Google+ 07/10/13 That's Why We All Struggle!

1 Timothy 4:9-11

 

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.

This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,

For our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.

 

God has once again asked me to write about our struggle for Christ.  Today's Scripture tells us more about our suffering and struggle with Satan.  Paul tells Timothy to teach every one to struggle and to make sure they learn it!  What is the trustworthy saying that we should accept?  We must struggle with Satan and not associate with those that proclaim evil things.  We must stay true to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Remember, Paul was in jail and was afraid that his young ministry apprentice was going to fall prey to evil ways.  1 Timothy is often called "the church leadership manual" of the New Testament.  Paul points out two very important things to Timothy that we should all learn, particularly those of us that call ourselves pastors.  First, we must teach.  Everyone needs to hear God's word and make sure that they fully understand it.  Second comes the part that most of us don't want to do.  We must insist that everyone learns and executes God's directives.  The Biblical word for "insist" is the word "command."  Yes, we as pastors and Christians must not only teach, but command.  Paul goes on to say in verse 12 that age doesn't matter.  It is only our living example that determines our stand with Christ.  Paul lets us know that this is why we must struggle, at all costs.  As I conclude this devotion today, I want to point out that the negative connotation of the word "struggle" should probably be shelved with all the other Christian myths.  If we struggle for God, we know we are walking in His path.  If we suffer for Him, we are doing what God commands.  Remember Job?  Struggling for Jesus becomes not only a necessity but a blessing.  That was the admonition that Paul gave Timothy.  Furthermore, if we don't embrace our struggles, we are likely going to be influenced by Satan.  This is a good time to explain that Christianity prohibits "fence-sitting!"  There are far too many references, as it applies to not serving two masters, in the Bible for me to even quote.  Hear this warning.  If you are not serving, suffering, and struggling for God, you are accepting, acknowledging, and allowing Satan.  There is no gray area.  How do we know if we are following God?  I will refer you once again to Matthew 28.  We must go into all the world, preaching and teaching and making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  If we are not doing these things individually or as a church every day, we are following Satan.  That's why we all struggle!