Am I a better Christian on the sunny days?

starsYour life, just like mine, is full of up’s and down’s. We have days when we are energized, waking up ready to change the world. Then, there are those when the couch invites us to slouch!  We have a stretch of days when everything falls into place and then one of those when if it can go wrong, it does.  My question is this – am I a better Christian on those sunny days? Do I keep faith, discipline my mind and heart to remain faithful, or do I snarl, gripe, or sulk?

Paul, writing his final letter, addresses Timothy, a younger man who he has mentored in ministry.  He urges him to steady, committed Christianity.  I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.” (2 Timothy 4:1-3, The Message)  Those ancient words came alive to me in my study. I pray that they will do the same for you today as the Spirit speaks.   In the middle of the passage we read this – “Keep on your watch!”  Another translation says, “Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.”  Yes, Christian, we need to be ‘steady and ready.’

How?

First, we are reminded that God is present – immanent, is the word.
He knows what is going on in your life. He does not take a vacation and leave you on your own. He does not get distracted and forget about us. Keep this truth always in mind – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” (Psalm 46:1-2, NIV)

Second, we are told that Jesus will judge our lives.
I am so thankful that my home in heaven is secured by His grace, that the Cross is my assurance of eternal life. I am sobered by the fact that He looks for a return on His investment in me.  I will stand (as you will) before Him to give an accounting.  What did I do with the resources given me?  Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15, NLT)  Don’t let that make you fearful. He is completely just, asking no more of us than we can do; even as He asks the best of us at all times!

Third, we learn that His Kingdom will be established.
We can get down when it seems like evil wins, that bad guys come out ahead, that our work is nothing but futility.  Right at the end of his life, Paul was experiencing that!  Friends had run off and left him to face Roman courts alone. Some looked at his life and concluded he was a failure. But, Paul knew, as we must, that spiritual matters are not what they appear to be.  The Great Reversal, last made first, forgotten people remembered, will certainly happen when Jesus returns and brings the fullness of His rule.  “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

Every day we are writing the story that will be remembered – in Heaven and on earth. Let’s make it one that allows the radiance of Jesus to shine through us. Steady on, faithful, full of the Spirit!

Here are Paul’s words that sum up his life. I pray that when I am on the last mile that I will say the same. Will you?
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8, NLT)

___________

One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)  Iisten to the song at this link

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

 Your love never fails
It never gives up
Never runs out on me
Your love

 On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains
One thing remains

 In death in life I’m confident and
Cover’d by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid there’s nothing that
Can separate my heart from Your great love

 Your love

Brian Johnson | Christa Black Gifford | Jeremy Riddle © 2010 ChristaJoy Music Publishing (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing) Mercy / Vineyard Publishing (Admin. by Vineyard Music USA) Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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