soldier, athlete, farmer
2 Timothy 2:1-7 (JDV)
2 Timothy 2:1 You, therefore, my child, be strengthened by the favor that is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:2 What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful humans who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:3 Join in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the enlisting officer.
2 Timothy 2:5 Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
2 Timothy 2:6 The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to get a share of the crops.
2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say because the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
Paul had just told Timothy how sad he was about those who had once been his friends and supported his ministry but had now turned away.
He encourages Timothy not to become one of these. Instead, he should stay strong, and keep up the work. He needed to stay focused on the work, and not get distracted — to be a good soldier. He needed to compete according to the rules, and like a good athlete, he would get the crown. He needed to stay focused on the crop, and as a good farmer, he would be the first to share its fruit.
Lord, help us to stay strong and focused on the mission.