You Have One Job

You Have One Job

by John Rogers

“You had one job.” We usually hear this forceful four word statement when we fail to do something we were supposed to do. Whether it was to pick up milk on the way home from work, or pick up the kids on the way home from work, we’ve probably all had that, “you had one job” moment.

Sometimes our failure to do that one job lies solely with us. It’s internal. We’re either rushed or we’re not focused on the one job we had to do. Other times, our failure to successfully do that one job is because of external factors—time, weather, circumstances, other people. Sometimes because of those we may call “opponents.” For example, the Arizona Diamondbacks had one job in the 2023 World Series—to win. But there was a problem. The Texas Rangers. Their opponent. They hindered them. They opposed them. They didn’t let them win. They kept the Diamondbacks from successfully completing that one job.

As a baseball team you have multiple jobs. You have to practice well, pitch well, field well, hit well, and run the bases well. But ultimately all of those things boil down to one job. To win. As disciples of Jesus we also have many jobs, and we see these in 2 Timothy. As disciples of Jesus we are to:

  • Fan into flame the gift of God that has been given to us.
  • Follow the sound words of the Apostle Paul in this letter and the words of the rest of the Bible.
  • We are to entrust these sound words to faithful men and women who will be able to teach others also. 
  • We are to stay focused on our mission and not get entangled in civilian pursuits.
  • We are to compete according to the rules of this Book and work hard like a farmer.
  • We are to remember Jesus Christ our risen Lord. 
  • We are to rightly handle the word of truth and avoid irreverent babble. 
  • We are to depart from sin and cleanse ourselves from what is dishonorable. 
  • There are certain things we have to flee and certain things we have to pursue, and there are things that we must not be and things that we must be. We must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently endure evil, correct our opponents with gentleness, and avoid narcissists in the church. 

Yet when we boil all these down, we find that we really have only one job. Our one job as disciples of Jesus is to be godly.
Yet like the Diamondbacks, we have opponents. We not only have many opponents outside the church, but inside the church as well. And these opponents are working against us trying to hinder us in completing our one job. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” or literally, they will be chased down. They will be pursued. They will be hunted. They will be strongly opposed. This is a principle—a law. As surely as, “What goes up must come down,” Paul says, “All who desire to live a godly life will be opposed.”

And yet while Paul gave the promise of opposition to a godly life, in Romans 8:31-39 Paul also gives a promise of protection and preservation to those lives who are godly. He says:

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The late and great J.I. Packer, in his book, Knowing God, writes that the God who is for us…
is compassionate and gracious…slow to anger [and] abounding in love and faithfulness….This is the God who showed his sovereignty by bringing Abraham out of Ur, Israel out of captivity…and Jesus out of the grave….This is the God who calls, justifies, and glorifies those whom from eternity he ‘predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. This is…the ‘one living and true God, everlasting…of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible….[He is] Father, Husband, King…faithful to his promise and purpose….[He has undertaken] to uphold and protect us when people and circumstances are threatening, to provide for us as long as our earthly pilgrimage lasts, and to lead us finally into the full enjoyment of himself, however many obstacles [or opponents] may seem at present to stand in the way of our getting there.

This is our God! And he is for you. Packer says, “Now reckon up who is against you, and ask yourself how the two sides compare….Are you afraid of them…? You need not be, any more than Moses needed to be afraid of Pharaoh after God had said to him, ‘I will be with you’…

A sovereign protector I have
Unseen, yet forever at hand
Unchangeably faithful to save
Almighty to rule and command
He smiles, and my comforts abound
His grace as the dew shall descend
And walls of salvation surround
The soul He delights to defend

Grasp this…hold on to it; let this certainty make its impact on you in relation to what you are up against at this very moment; and you will find in thus knowing God as your sovereign protector…committed to you in the covenant of grace, both freedom from fear and new strength for the fight.”

You have one job: to be godly. Be assured that when you do this, you will be violently opposed by Satan and his people. But be even more assured that God will deliver you.
This article was adapted from a sermon preached by John on 2 Timothy 3:8-12. To hear this sermon and other teachings from C3, click here.

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