Monday, May 27, 2013

Remember (2 Timothy 2:8-13)

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.

It is mere happy coincidence that this passage is coming up here on Memorial Day. Paul continues his appeal to Timothy—the appeal that Timothy join in suffering—by pointing out exactly that for which Timothy is supposed to suffer: the Gospel.

All the hard work, all the endurance, all suffering a believer is expected to experience is for cause: the advance of the story of Jesus Christ. Here in this passage Paul gives the most simplistic, basic description of this all important truth; but remembering Jesus and what He has done is a focal point of the believer’s life. We can never exhaust the wonder, the implications, the life-changing influence that this story will have on our person. Beyond the forgiveness that it makes possible, and the salvation it offers to everyone we know, it changes us. We should always remember and reflect on the Gospel.

Beyond that, it is the reason we are willing to suffer. We can never face the amount of hardship—the difficulty—that Jesus did. Here Paul is in chains for the story, and yet the story is never chained. It will go forward and change the world despite imprisonments, persecution, and even the threat and reality of death. That being said, it is also unstoppable in our lives. We will never finish understanding the whole reality of the Gospel. Remember and reflect.

Just a handful of the implications are listed here by Paul, in a verse of sorts. Our death to self, in Christ, is a key to our living the way life was intended in its fullest sense. Our suffering now is a promise of a better circumstance in a creation as God designed it to be enjoyed. To deny the truth of the Gospel once it is seen (if that is possible for “the elect”) is the way to have that power not applied to our situation. And, even in our imperfection and weakness, God will never abandon His children.

Don’t just take time to remember and reflect on Christ today, this is a daily activity.

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