Grace and Encouragement

August 24, 2020

1 You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:1-2

Written by Rodney Taylor from the Brentwood Campus

While I would love to take credit for the following story, it is not mine. It’s borrowed from a website titled Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band—he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths, only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

In today’s passage, Paul highlights two words as he encourages Timothy in his future ministry: “grace” and “commit.” Paul encourages Timothy to be strong in the “grace that is in Christ Jesus.” The word he employs for “grace” is charis, which means the unmerited favor or kindness of God through Jesus Christ. The word itself reveals that every good gift that comes to us in this life is by God’s grace. Even our accomplishments are a result of His grace alone. Dwight L. Moody once said, “Grace means undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God’s favor.” Paul is advising his young charge to maintain a strong faith in the grace of God regardless of any adversity that might befall him.

Then Paul says, “Commit to faithful men the message you have heard from me.” Paul wants Timothy to share the good news he has heard so often from the lips of his mentor. And those “faithful men” will carry that message to others, until the world understands and experiences the grace of God in Jesus.

In these days of adversity and distress, Paul would remind us to share the grace of Christ, to impart the Word of faith, to offer words of encouragement and to make gospel conversations a part of our everyday lifestyle.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Are you confident that the grace of Christ abides in you? If not, pray that God will instill a self-assurance that His grace is sufficient for every life event. Be encouraged that God will watch after and care for you.
  2. How often do you share God’s grace with others?
  3. Ask God to present opportunities for you to have gospel conversations with those who do not have a relationship with Christ.

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