“The husbandman that labors must be first partaker of the fruits. . .Therefore, I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
II Timothy 2:6, 10
We can’t give what we’ve not received; but, once received, we have a responsibility to give.
Why did the Lord Jesus save you, Pilgrim? So, you’d go to Heaven when you die? So, you’d escape the fiery pits of hell? So you could become a great Bible scholar and impress others with your deep, spiritual insights?
Or, did He have more in mind?
Today’s Manna reminds us our calling and commission, which comes to us when we’re born from above. At first, we’re spiritual babes and God’s Word is “spiritual milk” to us (I Pet. 2:2-3). But, we’re not to remain in that estate—for we’re all called to “grow in Grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18). And, we should be greatly concerned if we’re not growing, even as we would over a baby who’s not growing several months after his/her birth.
Now, Paul is very clear in his words to Timothy here:
“The husbandman (Grk. ‘geogoros’—‘landowner, farmer, laborer, one who toils, etc.’) that labors must be first partaker of the fruits.” Or, another way to put it is “To be an effective worker you must first have enjoyed the fruit yourself.”
Look at it this way:
Someone who loves delicious, juicy apples will not find it hard to enjoy working in his apple orchard. Why is that? Partly because he’ll have other apples to enjoy later on if “he grows not weary in well-doing” (Gal. 6:9). However, there’s another reason: Because others are also desperately in need of partaking of this same “fruit” (salvation)—and how will they do so if we don’t share it with them (Mt. 28:18-20)??
The Good News is not limited to the New Testament (vv.7-8) or “bound” (v.9b) by our unbelief or others’ resistance or rejection (v.13). It will not “return unto Him void, but will accomplish that which He sends it forth to do” (Is. 55:11). That’s why we must handle it with great care and be faithful in sharing it with others.
Paul knew the God of Abraham had called him for a specific purpose (Acts 9:1-9), even as He has us. That’s why we should be willing to “endure (Grk. ‘hupomeno’—‘to stay under a load, undergo trials, patiently persevere, etc.’) all things FOR THE ELECT’S SAKE so they can also obtain (as a free gift) the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
Oh, dear Pilgrim, it’s all about our identification and partnership with Christ (vv.11-12). We’re not alone in the Battle—for our Commander-in-Chief has promised to “never leave us or forsake us” (Heb. 13:5b). Hallelujah!! Therefore, we should always “be ready to give an answer to everyone that asks a reason for the hope that is within us with meekness and reverence” (I Pet. 3:15). Seeds are for sowing; where will you be sowing today?
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 4, 2009
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