Paul prepared Timothy to lead the church in Ephesus, even though Timothy was younger than many of the people. Paul challenged him, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1Timothy 4:12). Paul knew if Timothy took the time to dig deep into God’s Word and paid close attention to his character, he would build a solid foundation for a godly life and a strong church. “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1Timothy 4:16).
It is not unlike the retaining wall I built in my backyard, 40 feet long, 36 inches high was my first measurement. Each block weighed 50 pounds and each block was surprisingly expensive, and I did the math. Then my landscaper explained, “You’ll need to put one row below ground as a foundation.” 40 feet long, 36 inches high, and 6 inches deep.
“I have to spend money and effort on a row of blocks that will never be seen?” I complained.
“Oh, you will know they are there–ten years from now, when the wall is still standing.”
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” ~2Timothy 4:7
Our strength is measured not by the height we attain, but the depth of our character.
Almighty God, You won. You beat Satan on the cross and removed the sting of death. You rose from the dead and now You bring life, a full life that will stand on the firm foundation of the work of Your Son.
I place my trust in Your foundation, knowing that nothing can move me as long as I depend fully and solely on You. Not by my strength, but by Yours will I live victoriously in this world.
And the next.