Sunday, January 3, 2010

Grace motivates service

Today Con Campbell looked at 2 Timothy 2:1-13.
Verses 3 and 4 are particularly challenging:
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.No soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
This verse can lead to guilt because of our many failings and failures. However, Con stressed it needs to be read in light of verse 1:
be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus
Con then used the illustration of President Abraham Lincoln's leadership in the US civil war. For both the North and South soldiers who deserted faced the death penalty. In the south they were executed. However, in the North Lincoln had the option of giving a Presidential pardon. For almost all of the deserters Lincoln commuted the death sentence, an act of grace. His generals were completely opposed to this, arguing "Who will be motivated to serve?" But Lincoln built loyalty in the troops through empathy, also visiting the battle front many times.

Grace motivates service.

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