Dear Student of the Word,
I am delighted to send along this last of five installments from our study of Second Timothy. I have learned much and I hope you have, too. I will take a few weeks off and then begin a study in Matthew's gospel after the first of the year.
This week I wrote about the strength that Paul had to accomplish his work and ministry. This is what I had to say:
4:17 -- Do you operate in God’s strength or your own? How can you draw on God’s strength more than you do currently?
Why was Paul given this strength? So he could fulfill his purpose of preaching to the Gentiles. What is your purpose? That is where you will have the greatest strength. Read about John Wesley and what he was able to do in the strength of his purpose:
Wesley would preach three times a day, beginning at 5:00 a.m. since workers could stop to hear him as they walked to their daily drudgery. He sometimes covered sixty miles a day on horseback. Weather conditions made no difference; he made his schedule and kept it regardless. He would flee an angry mob by jumping into a cold pond, swim out and go on to preach again. He had the ability to turn hostile people his way. In all he went to Ireland forty-two times and to Scotland twenty-two times.
John Wesley taught as much by example as by his measured sermons. He published many volumes for use in devotions and turned profits into such projects as a dispensary for the poor. His personal life was beyond
reproach. He translated hymns, interpreted scripture, wrote hundreds of letters, trained hundreds of men and women, and kept in his journals a record of expended energy that has hardly a rival in western literature.
He made the following diary entry on Tuesday, June 28, 1774:
This being my birthday, the first day of my seventy-second year, I was considering: How is this, that I find just the same strength as I did thirty years ago? That my sight is considerably better now, and my nerves firmer than they were then? That I have none of the infirmities of old age, and have lost several I had in my youth? The grand reason is the good pleasure of God, who doth whatsoever pleaseth him. The chief means are: 1) my constantly rising at four, for about fifty years; 2) my generally preaching at five in the morning, one of the most healthy exercises in the world; 3) my never travelling less, by sea or land, than four thousand five hundred miles a year.
During his ministry, Wesley rode over 250,000 miles on horseback, a distance equal to ten circuits of the globe along the equator. He preached over 40,000 sermons. Today his followers number 40 million people.
Feel free to add your comments or your answers to the questions I pose for others to read. You can do this and find the studies to Corinthians, First Timothy and Mark's gospel on the site where this week's entry is posted. You can also go to that site to sign up to receive each week's study.
Download this week's study: 2 Timothy Study 5.doc
As we end the year, I ask that you consider a contribution to my purpose work around the world. I offer these studies I write at no cost and will continue to do so. It would be most helpful if you would consider a gift if you have found benefit in my work as you walk out your own PurposeQuest. You can make a donation using a credit card by going to my website and using PayPal, or you can send a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 91099, Pittsburgh, PA 15221. Thank you for helping me do the work that I was created to do.