Living for Jesus; November 30, 2018

2 Timothy 2:11-13 Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

We don’t know who authored the “saying” Paul quotes here, but it is indeed powerfully thought-provoking. Everything in it can be backed up with multiple Scriptures, which is how we can be sure it is trustworthy, just as Paul says. It is for the most part deeply comforting, but it contains a strong word of warning that echos something Jesus Himself said: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38) Even more specifically, He said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33) That should certainly give us pause. We are never to take our commitment to Christ lightly. However, the very last sentence in this “saying” is perhaps the most comforting, because it recognizes our human frailty. Any time we speak of denying Christ, Peter comes to mind, since he so famously and publicly denied he even knew Jesus, but he repented in truth and was fully restored, becoming the leader of the Church as it was formed at Pentecost and later going on to Rome, where he was martyred. He would be the “poster child” of this “saying,” since he illustrated it with his life. We are to be steadfast in our commitment, our obedience, our endurance, but when we slip up, we are to throw ourselves on Christ’s mercy, because He cannot disown Himself.

I don’t think I’ve ever disowned Christ overtly, but my actions at times have not indicated that I belonged to Him. I’m as grateful for the last part of this as anyone! I would be surprised, but not necessarily upset, if I were martyred, but endurance is a daily issue. In that, I have to die to sin and self (Romans 6:1-10) on a daily basis, again just as Jesus said. (Luke 9:23) The hymn, Living for Jesus, expresses it pretty well. As I wrote yesterday, I’ve just started a 2-week period of minimal talking. After writing that, I proceeded to prove for the rest of the day that I’m not very good at that! This isn’t the sort of thing I’ve thought about before in terms of endurance, but it is indeed going to be a test of mine. Because I have a 90-minute nursing school class this morning (with microphone) the rest of the day will really need to be quiet. This is particularly hard to hold to because there’s no pain associated with talking. However, for the sake of my talking and singing in the future, I’ve got to endure.

Father, this is an entirely new challenge for me. Thank You. I wouldn’t have chosen it, but then, that’s not my business. I have intended to submit my speech to You in the past, but had not thought of that in terms of not speaking at all. This isn’t something I can do on my own, so I ask You to enable me to do it, for the sake of the Body of Christ and 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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