Life Built to Last
Updated: Jun 26, 2020
“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
- 2 TIMOTHY 2:11-13 (NKJV)
We are entrusted with a mission to “multiply ourselves.” From the very beginning Jesus never failed to remind His followers about this, especially the apostles. It’s written in the four gospels.
Let’s take a look at the famous apostle Paul. While confined in a small dungeon cell in Rome, he wrote his second letter to Timothy, his apprentice. Since his “conversion,” Paul had given everything possible for the sake of the Gospel. Being aware that his death might be near, Paul also wanted to give Timothy some final words of instruction, encouragement, and admonition. His letter began with thanksgiving, hope, excitement, and exhortation:
"I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you..” (2 Timothy 1:3-5).
Before I proceed, let us first take a closer look on Timothy. Paul’s compassionate concern in his final years is for the young leaders who would carry on the roles of leadership in Christ’s church, and his apprentice was one of those appointed to that task.
1. He was a faithful companion to Paul (2 Timothy 2:3, 3:14);
2. Although young, he was willing to take on challenging tasks for the sake of the gospel (1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:2);
3. His life was one of discipline (1 Timothy 3:6), right priorities (3:8), courage (3:10), and good reputation (5:22).All of these traits Timothy possessed enabled him to become a bold and powerful leader for Christ.
So the story goes. You are entrusted with a mission. Now what are you going to do about it? What kind of legacy will you leave to the next generation? I bet Timothy had just one simple mission in life: Live a Life that is Built to Last. Is that possible? How did he do it? Follow me as we take a deeper look into Timothy’s life.
Now I would like for you to imagine yourself participating in a conference where Timothy is one of the invited speakers, and he’s about to give his lecture.
HIS MESSAGE IS ENTITLED: LIFE BUILT TO LAST
Sitting at the back of the hall, you get your paper, your pen, and of course your handy-dandy Bible. At this very moment you hear Timothy sharing his personal testimony and from the screen in front, you see his teary eyes as he mesmerized his treasured memories with his mentor and spiritual father, Paul.
"To live a life that is built to last:
First, WE NEED A DETERMINED FAITHFULNESS.
It wasn’t easy for me—it has never been. Many times I cried, I prayed, and I fasted for countless days just to get out of this chaos. I wanted to return what God has given me—that is, my calling. But the Lord through my teacher, Paul encouraged me by praying for me day and night, excited to see me and hear about me being faithful in preaching the gospel. I was delighted to read his letter to me, knowing that he has faith in me just as God does. Therefore, he reminded me to stir up the gift of God in me through the laying of his hands. He also mentioned about Onesiphorus—who often refreshed him, not being ashamed of my teacher’s chains. When Onesiphorus arrived in Rome, he sought my teacher out very zealously and so he found him. I am a witness myself on how many ways that man ministered to my teacher at Ephesus.
Why am I saying this? I knew he didn’t want me to give up. He knew that I could finish the task and complete the mission. He knew that I will be faithful to the Gospel until I see my Lord and my King face to face.”
With your very own eyes, you see the speaker’s tears finally flowed down his cheeks. He reaches for his pocket, gets his hanky, and wipes away the salty water on his face. He took a deep breath and spoke in a cracked voice saying, “And now here I am standing before you.” He paused as he looks at you, finishing his sentence with a gentle smile.
The hall became quiet—so quiet as if there was nobody in the room but you. Not even one dared to move or glanced at his neighbor. Everybody was captured by that Fire in him—his burning passion and faith unto the Lord.
"Second, WE NEED TO FIND OUR STRENGTH IN GOD’S RESOURCES.
In our modern world, when we see gadgets we see power. But a gadget without power is useless; same with an appliance unplugged from its source. We need to always “plug-in” to our Source which is Jesus Christ. He does not forget what each soldier needs in every battle. And in leadership He gave us the excellence which is self-discipline, courage which is power, and love—Ah! The greatest of all! So my dear brethren, be strengthened! Be empowered by the grace of God that is in Jesus Christ!”
Come on now, don’t be shy. I heard you say “AMEN!”
