2 Timothy 2:8-10
2 Timothy 2:8-10 : Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. 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.
I should never forget that Jesus Christ died a horrible death, was sealed in a tomb, and most importantly on the third day He rose from the grave!! This is the Good News, which is ‘euangelion’ in the greek. And at the time of Christ euangelion was a declaration from the emperor expressing the hope for peace and wellbeing, kind of like a press release from a world leader saying their government is keen on creating and promoting peace. But as it says at the very beginning of Mark, ‘This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.’ My Good News is from Jesus Christ not a government leader! My hope is in the risen Christ who through God’s gracious act has given me new life.. praise the Lord!
Now the challenge is to live a risen life!! It is easy for me to live a kind of ‘death on the cross’ life, to be preoccupied with my sin, or even to live a ‘sealed in a tomb’ life where I feel captive and restrained by my weaknesses. But the Gospel is clear, that in accepting Jesus Christ I am to live the risen life! As Colossians 3:1-3 reads,
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
Living a risen life is setting my sights on the realities of heaven, thinking about the things of heaven. And how can I do this?
Through the Word of God which cannot be chained, and through being prepared to suffer, to struggle with the challenges that will come my way. We all suffer, the key is not letting that suffering and struggle take our focus away from God.
The phrase, the ‘word of God’ is very interesting! In greek, Word is logos, which can mean ‘language’, so the Bible is the language of God! In seeking to be focused on heaven I need to read the Bible, to learn God’s language. And learning a new language takes lots of disciplined practice and engagement. In the same way I need to work hard at reading and understanding the Bible.
So in living a risen life in Christ, in seeking to be focused on the realities of heaven, I have to be ready to struggle as the enemy bashes me around, and be prepared to learn the language of God through reading His Word! Wow!
God bless ya,
Rev Mark Brown
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