“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2Timothy 2:1)
“Excuse me, please,” the lady said, still holding in her hands the Book of Paul’s Letters to Timothy. “There is yet another passage that seems to be lifting off the page. Would it be alright if I read it aloud?”
Paul writes, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Timothy 2:1).
“Whoa,” said a young man with tattoos on his left bicep, “that, like, makes total sense to me now!”
“Explain it to us” I said.
“Well, since Timothy was, like, with Paul through all that crazy stuff that happened to him in those weird cities; and he, like, watched how God’s power carried Paul through it all – he would, like, know that there is only one way any of us can overcome in this world – it is by the grace of God….you know, the power of Christ working in us to do God’s will in, like, whatever situation arises.”
“Well said, dude.” The group chuckled a bit, and the tattooed man, like, smiled.
Seeing this as a “teachable moment” I picked up where the young man left off.
Remember, it was Paul who said to us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
And he leaves no doubt as to his meaning – “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Php 4:11-13).
I once heard a preacher put it this way, “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Eugene Peterson, in The Message, Php 4:13).
That’s what it means to be strong in grace. It is experiencing the empowering presence of God enabling us to be who God created us to be, and to do what God has called us to do – right where we are.
How ‘bout the rest of you? Are you beginning to see it, too?
A quiet hum filled the Ancient Library. We all were experiencing the presence of the Lord of Grace – feeling His power fill our hearts.