The growth rings on a tree tell a story. When a tree is cut down the growth rings are revealed and the growth rings tell a story. You can tell if the season was a rainy or dry season, if there was a forest fire, if growth was early or late. Now I am no forester, but I am a studier of the Word of God and I believe we too have growth rings. Rings of sanctification, that reveal times of closeness with God, times when we were not so close, times we were well watered by the Word, and times we resisted with vigor. Scars that reveal storms in our life, hurt, and yes healing. Sometimes we get so caught up in the end that we lose sight of the now. We want to see the mature tree and miss the growth of each season. The journey through life is beauty of life, especially when your destination is not of this world. The Lord Jesus Christ has called each of us by name to be a part of what He is doing, not what we are doing. The Lord is not some investor looking to invest in your great idea, far from it. The Lord Jesus Christ is the owner of the greatest company in the world and He looks at you and I and asks, will you join My company? Building what I build, the way I design it, and the way I oversee it? What I say goes? Your compensation package may vary, but the retirement plan is out of this world… Your response please?
1. Write Isaiah 45:23 from memory.
2. Read 2 Timothy 2.
3. Write down your action steps to your takeaways from Sunday’s sermon. What actions do you have to put in place because of what you heard from the Lord?
2 Timothy 2
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
4. What are the affairs of this life mentioned by Paul in this passage?
5. Who enlisted you as a soldier? This is a serious question. Was it Jesus Christ? It can be your parents, your grandmother, your best friend, it must be the Lord Jesus Christ. Explain what I mean when I saw it can’t be anyone else.
6. List and discuss the characteristic of a good soldier discussed Sunday. (might I remind you the message is on our app, website and you tube channel)
7. In verse 7 Paul says he suffered as an evil doer. How do you think or know you are going to be treated by those who don’t know Christ?