Be Prepared

Yesterday at Saar Fellowship our text was Hebrews 12.1-11 and we talked about what our life of faith prepares us to do.

We said that our faith in Jesus, so well explained and exampled in chapters 1-11 prepares us for running, for endurance, and for growth in Christ. That is a big lofty goal isn’t it!

Run your race in Christ, endure life in Christ, grow in Christ. They are big lofty goals that can seem a little overwhelming.

Maybe you feel like well, I’m just little old me, how do I go about things that are so big and life-changing as that?

Friends, worry not!

Ephesians 4 tells us,

10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

God wants you to grow, God wants you to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.

God wants you to grow here, in the context of church, with others, for others, alongside others, helping others, being helped by others – makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love

So, our faith allows us to run, 

run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus

to endure, 

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

and to grow from Him, and to grow in Him, and to grow with Him,

we may share his holiness…yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Our faith allows us to run, to endure, to grow. Together.

2 Timothy 2.8-13 – He Is Faithful

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! 10 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. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.

Paul continues with encouragement and reminders for Timothy the young pastor, and reminds him to continually remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead…It could be said that without the resurrection, the Christian faith has nothing to set it apart from any other worldview or faith tradition that man can create (1 Corinthians 15.14). Paul is preaching this then first and foremost, and tells Timothy that he is bound with chains as a criminal for doing so (v.9).

Even though Paul is bound, even though throughout history Christian have been and are still persecuted and killed in staggering numbers, the word of God is not bound. This should give us all encouragement; that no matter what government, man, religious fanatic, heard-hearted atheist, or pseudo-believer can do the word of God is not bound and will endure forever (Isaiah 40.8).

Paul then bursts into an early Christian hymn and reminds Timothy of the promise of resurrection (v.11), of the eternal rewards of following Jesus (v.12a), and of the fact that our words and ways can actually lead to the truth of Matthew 10.33 being realised.

The overwhelming comfort here for Paul, for Timothy, and for you today is that even if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.

Your relationship with the living God does not rest on you, your salvation does not rest on you, the conversion of others does not rest on you, the forgiveness of your sins does not rest on you, it rests on Him alone and friends, He has promised this and He cannot deny Himself. He is so faithful and will walk with you as you live for Him today and every day.