September 17, 2011

2 Timothy 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel.

It’s interesting the difference a minor change in translation can make. The NIV just says, “remember,” but the Japanese has “always think about.” That difference can have a massive impact on how we live. The average American Christian hasn’t forgotten the facts of the Gospel, but doesn’t really live with them in the forefront of their awareness. In contrast, it would seem that the average Chinese Christian is indeed doing what Paul says here, because they are willing to risk imprisonment or even death for their faith. The Gospel is not something to be believed once and then forgotten, it is to be the very foundation of our lives. The world today is filled with distractions, and Attention Deficit Disorder is rampant. I feel that is a ploy of the devil, because he doesn’t want us to meditate on the truth of God. We have forgotten how to “Be still, and know that [God] is God.” (Psalm 46:10) The Gospel is something to be meditated on, mulled over and chewed on, to be digested and absorbed into every part of our being, until every moment of our lives, asleep or awake, reflects the reality that God loved us so much that He planned from the foundation of the earth to send His Son to be our Savior.

I can write that and know that it’s true, but I can’t say that I’m there 100% myself. There are many times when my body is busy but my mind isn’t, that it would be very easy to mull the Gospel over in my mind, since generally I’m thinking pretty random thoughts at those times. I genuinely desire to be more like Christ, to have Him formed in me, and this is the way to do that. This doesn’t mean at all that I’m not to be fully present in all the situations that require my attention, but it is to say that the awareness of Christ is to be the foundation of my every thought, word and action. As long as I cling to this world that won’t happen, but by God’s grace He will enable me to shift my focus to Christ and keep it there, if my heart is truly in it.

Father, thank You for this reminder, challenge, and encouragement. I accept the challenge, and rejoice in Your love and grace toward me! Help me indeed follow through with this, so that I will be faithful in every task You have for me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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