----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
To: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 7:37 AM
Subject: ground rules
Before starting a game it's important to know the ground rules. Ground rules are the special rules that need to be followed on a particular field and if both teams don't know what they are it can lead to disputes and confusion. In 2 Timothy, chapter 2, Paul provides Timothy with the ground rules for being an effective disciple using three illustrations: a soldier, an athlete and a farmer. After he provides these illustrations Paul exhorts Timothy to think carefully about them and trust the Lord to give him understanding. As I considered the picture that Paul provided these three ideas seem to form: The soldier is always aware of the chain of command that he serves and is focused on his mission. The athlete knows that he must compete within the rules of his sport to win fairly. The farmer must work hard...very hard to see results. "Focus, rules, hard work". For the follower of Jesus that translates to: Prioritize the mission to reflect and share the Gospel, remembering Jesus who made it possible. Know the Gospel...how we are all sinners and how Jesus paid the price to redeem us and made salvation available to all. Work hard to share the Gospel and reflect it in daily living.
These are the ground rules that lead to Heaven!
2Tim 2:3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.