Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, June 10 - Mission Motivation

“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” — 2 Timothy 4:5

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Jayson Tatum is a high-scoring basketball player for the Boston Celtics. He’s helped his team advance to the playoffs each of his seven years in the league. The five-time All-Star forward is inspired to play at a high level at just 26 years old, the prime of his career. As he gets a little older and adds on to the money he’ll live on for the rest of his life, however, it may not be as easy to stay motivated to play at a high level. It might be tough to get motivated to give the fans everything they are looking for on the court in each of the 82 games of a season.

If we think about it, everybody needs a spark or an inspiration to get out of bed each morning. For example, Phineas Taylor Barnum, better known as P.T. Barnum, moved to New York City and found ways to draw large crowds. As his motivation for profit grew, Barnum and James Bailey became partners in producing a circus he called “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Barnum wanted to be one of the wealthiest men alive, and he convinced everybody working for him that “the show must go on” to deliver the product for the paying customers.

Christian workers and volunteers shouldn’t be motivated by money or personal rewards. We should be determined to complete our mission for God no matter the cost.

When the apostle Paul started serving the Lord, he chose to forgo his personal plans and spent practically every waking moment bringing the message of the Gospel to people. He was always mindful that Jesus came for one main purpose: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). For several decades, Paul traveled everywhere by foot, on donkeys and by boat to spread the truth about Jesus. As a pardoned sinner, Paul wanted everybody to join him in enjoying redemption through Christ.

When the enemies of the Gospel tortured Paul and imprisoned him in an effort to stop the spread of the Gospel, it didn’t discourage him in the least. He was inspired to continue delivering the message until the last moment of his life. When the apostle knew he’d soon die as a martyr, he urged Timothy and every Christian to continue the work with the same enthusiasm. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:5-7).

What is your motivation? What inspires you to put the work in? Is Jesus enough for you?

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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