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The pain and the gain (2 Timothy 2:1-13, Numbers 23:15-20)

Sylvia Epifanic, 15th August 2021
Part of the 2 Timothy series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

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2 Timothy 2:1–13 (Listen)

2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

  If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12   if we endure, we will also reign with him;
  if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13   if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.

(ESV)

Numbers 23:15–20 (Listen)

15 Balaam said to Balak, “Stand here beside your burnt offering, while I meet the LORD over there.” 16 And the LORD met Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak.” 17 And he came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, “What has the LORD spoken?” 18 And Balaam took up his discourse and said,

  “Rise, Balak, and hear;
    give ear to me, O son of Zippor:
19   God is not man, that he should lie,
    or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
  Has he said, and will he not do it?
    Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
20   Behold, I received a command to bless:
    he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.

(ESV)