July 10, 2014.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
How much confidence do you have in your fellow Christian? Sometimes I believe we have all the confidence in the world, in the sense that we feel like we are the only ones who struggle with our walk and other Christians seem to have it all together on the outside. But in another very real sense, I believe that we don’t have confidence in our fellow Christian when we actually sit down and talk with one another or think about specific things that need to be done or changed. Paul did not hold this attitude, it would seem to me from these verses. He had confidence in the Lord that he would finish his work that he had started in them.
When the Lord starts a work in us, He is not one to abandon us. I think that’s something we need to remember. I do at least. I will do so well for a while, and then I will fall and feel like I am worthless and that God has grown tired of my constant failure. But God is loyal. He is with is, and he will stay with us. If we are striving to be in the light, He will be there to guide us in it, no matter how many times we fail. Listen to the words Paul uses to encourage Timothy:
“The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”
(2 Timothy 2:11-13)
Listen to that. If we endure, we will also reign with him. He remains faithful. He’s going to be there to pick us up and help us do better. We need to be willing to take his hand, and not sell ourselves short. Make a commitment, and if you blunder, make the commitment again. He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. Isn’t that a wonderful thought?
Now, we can continue in sin and deny him, don’t misunderstand me. But if we are striving to do his will, and get up when we fall, he is faithful to remain by our side. His grace reaches us all, and we have been washed by his blood. If his blood could not cleanse us from sin, then what is the point?
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
(1 John 1:7)
We just need to remember to not give up, no matter how desperate the times seem! We must press through. And we can press through via the power of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. Encourage one another with these words. Let all be done for the building up, for our fellowship is vital in a healthy relationship with Christ. Have confidence in Christ who is able to lift us up and keep us in his fold.
A little bit of encouragement goes a long way.
Suggested Daily Reading: Philippians 1-2, I John 1-2.
Stand firm in the power of Christ.