Focal Passages: 2 Timothy 2:1-10, 14-15, 22-26
When Denver Bronco’s president John Elway made the decision to pay Peyton Manning $96 million for five years to be their quarterback, I was skeptical. In 2011 Manning had a series of neck operations. He spent a whole year rehabbing, and the Indianapolis Colts believed it was in their best interests to let Manning go. Until the serious neck injury, Peyton Manning had never missed a start as a NFL quarterback. He missed the entire 2011-12 season, however, and at the age of 35, one wondered if Manning could complete one more game, much less five years. Here is what we know about Peyton Manning: Peyton Manning has a strong, disciplined work ethic; he says that the Lord is his No. one priority in life; he believes in himself; and he understands the position of quarterback like no one else. Peyton Manning knows the definition of the word “strength.”
Paul uses three illustrations from real life to describe the qualities of a strong leader. The first is from the military (v. 3-4). The good soldier expects hardships and focuses on his mission above his personal desires. The second is the athlete (v. 5). He is not crowned unless he wins competing according to the rules. He can’t run outside his lane; he can’t shove his opponents down; and he can’t use performance-enhancing drugs. The third is the farmer (v. 6). Farmers have a reputation for being hard-working. Because of their many sacrifices, they have a right to benefit from their harvest.
Perhaps verse 15 is the best summary statement for this lesson. I’d highly recommend this verse for memorization. Here is how it might read amplified: “Do your best, be diligent, make every effort to present yourself to God as one stamped with His approval, a faithful worker who has no cause to ever be ashamed of Christ, who correctly preaches and teaches the scriptures.” Paul wanted Timothy to be focused in his work, but to also make sure he built a strong team to help him (v. 2).