Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday; she turns 20 today. I will be 50 this year and my mom turned 87 a couple months backs. Where does the time go? While 20 seems like the just the beginning, time seems to accelerate the older we get. Psalm 90:10 says, The length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Let us not waste our time here on earth. The span of our life is not guaranteed, so we should make the most of the time we have to impact lives for eternity. We are God’s hands and feet if we truly commit to be used by him. Let us not reach the end of your time here on earth and look back with regret.
Since when do we as believers start bowing to the demands of our society? We are commanded to love others as Christ would love them, but we were not given the command to fit our beliefs into societal norms. As we begin Paul’s second letter to Timothy, we read in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. There is nothing timid about our commands from Christ. He commanded us to love others and to boldly share His truths in that love. Christ is the savior of the world. There is nothing timid about that.
We all face fear in life, but we should all face our fears know God is by our side. Paul faced imprisonment and potential death by going to Jerusalem, but he went anyway. Acts 21:13, The Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Knowing why we are willing to face persecution and struggles helps us to face our fears, but knowing God is with us through it all, makes it all possible.
When things go wrong, do you run to Jesus or do you run away from Him? What about when you feel you are in a place (maybe work or school) where those around you don’t understand your faith; do you stand with Jesus in defiance of everyone around you, or do you act as though you are just like everyone else? When faced with adversity, the disciples ran even though they promised Jesus they would stand with Him, even if it meant dying for Him. Matthew 26:31 says, Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” We all want to think we would run into a burning building, but the truth is most of us do not have that kind of courage unless it involves someone very close to us. If our relationship with Jesus is weak, so will our desire to stand with Him when things get tough. If the disciples ran, what makes us think we won’t? Our strength and courage to stand can only come from our faith and a close relationship with Him.
If you are not actively on Christ’s side, then you are against Him. In Luke 11:23 Jesus states this plainly, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.” There is no neutral ground when it comes to doing good versus evil. If you are not fighting against it, then by your passivity you condoning it, and therefore allowing it to happen. Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Nothing, including our own lives, compares to what we gain with Christ. In Mark 8:35 Jesus says, For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. Holding onto this life does nothing for us. What we gain from it is temporary and, in the end, it all burns. The only things that matter is what we do that impacts eternity and the Kingdom of God.
In today’s reading, David exalts the Lord with gratitude for delivering him from his enemies and granting him victory. In Psalm 18:32 David says, It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Without God we will never be strong enough to win against evil. The only way to be certain of deliverance is to call on God for help and strength.
God does not expect perfection from us, but he also does expect us to make every effort at holiness. As believers He does not expect us to attain holiness on our own, which is why we have the Holy Spirit living in us. 2 Peter 3:14 says, So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Making every effort means we do not become lazy and complacent, but eager to please Him.
I want my life to mean something in the end. I want God to look at me and say I have made Him proud. Paul realized he was reaching the end of his life and in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 says to Timothy, 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. Paul fought the good fight and prepared the way so that others could do the same. I hope and pray we all follow the same path as Paul. It is difficult, but through God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s leading, we can do it.
Sin is a liar; it tells us what feels good is OK. It never tells us about the consequences and the lasting impact it has on our lives. Hebrews 3:13 says, But be courageous one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. If we are courageous to go away from the call of sin in our lives and stop listening to the lie, we can conquer sin. More importantly, we will not be deceived by it and the belief that it does not have long lasting affects on our lives and the lives of people around us.