"Thirdly, WE NEED TO MULTIPLY OURSELVES THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE. I was once taught that faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God. I tell you the truth, it is true. I have heard many things among many witnesses, and now I am committing these to you; for I know you are able to teach others as well. Never stop learning. Even when your hair turns grey, like mine, do not ever stop learning. I began preaching the gospel at a very young age. I had mistakes too many to count, but that didn’t stop me. As I grew older I began to study more—from the Word of God with the power of the Holy Spirit, and from His faithful people. Every single day I desired more and more of His presence in my life.
Now listen. Those who are not willing to listen be very careful of. I tell you the truth: this time is perilous times, the time when men will be lovers of themselves (lovers of temporary pleasure rather than lovers of God, the Eternal Pleasure). Lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. They do not really know the Holy Spirit, hence, they do not really know Jesus and the Father. Look around you! DO NOT BE LIKE THEM and from such people turn away!”
One by one, he looked raptly into each and everyone’s eyes.
"Do not be afraid. Always remember that you are coming from the victory, not for the victory. God has not given you a spirit of fear. The battle is always the Lord’s. All you have to do is to remain humble, remain obedient to His Word, and remain faithful in preaching His Word. For a determined faithfulness is a treasure worth passing on.”
Fear is the opposite of faith and it is a spiritual force. God has not given His people the spirit of fear. Instead, God’s people are to meditate and focus their minds on the promises of God. People who allow God to renew their minds through the Word of God become people of power, love, and ability. Their minds are sound and operate with clarity and intelligence because God’s power is operating through them.
Break’s over and finally, everyone’s in their respective places. Once again the preacher walks towards the pulpit to deliver his last message.
“Fourth, WE’D BETTER BE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE.
I cannot forget what my spiritual father, Paul wrote to me many years passed. He said,
'You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him (that is our Father in heaven) who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.’
When I’d read this, I prayed and thank God for He has carved these very words in my heart so I would not forget it. And now I also charge this to you. Although it is not easy to communicate the truth of God’s Word with absolute accuracy, we must strive to do so, even though we will often meet with violent opposition. This is why it is so important to learn to minister through patience, endurance, and much hard work if we are to be successful in what God called us to do.”
“The second to the last point is this: WE NEED TO CENTER OUR LIVES IN JESUS.
Sounds easy, right? But it’s not. And I know because I’ve been there. I cannot give what I do not have. We may think that who we are right now are the people God called us to be, but we’re not… Not yet. Unless we do a total complete surrender to Christ—and believe me in my case (surely only God knows where I’m standing) we remain nothing. When we treasure God’s Word, guarding it diligently and holding firmly to its truth, the Enemy cannot use us to corrupt it. As it is written, 'Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.' Then, as we communicate the truth of God’s Word accurately and teach others to do the same, we ensure that it will not be distorted, diluted, or deleted.”
“Finally my fellow servants of God, the sixth and the last is, DON’T YOU EVER GIVE UP.
We can learn much about ministry through the words the Lord has given through me. These examples will help us become committed servants of God’s Word, prepared at any time to proclaim that Word, and to patiently instruct others in the truth. Strictly, strictly, strictly follow the Law of God. To be a people of spiritual wisdom, we must possess spiritual perception and a wise value system. Theological quarreling (in fact, arguing of any kind) is unproductive, so we should refuse to be drawn into it. Rather, we are to learn to persuade others to godliness, being careful not to be deceived by outward godly behavior that does not flow from a pure heart. By practicing gentleness and kindness, we can more effectively learn to persuade others to believe and practice the truth. And so I quote,
'This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.'
AMEN AND AMEN.”
Spiritually wise people also recognize the human tendency to avoid the demands of truth, and to listen instead to that they want to hear. Keeping that in mind, we can avoid being deceived by smooth or clever talk, words that sound spiritual, but that in actuality, are nothing more than religious hype. Leaning on the Holy Spirit’s guidance however, we can trust God to direct us in the right way and to teach us to discern the true spiritual power and godliness in others, rather than being deceived by outward appearances (2 Tim. 3:5; Prov. 3:5,6).
Your choice matters. Choose wisely. Live the life that is built to last.
© Life Built to Last by Clarke Hernandez