Knowing Christ; December 15, 2020

2 Timothy 1:12 Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

I can’t read this Scripture without the hymn that was made from it running through my mind, but that’s not a bad thing at all. I’m grateful that I learned the hymn, and so this passage, at a young age. It is an enormously important faith declaration, and all who can make it in honesty have something the rest of the world knows nothing about. The whole thing hinges on knowing Christ. The Japanese actually emphasizes that, saying “I know well whom I have believed.” Knowing the name of Jesus is important, and knowing the facts about Him even more so, but that’s not the same as really knowing Him. There is an intimacy with Christ that is available, but far too few people know anything about. Like any relationship we have, it requires time and opening yourself up to Him, being vulnerable and keeping no secrets. Actually, in this case He already knows more about us than we do, but the point is one of not holding anything back. This is what martyrdom is all about: not holding onto physical life, even, but rather choosing to cling to Christ. Even David discovered this, since he wrote, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” (Psalm 63:3) The more we have that assurance, the less we are able to be shaken by anything that happens to us or around us.

This is a very timely reminder for me, with the prospect of a far-left administration in the US, and all the damage that could do. The world is already taking note, because the dollar is dropping in value against the yen. The apparent success of the different election cheating schemes has been hard to take, but like Paul, I know whom I have believed. I mourn for the nation, but I know that God can and will turn even this around for good. On a far more personal level, I know that nothing can happen in my personal life that would separate me from the love of my Lord, again as Paul noted. (Romans 8:38-39) I am to walk each day with assurance, not despairing or bemoaning whatever happens, knowing that God is still God and Jesus is still Lord, and I am in Him and that’s enough.

Father, thank You for this powerful reminder. Thank You for all You enabled me to get done yesterday. Thank You for Cathy’s help on more than one point. Thank You for today, and all it holds. Help me recognize Your plan for each moment and follow it with joy, allowing You to use me to accomplish Your will 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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