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Periodically we all need to hear the words in these passages of Scripture. It is not that we have not heard them before, or don’t know them, but we need to be reminded and encouraged afresh to “get on with it.”
(John Lathrop)

A number of years ago I had the opportunity to minister in a few churches in New York State. As I have reflected on the sermons that I preached there I have noticed a common theme in a couple of them. The two sermons that come to mind were both based on texts written by the apostle Paul.

One sermon came from the book of Colossians and the other from the book of 2 Timothy. The sermon from Colossians was based on one verse, Colossians 4:17, “Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord’” (NIV).

The other sermon was based on a portion of 2 Timothy 1. One verse that I spoke about from that text was this, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Tim. 1:6, NIV).

In addition to the fact that both of these texts were written by Paul they share some other things in common as well. Both texts were written while Paul was in prison, both were personal directives to men, and both of the men he addressed had greater liberty of movement than Paul did at the time when he wrote.

The differences between the two texts were they were written at different times, to different individuals, and the individuals lived in different locations. The common theme that ties these two texts together is faithfulness. Be all you can be and fulfill what you have been called to do. In short: fulfill your calling. This is an important topic for all of us.

When I was given these opportunities to minister in New York State I prayed and sought the Lord’s guidance about what I should preach. I trust that the Lord answered my prayer and at least some of the people in the churches needed to hear the message that I preached. I am also very aware of my own need to hear this message.

Periodically we all need to hear the words in these passages of Scripture. It is not that we have not heard them before, or don’t know them, but we need to be reminded and encouraged afresh to “get on with it.” In addition to Scripture it is also good if we have people, like Paul, who can speak into our lives and urge us on.
The messages of these texts are timeless and can be applied to all believers (both male and female). The admonitions they contain are necessary in every generation, every denomination, and every location. This is because there is so much that seeks to distract, discourage, and dissuade us, as the people of God, from the faithfulness and fruitfulness that God wants us to have.

Has God been speaking to you about “being all you can be” in Him? If the answer is “yes” it is important to respond appropriately and all the more so as we “see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25, NIV). It is a last days necessity. May God help each of us to reach our full potential in Him!

 


John P. Lathrop - United States

John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Zion Bible Institute, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). He is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies and has twenty years of pastoral experience.

 

 

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