"You then my son, be strong in the grace that is in Jesus Christ." (2 Tim 2:1)
Why would Paul tell his young protégé to be "strong in the grace"? This implies that Timothy had a tendency to not be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Why was that? Was he strong in his own performance? Was he confident in his own abilities or the fact that he had a strong spiritual pedigree? (cf. 2 Tim 1:5). From the text we don't know why exactly Paul exhorted Timothy, we only know that he did. I believe this is very helpful for us, as we need reminding to be "strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" Day 1. What is grace to you? How do you define it? Read Phil 3:7-9 - How does this scripture impact your understanding of your righteousness before God? What role does your faith play on your righteousness before The Lord? (and your personal holiness?) Day 2. Read Eph 2:6-10 How comfortable are you with saying that we are saved by grace along? Is there a quickness to juxtapose that statement with something about discipleship and commitment to following Jesus? If so, why is that? Where is that coming from? Day 3. How strong are you? How strong are you when it comes to the marriage of faith and deeds? (cf. Jam 2:14-26). What about when you give into to temptation and sin against The Lord and others? Do you struggle to find Godly sorrow in your heart? Do you feel guilt, regret, and condemnation? (cf. Rom 8:1-2) How does your understanding of grace affect your pursuit of holiness? How does it affect your repentance after you have fallen? (cf. Rom 3:23) Day 4. How reliable are you? Read 2 Tim 2:2 - are you able to reliably (and accurately) transmitted these difficult concepts to others? We stand little chance of helping others to stand strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, if we ourselves consistently struggle to stand strong in that grace. Day 5. What does it look like to stand strong? Standing strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus might look different for different people at different times. However I believe there are some universal truths to how God's grace shown to us through Christ Jesus, if properly understood and believed, would shape us. It would cause us to feel confident, not condemned, to get back up when we sin. It would cause our hearts to be vigorous in our fight against sin and pursuit of holiness, not because our vigor (effort) in and of itself is making us holy, but because we have already been made holy through the blood of Jesus and thus by our faith in that blood are motivated. (cf. Eph 2:13, Heb 10:19, Phil 3:16).