August 31 I Wednesday
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
“Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” —John 12:24
“The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” These words are from the late William Booth. When we yield our lives to Christ, His strength, resources and abilities fill our lives. As Paul tells Timothy, “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). The way this sentence is constructed in the original Greek demonstrates the location and source of this grace—Christ Himself. Paul emphasizes that we do not live for Christ; rather, we live in the power of Christ and in the reality of who He is.
What a powerful truth! But a truth this great should not be kept only to Timothy. This is why Paul instructs Timothy, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). In other words, everything Paul taught Timothy, he was to pass that information to the next generation. Considering that Paul was imprisoned by Emperor Nero while he was writing this letter, Paul knew his own life was coming to an end soon. Therefore, Paul pressed Timothy to look for reliable people, who were sufficiently strong in their faith, with the capability not only to understand the message of Jesus but also teach it to others.
One of the reasons why we have believers today is because Timothy carried out this instruction. Every generation of the church had to pass along the message of the gospel to the next generation, where someone told another person about Jesus and that person came to faith and told the next generation. We see this pattern repeated over thousands of years of church history. The message of the gospel is transferred across generations by looking for reliable leaders to entrust it to those who are able to teach others.
As we reflect on our own faith journey, many of us came to faith because someone shared the gospel with us. While some of us may not consider ourselves leaders or teachers, the reason why the message of the gospel is transferred across generations is because someone was willing to tell another person.
Who in our own lives could we share the good news of Jesus Christ with? We may feel inadequate or even incompetent for the task, but returning to the opening of this devotion, “The greatness of man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” A reminder for us that Christ is the vital force and power behind Christian living. May we use the power of Christ at work within us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, it is by Your grace that I have Your power at work in me. Grant in me the boldness and courage to share Your good news with the world. Thank You, Lord.