According to the Promise
In this day and age where promises are so easily broken, I can certainly understand the hesitancy of the unsaved to believe anything Christians say. Many Christians don’t have any more of a testimony of honesty and purity than the unsaved.
That truth was an “ouch” moment for me. I certainly haven’t lived a life above reproach. There are no stones in my pocket. If anything I’m forever in a state of waiting for someone to hurl one at me.
So on this Holy weekend I’m ever conscious of what my Lord has done, as well as conscious of my ingratitude and lack of understanding of the depth of His love.
Last night was our Good Friday Communion Service at Victory Baptist church. Lifting that bread and cup to my lips is difficult. I’m never sure that I even should. That’s the depth of failure I feel. But Praise His Holy and wonderful name He does not intend for me to stay in that state.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:1
Not your typical Easter scripture. But for me it reminded me of what the cross meant…
The Promise of Life
That promises is only found in Christ Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Not Shari’s work, not the preacher’s or the deacon’s or anyone else in this world, but Christ alone.
It’s the life that the unsaved long for but they don’t even know it. It’s a life that can only be experienced by accepting what the blood of Jesus did that day on the cross.
Red Makes White
As an artist I’ve on more than one occasion mixed a strong pigmented color in with a lighter color and ended up with a gallon of paint trying to fix it. Yes that’s an exaggeration. Red into white would certain cause that effect. But not with Christ.
In reading this scripture this morning that’s what happened with me. All my failures and sin were covered with that promise Christ made at the cross. And it’s what gives me the strength to go on. I understand Paul when he said that “by the will of God, according to the promise.”
It is God’s will that we continue on serving even on the days that we don’t feel worthy. It is His will that His children continue His work. The work that He died for on the cross.
Stir it Up!
That was Paul’s advice to Timothy in verse 6 of Chapter 1:
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Paul had laid hands on Timothy and ordained his service for the Lord. And while that is a wonderful testimony and service of the church, it doesn’t mean that we who have not had the hands of man laid upon us are not ordained for a work in Christ Jesus. Start searching your heart for the truth of what it is God has called you to do and you will stir something inside of you that you may or may not have felt before. But it’s the work, and it’s a specific work that God has called you alone to perform. I believe that.
I don’t believe there is anyone else who can or should do what I’ve been called to do. But I also am painfully aware that I have taken on other people’s callings because I was too impatient to wait for them to step out in faith and do it.
Don’t let me or anyone else rob you of the blessing that comes from serving Christ. Let God stir that gift up in you as He did Paul and Timothy!
Paint the Town!
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
My tendency to fall into a vat of guilt keeps me from doing the work I’ve been called to do. It stops my productivity and creativity in the Lord. What a sad statement. But that’s Satan’s goal when he reminds us that we are unworthy. Which if it were only of ourselves would be a true statement; but not according to the promise of life which in in Christ Jesus!
In that promise we can paint the town red. By sharing what the blood of Christ has done in our life. But only if we ourselves believe it to be true, and live it like it is.