Perhaps the hardest word in the entire New Testament to wrap our minds around is the infinitely wide one-syllable word grace. Defining it is not the problem. Succinctly put, grace is unmerited favor. Confining it is where we get into trouble. The truth is, we who are in Christ Jesus do not have a single challenge, need, temptation, desire, craving, conflict, sacrifice, gifting, relationship, or task where grace is limited. Further, there is no opportunity, opposition, action, or occupation where grace is ineffective. No category exists where grace is ill fit. No tank is big enough to leave grace in short supply.
Grace is the divine means by which God makes Himself everything we need to utterly abound (2 Cor. 9:8). It is the medicine that heals our bitterness (Hebrews 12:15). It is the floor where fallen people can come to their feet and stand (Rom. 5:2). It is substance. It is sufficiency. It is joy and felicity. And here, in 2 Timothy 2:1, grace is strength.
Paul used a vigorous word to express his command. To “be strong,” a present passive imperative, implies that Timothy was to keep on being empowered by God (2 Timothy 4:17; Eph 6:10; Phil 4:13; 1 Tim 1:12, where the same Greek word is used). The command demanded Timothy’s continuous active cooperation with God.
The quarry from which Timothy was to mine such strength was God’s grace made available in Christ Jesus.
Our tendency is to treat grace like an antibiotic. The moment we feel better, we twist the cap on tight and close the medicine cabinet on the divine supply. Soon we’re just getting by instead of abounding, and soon after that we’re drowning.
Our tendency is to treat grace like an antibiotic. The moment we feel better, we twist the cap on tight and close the medicine cabinet on the divine supply. Soon we’re just getting by instead of abounding, and soon after that we’re drowning. We can’t live like overcomers if we act under-graced. God’s astonishing favor is meant to run like a river through every artery of our lives, but, by His sovereign plan, His unhindered access requires a cooperative process. Life is hard. Trying to be strong apart from the grace that is in Christ Jesus can be as great a tragedy as the catalyst of our need.
God specializes in granting strength in that exact area of weakness. Pause long enough to ask Him for a gush of grace from the endless spring of His provision. You have a provider who wants you to be more than a survivor. You’ve been entrusted with inexhaustible truth and supernatural gifting but all within the confines of borrowed time. Our days are short. Our lists are long. We need divine supply.
13 And then, that very day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, which was about a]seven miles from Jerusalem.14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place.15 While they were talking and discussing it, Jesus Himself came up and began walking with them.16 But their eyes were [miraculously] prevented from recognizing Him.17 Then Jesus asked them, “What are you discussing with one another as you walk along?” And they stood still, looking brokenhearted.18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, “Are you the only stranger visiting Jerusalem who is unaware of the things which have happened here in these [Not a valid template] days?”19 He asked, “What things?” And they replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people,20 and how the chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and crucified Him.21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel and set our nation free. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.22 And also some of the women among us shocked us. They were at the tomb early in the morning,23 and they did not find His body. Then they came back, saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive!24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women had said, but they did not see Him.”25 Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to trust and believe in everything that the prophets have spoken!26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and [only then to] enter His glory?”27 Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the [writings of the] prophets, He explained and interpreted for them the things referring to Himself [found] in all the Scriptures.
28 Then they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as if He were going farther.29 But they urged Him [not to go on], saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening, and the day has just about ended.” So He went inside to stay with them.30 And it happened that as He reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.31 Then their eyes were [suddenly] opened [by God] and they [clearly] recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was talking with us on the road and opening the Scriptures to us?”33 They got up that very hour and went back to Jerusalem, and found the eleven [apostles] gathered together and those who were with them,34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon [Peter]!”35 They began describing in detail what had happened on the road, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the bread.