Summary: Let us seek more knowledge of the Lord as the keeper of our souls.
He is Able
II Timothy 1:12 “For that which cause I also suffer these tings, nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
Stress, strain, suffering, are as old as the human race. When reading about Paul’s experiences one often wonders why he didn’t crack up physically and mentally, and give up spiritually. Paul knew the meaning of fear and frustration, of misunderstanding and the loss of friends. He knew the meaning of hunger. He was persecuted from without and by what he called a thorn in the flesh he buffeted from within, but he stood up well. The secret of his strength, of his ability to take it, is to be found in II Timothy 1:12. Paul was sustained by faith and by a sense of personal security in Christ Jesus. Paul felt great comfort because he had committed the keeping of his soul to the Lord Jesus.
I. Let us consider Paul’s action in committing his soul to God.
A. Evidently, he had felt the value of his soul and wanted to make sure of its safety. The soul is man’s most important possession. The famous Madonna by Botticelli was painted on a wooden panel at least 400 years ago. Recently the wood began to crack and it was feared that the painting would be ruined, but a restorer was found who said that he could save it. His first step was to paste thin strips of tissue paper on the face of the picture, pressing the pager into the uneven surface of the painting. He added layer after layer until a thick body of paper concealed the picture. Then he turned the picture over and began to sandpaper the wood away. After many months of careful work, he had all the wood removed and nothing but the paint adhered to the paper. Next, he glued a piece of linen canvas very carefully to the pain and slowly and patiently removed the paper bit by bit. This work took nearly 2 years but when it was finished, the picture was in condition to last another 400 years.
It was the value of the painting that justified such care and expense in restoring it. How patiently the great master deals with human souls in order to save them. The value of the human soul is proved by the fact that He gave His precious life for it.
B. Paul knew the value of his soul. Conscious of his own weakness but believing in the grace and power of the Lord Jesus, Paul placed his most important possession in his Lord’s keeping, knowing that his soul’s needs would be supplied by the Good Shepherd. His soul’s hurts would be healed by the great physician. His soul’s course would be plotted by the great pilot. His soul’s cause would be pleaded by the great advocate. His soul’s care would be guarded by the great protector. Paul had committed his soul to Jesus as an act of faith, which act he persevered in constantly. As a result of this commitment....
II. Paul Knew Something
“I know whom I have believed.” He knew the one in whom he had put his trust. He doesn’t say “I know in whom,” but, “ I know whom I have believed”. Paul’s was a personal faith in a personal savior. Paul knew Him. When James Alexander was dying his wife tried to comfort him by scripture as she quoted to him, “I know in whom I have believed.” He at once corrected her, saying, “Not in whom I have believed, but I know whom I have believed.” He would not allow even a little preposition to stand between his soul and the Savior. No unconfessed sin, no love of self, no self righteousness, no worldliness, no pride, nothing!
A man of high standing and influence said to a minister, “Do not mention the subject of religion to me. I am tired of it. My father’s house was the preacher’s home. All of them seemed to think they were under obligations to him to get me into the church. I am better than many of the members.” This was followed by a glorification of himself.
His request was granted. He was let alone. As the meeting progressed the minister used this illustration. He said, “When an unsaved man constantly thinks of himself and contrasts his personal virtues with the frailties of members of the church, it reminds me of two men at Niagra Falls on a beautiful day. One was moved to bless the Creator, the other, blind to all the glory of God, took a broken mirror from his pocket and gazing at his own likeness, exclaimed “I’m a very handsome man.”