By rising from the dead, Jesus created a new form of life. This new life is not a heart-stopping, fingernails in the dashboard, grim ability to endure life. It is also not a pie-in-the-sky, emotion-laden, high-pitched escape from reality in which people float over life’s problems.
This new life is based on the assurance that the risen Christ owns the future, has a firm hold on me, and promised to be with me in everything. The new creation is a new dimension, not a mere feeling, fancy, or self-help mood. One benefit of living now in Christ’s Kingdom and under his rule is that we may groan under life’s burdens even as we learn to live free from them.
We discover that to follow Jesus means a confidence in the truth of His story. His story supercedes all others. As the story always seems to demand more of us than we can find in us, the Spirit of God empowers and enables us to stay in step with the Spirit. The Spirit creates in us a desire to live for an under Christ as Lord. The desire is the key, because as we hunger and thirst for His ways, we find ourselves empowered to live under his Lordship.
Read 2nd Timothy in one sitting.
Search for and write down the verse for each of the following admonitions in Paul’s second letter to Timothy. Then pray that they feed your desire to follow and live like Jesus.
- Fan into flames the gift of God that is within you.
- Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or me (Paul).
- Join with me in suffering for the gospel.
- What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching.
- Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you (guard the trust!)
- Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
- Entrust what you have heard to reliable men (and women) qualified to teach others.
- Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
- Reflect on what I am saying.
- Remember Jesus Christ is the reason we endure suffering.
- Keep reminding each other of these things.
- Warn others about the danger of quarreling over words.
- Strive to be acceptable before God as one of his workers.
- Avoid godless chatter – it only makes you more ungodly.
- Flee the evil desires of youth.
- Pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace…(out of pure heart).
- Don’t get involved in foolish arguments (rather, pray God will work in others).
- Do not conform to the attitudes and actions of godless people.
- Continue in what you have learned and become convinced of.
- Preach the Word when it is convenient; preach the Word when it is not.
- Keep your head at all times – (be a persistent and consistent Christian).
- Do the work of an evangelist.
Think theologically. Jesus calls, bothers, and demands that we rise up to His challenge of a higher and deeper life. Count the cost as you thank the Lord for giving you the desire and strength to live this new life. Depend on His Spirit every day to choose to live His way.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz