Purpose and grace
These two words have stood out as I meditated on 2 Timothy chapter 1. Read the chapter and follow how these two words express great truth.
Verse 9 "Called and saved , not according to our works".
We are so blessed, not as a reward for what we might do or plan to do, but rather we are saved according to God's purpose and grace.
In one sense this is humiliating to me - God hasn't recognised all my good intentions and achievements. He does not build up my self esteem. He does not encourage my pride. He does not encourage my personal agenda. What He does recognise is faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. This is just like the words of the Lord Jesus to many people "your faith (in Me) has saved you".
In the big picture of life, this truth of God's purpose and grace is liberating and stabilising. Being accepted by God is not depending on how good or bad I am. The kindness of His grace (undeserved favour), brings forgiveness for all sins. He accepts all persons who trust in Jesus Christ the Lord. Jesus came from heaven and is the Saviour who is now alive from the dead. This brings peace of mind, that by believing in HIM, one will not go to hell but have the gift of eternal life.
But there is more. Instead of getting up and doing the best I can to please God, rather I can get up and move forward according to the PURPOSE of God! He has planned that I should live in 'love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control'. But is this possible? Yes, by His Holy Spirit, by waiting on Him in prayer and Bible meditation it is possible. God does care about the detail of every day and we can trust Him to guide us .
But there is more. The bigger picture described in this chapter presents God the LORD at work saving people through the Gospel. Most of all, God plans for people to have freedom through Jesus Christ the Lord. So the real purpose for us as individuals is not our self interest, but to be involved in His purpose of rescuing people from darkness into the freedom that only Jesus Christ can give. Timothy was timid, but Paul encouraged him to press forward by God's power in the purpose of the Gospel.
So each day as we rise from thanking God for His love, we look out the window and the decisions must be made:
- Will I live today for myself?
- Will I take up the cross of denying self, to follow Jesus?
- Will I give up my plans and fit into His purposes for life?
- Will I trust Him to care for me in all things?
This can be a very happy experience because 'we know in whom we have believed' and we are sure 'that He is able to keep until that Day what He has entrusted to us"
May God bless you all as you read through this Bible chapter again.