You then, my child, be strengthened by grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2: 1
Paul was imprisoned in Rome and it wasn’t going well for him. He was probably going to die, and in his letter to Timothy he informed him of this reality. (2 Timothy 4:6-8) Suffering proved to be a part of Paul’s life, but he considered it more than worth it as a believer. Paul had experienced and received unprecedented grace from Jesus on the road to Damascus. Grace that he recognized as his only hope which was a gift given by God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Don’t we all need to be strengthen by the grace that is in Jesus? Paul needed it, he encouraged Timothy to be strengthened by this same grace, and this letter applies to us today. The gospel of grace needs to be taught to all who will listen. Then, upon believing and receiving the gift of grace, share with others. How do we live in the strength of grace that is in Jesus?
WE LIVE IN THANKSGIVING TO JESUS:
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Timothy 1:12a ESV……. And the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:14 ESV
Everything we have is from the Lord, even our strength and ability to walk as we are commanded. We are to give thanks to Him continually for the strength we receive from him. We are to lay aside every weight of sin that slows us down in our spiritual growth. (Hebrews 12:1) Jesus needs to be our focus in the midst of difficulties, suffering and trials. Stephen, just before he was stoned, gazed into heaven and said these words, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:56 ESV Jesus was his focus when he lived and when he died.
WE LIVE IN THE JOY OF JESUS:
The joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b ESV
I know this is in the Old Testament, but it is the same Lord. Strength comes when we are walking strong in joy because of who Jesus is in our life. This is how Paul endured all that he experienced in suffering. A person who has joy in Jesus will have strength to live in victory. This is why we sing the song, “Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever….” We have salvation in Christ alone, not in and of ourselves. This joy is a result of the Holy Spirit living in us.
WE LIVE IN THE STRENGTH OF HIS PRESENCE:
At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me…… But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. 2 Timothy 4:16a – 17 ESV
Paul, like Jesus, was alone when all deserted him at his first trial. (2 Timothy 4:16) -All that is except Jesus. Jesus made a promise just before he went back to His heavenly kingdom. He said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b ESV I know there may be times when you feel all alone, but what we feel and what we know are two totally different realities. We must live in the fact that the Lord will never lie to us. I have never read where Paul wavered from this fact. Let me encourage you not to live with the “why me” mindset. Instead, If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1-2 ESV You may say ‘I don’t deserve the Lord to be with me,’ but the truth is you never have. That is why it is called grace, and it is in this grace that we have strength. Strength that comes from Christ alone. Strength that comes from a grace that is greater than all our sin. Paul referred to himself as the chief or worst of sinners when sharing the gospel of grace. (1 Timothy 1:15.)
Remember, Satan is a lier and will always attempt to make you believe you are alone, without hope and weak. In order for Satan to do this he must make you believe that your sin is greater than God’s grace. The strength of grace is the cross upon which Jesus died, and the blood that covers a multitude of sin. Let me again encourage you to always walk in the strength of the grace that is in Jesus Christ alone.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David