Specific Text: 1 Timothy 1:18-20
A new book means a new 8 minute overview video!
A couple of summers ago I got to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Northern Michigan. There's a particular part of Lake Superior that's really nasty where dozens, if not hundreds, of ships have gone down over the last century. These weren't just rickety old wooden boats, these were great big freighters like the Edmund Fitzgerald. While poor weather played a role in many of the wrecks, the only consistent common denominator in all of these tragedies is that none of the sailors involved thought that they would go down. They all thought they could sail through the storms with no problems, but were wrong.
Paul has trained up Timothy so that Timothy could train others. Once again, Paul uses warrior terminology to describe the Christian life; he wants Timothy to 'fight the battle well.' Dwight Eisenhower, the famous WWII general who would later become President, once said, "even the best battle plans fall apart once the first shot gets fired." The heat of battle tests even the best of soldiers, and if they don't hold onto their training they will end up shipwrecked (sorry for the mixed metaphor, but don't blame me, blame Paul!).
The point is that for your entire life you have been trained as a soldier of Christ, but don't get overconfident when you go out into the world. If you try and sail through the storm on your own, you will wreck. If you forget your training in the thick of the battle, you will be overcome.
The key, writes Paul, is to 'hold on to your faith.' The way to strengthen your grip is to continue to exercises your spiritual muscles through Spiritual disciplines. Consistently attend church each Sunday (both morning & evening!). Read the Bible every day. Pray. Fast (we'll talk more about this later this summer). Do all you can to increase your knowledge of who God is and what He's done.
Prayer For The Day - Lord God, thank you for your promise that you will never let me go. Help me to remember that even though I am securely in your hands, that you have instructed me to hold on to you as well. Help me to maintain my spiritual disciplines so that I can weather the storms in life. Amen.