Updated: May 14, 2021
I cannot say that all my life, I have been able to declare this scripture.
I remember being a young woman in University when I became filled with doubt, questions, and unbelief. Eventually, I became withdrawn from a life and love for the Lord that I had known in my early childhood and teen years. I am forever grateful for the teaching of godly parents, authentic friendships, and a church family who never gave up on me. They loved me as they always had, and that was enough [with much prayer too, of that I am sure].
How amazing to learn more as the years go by and by, just how wonderful life can be, even when it can become difficult at times. There is a sense of joy and peace that is unexplainable. It is something you have to experience to know its depth, height, and width.
Many do not understand.
Christians live a life that cause some to ask:
How can a person live their life to the hilt for one who they cannot see?
How can they trust in one written about in books saying He created the world in just six days?
Some even consider believers foolish, ignorant, unintelligent — Questioning why believers are willing to give up their finances, their time volunteering, even their lives.
All this for one?! All for one God?! All for the one God who they say sent His son to become nailed to a tree.
Let us consider where our hope comes from and how our lives can express that hope.
"This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him." Psalm 91:2
Sometimes we settle in, go through the motions, forgetting the magnitude of that which we carry.
Remember?! Some versions say, always remember.
Although a personal letter, Timothy had the responsibility to also read the letters from Paul to the ministers and the churches where he was responsible. They knew the gospel and shared it daily.
So, why need reminding?
Do we need reminding too as carriers of this gospel?
Sometimes, somehow, we become over-familiar with what we say and do (preach and demonstrate). We lose our passion and vigor for the message. Words and actions can sometimes become habitual reflexes, forgetting the purpose and losing its patina.
In our day-to-day living, we sometimes forget the magnitude of the gospel — It is a revelation!
More than a message.
More than an idea.
More than a promise.
More than a way of life.
A personal God introduces Himself to us!
We have a confidence and an invitation. It transcends barriers to gender, race, culture, and backgrounds — Whosoever may come!
“Always remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead.” 2 Timothy 2:8
There’s something inside of you fear wants to contain. Awaken, sweet one.
Christ resurrecting solidifies our hope that the God who raised Jesus will also raise us by His power, even while we live.
Always remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead - the Good News. And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So, I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen. 2 Timothy 2:8-10 NLT
When choosing to believe, our old lives become new. We are reborn by His spirit. We think different, feel different - we are different. It transforms us even now as He empowers us by that same spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11). It is uncontainable. When difficult times come, we can endure because of this hope.
When we remember Jesus, it does not end at the cross. What ends there is our past shame wrapped in our sin, hatreds, lusts, selfishness, pride, doubts, and fears.
We awaken to His calling so that others may also know Him and be free.
“The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you.” Romans 8:11
As believers, do we live honorably, debunking the skeptical questions we mentioned earlier? Do our lives silence hearsay and the talk of irrationality?
Are unbelievers compelled to acknowledge our lives of freedom?
Read that question again.
Think about this for a moment. Reflect here and weigh these statements. When others look at our character, our behaviors, our lives, what do they see?
Do they say —
She is so loving.
She is joyful in every circumstance.
She is full of peace.
She is the most patient person I know.
She is very kind.
She is doing so much good.
She is reliable, loyal.
She is disciplined.
Or, would they say —
She is harsh, abrasive.
She is miserable.
She is a worry-wart.
She is so impatient.
She is rude.
She is malicious.
She is unreliable.
She is unmanageable.
The fact is, many unbelievers live the first, and, yes, some believers live the second. OUCH!
The difference is the hope we carry through His spirit that quickens our mortal bodies. If we allow Him to chisel and transform us, our spirit can tune in, resonating and resounding a life that we could never represent in our effort alone.
Like Jesus —
Do our steps push back the darkness?
Does our presence shift the atmosphere in a room?!
Are we helping people heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
Do our lives represent freedom and hope?
We say, His chosen become the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven! So, let us live a life worthy of our calling as a child of the King (Ephesians 4:1). May our Lord inspire us with wisdom and revelation in everything we say and do (2 Timothy 2:7).
“Live as people who are free.” 1 Peter 2:16
Always be prepared.
Why do we believe what we believe? Why do we live the way we live?
If someone were to ask us these two questions, how would we respond?
I enjoy listening to Christian Apologists and reading compelling works. In the arena of professional Apologetics, I find most are gentle and respectful. They are wise, and although defending the gospel, they are not defensive.
Titus 2:11-14 TPT, describes God’s grace and our motivation:
“God’s marvelous grace has manifested in person, bringing salvation for everyone. This same grace teaches us how to live each day as we turn our backs on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips us to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in this present age. For we continue to look forward to the joyful fulfillment of OUR HOPE in the dawning splendor of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus, the Anointed One. He sacrificed himself for us that he might purchase OUR FREEDOM from every lawless deed and to purify for himself a people who are his very own, passionate to do what is beautiful in his eyes.”
Our faith is a personal one. So, we follow Jesus as best we know how, revealed in the Word of God. We serve Him and honor Him with our lives because we believe we are complete in Jesus through His work on the cross; He suffered, died, and rose again for EVERYONE. Before that, He lived among us, demonstrating how we can live. See Colossians 1:29, Ephesians 1:29.
Because Jesus could, we can, by His power that works in us.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have but do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
Let us always remember where our hope comes from and how our lives can express that hope.
Because of Jesus, we have a confidence and an invitation. It transcends barriers to gender, race, culture, and backgrounds — Whosoever may come!
Because of Jesus, we can awaken to His calling so that others may also know Him and be free.
Because of Jesus, we can say, we are His chosen and have become the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven! So, let us live a life worthy of our calling as a child of the King (Ephesians 4:1). May our Lord inspire us with wisdom and revelation in everything we say and do (2 Timothy 2:7).
Because of Jesus, we can testify to the work of our Father, by Christ's power that works in us.
Remember Jesus. Always.
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