Note: I was a little pressed for time this morning so I apologize this message sounds hurried. BR
I Am Persuaded
2 Timothy 1.8-12 8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to[a] a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.
As Christians we can live in the freedom of knowing that God is quite capable of safekeeping everything we commit to Him. We need not give a second thought about whether He will succeed. Belief in whom? Until which day? Keep what?
“For I know whom I have believed…”
- Paul knew. This is not a casual knowledge, nor merely an academic awareness.
- This is unshakeable intimate knowledge much the same way we “know” the sun will rise in the morning.
- We don’t doubt it. We don’t question it. We don’t re-evaluate it.
Who is the “who”?
- It’s not Dr. Seuss, it’s none other than God himself, the ultimate object of confidence.
- Paul is saying that he cultivated a continual, rock solid confidence in God and was fully persuaded concerning God’s promises.
- He had no doubt that God would… and could… keep His Word.
“Until that Day…” What day?
- Specifically, it speaks of a certain coming day: Judgment Day… the day that Paul would hear the words “thou good and faithful servant!”.
- This was the Day that he would be loosed from sin and suffering.
- The Day that he would meet his Master and God face to face.
- This is a very specific future date in time that Paul looked to.
- We will be there with him.
Do you believe this day will occur?
- No, I don’t mean in some ethereal, conceptual Christian sort of way.
- I mean as surely as Christmas Day, or your wedding day, or the first day of school.
- Is the Day of the Lord as real to you as any earthly day?
What will God keep for us? That which we commit to Him.
- To commit something to another entails an action on our part.
- We have to release something. We have to give over and give up something.
- We have to relinquish our possession of it and entrust it to the Keeper.
What things should we commit to God for safe keeping until that Day?
- Our salvation. A choice:
- I can work for my salvation and hope that my good outweighs the bad; or take my chances that God is “love” and won’t judge anyone..
- Or, I can accept the free gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ who suffered and died to pay the penalty for my sin because He loved me so much.
- The plan for our life. A choice:
- I can plan my own life and pursue wealth, pleasure and power; hopefully culminating in a comfortable retirement where I can “eat, drink and be merry”…
- Or, I can embrace the plan God has for my life that will result in my transformation into the likeness of His Son and will lay up for me heavenly rewards and eternal life with a loving Father.
- Our burdens. A choice:
- I can shoulder my burdens, pull myself up by my bootstraps and take control of the situation; I can learn to bear the weight of this misery called life; When it gets too tough, I’ll turn to drugs or sex or maybe religion. Either way, I don’t need God as a crutch. I can handle things…
- Or, I can accept the loving offer of the Lord to cast all my cares and worries on Him and He will be faithful to bear them for me. I can live in peaceful, guilt free confidence that the compassion and love of our Savior will wash away the weight of worry and anxiety.
- Our treasures. A choice:
- I can spend all my blessings, money, time and resources on temporary earthly pleasure. You only live once, I will get all I can while I am young and strong. I will live a life of comfort, ease and prosperity along with its temporary pleasure in it…
- Or, I can send my treasure to an Eternal Investment, where it will reap heavenly dividends; where the market never fails and thieves don’t exist. I will lay up treasure upon treasure for God in Heaven and have it waiting for me on that great Day when God will reward us for the deeds done in His name.
We have a choice to keep and control these things ourselves, or hand them over to the King of the Universe for safeguarding.
- I make a fair mess of everything I do in my own wisdom and strength; one way or another I will lose whatever I have; but I have a choice to lose it to my own failure, to thieves, to short term gratification… or I can give it up to God.
So my choice is to trust my way… or trust the perfect, unfailing, omnipotent God of Creation?
Contemplation: Do you trust yourself to get it right? Or do you mess things up when you do them your way without God taking time to see what God wants? Who is more trustworthy, you or God? To whom do you entrust the most decisions?
Application: God is more than capable of keeping and sustaining our salvation, plan for life, burdens and treasures. We just have to choose to trust Him, instead of ourselves.