and power are linked together. They are similarly linked together in the Book of Acts. “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them” [Acts 4:33].
Again, Stephen was a man who humbly served at tables, but experienced God’s empowering grace. The Bible says, “Stephen, a man full of God’s grace… performed amazing miracles and signs among the people” [Acts 6:8 NLT].
Grace is God’s divine power. John writes that, “Of Jesus’ fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” [John 1:16]. The phrase, “grace for grace” literally means “the richest abundance of grace.” Grace gives us the fullness of Jesus Christ! What is it that we need when we are struggling? It is grace and God has given us an invitation to come to Him and receive it, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” [Hebrews 4:16]. Are you struggling with weakness and temptation? Come to God’s throne and receive the empowerment of grace. The writer of Hebrews actually said that we need grace in order to serve God acceptably [Hebrews 12:28]!
Why is it so easy to trust God to save us by His grace, and yet so much more difficult to trust Him for grace for strength and grace to serve Him?
Will you accept Paul’s advice to Timothy? Come to God and ask Him to give you the strength that only grace can give you, and thus enable you to stand in the battle.
Taken from Pastor Michael Ross-Watson’s online daily devotional, michaelrosswatson.com.