Summary: There is much about life that is complicated but when it comes to living our faith, we do it best when we keep the basics simple.
Title: Keep It Simple
Text: II Timothy 2:8-15
Thesis: There is much about life that is complicated but when it comes to living our faith, we do it best when we keep it simple.
They say that the memory is the first thing to go…
Two elderly gentlemen were sitting together on a park bench – not the two guys in the Volkswagen Commercial where one guy slugs the other every time a “red-one” or a “black-on” passes by. One of the gentlemen said to the other, “You know, I can’t remember things like I used to… I know I’ve known you all my life but I can’t for the life of me, remember your name. What is your name?”
The other gentleman thought for a moment and asked, “Can I get back to you on that?”
Though memories can be troubling and we may speak of having to “cope” with the past, memory is a wonderful thing and we enjoy reminiscing from time to time.
Sometimes remembering is about:
• Recall or recollection as in “I remember the time…”
• Recapturing an experience as in reliving an experience in your mind…
• Remembering as in remembering to express appreciation for a kindness.
• Remembering can mean remembering to pray for someone.
• Remembering can mean remembering to recognize someone’s achievements or to celebrate their birthday
Our text today begins with the word “remember.”
I. Remember Christ is risen
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descendant of David. This is my gospel , for which I am suffering…” II Timothy 2:8-10
We are encouraged to remember two things:
A. Remember Jesus Christ is risen and alive forevermore, i.e., remember Jesus is diety.
B. Remember Jesus Christ is descended from David, i.e., remember Jesus was human.
Paul wrote in Romans 1:3-4 of Jesus Christ, “Who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, who through the power of the Spirit was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.”
When I was in high school I was always hustling ways to make a few bucks. Depending on the season I delivered groceries for a local grocer after school and on Saturdays. For a time I worked for Rudy Pestotnik, who was the owner of The Lincoln Grill, which was the place to eat in our little town. Rudy was quite the Rudy and ran a tight ship. He often catered dinners in the evenings in his second floor banquet room above the grill… he liked to do it up nicely so he hired me and another kid in town to dress up in black slacks, wear white shirts and black ties and with a towel draped over our arms, sent us forth to be waiters.
Rudy was a crotchety old curmudgeon, but unbeknown to most of us, he had donated substantial ly in the creation of the Ogden Community Scholarship Fund that was started in 1964. He was determined that every kid who wanted to go to college would receive financial assistance.
I recently received a letter from the Ogden Community Scholarship Foundation asking OHS alumni to contribute to the scholarship fund. And I thought of Rudy.
That is one kind of remembering… I remembered a man who was once my employer and a community benefactor. Rudy has been dead for forty years but I remembered him and was inspired by the memory of his example.
However, that is not the kind of remembering in our text today. Paul does not ask Timothy to be inspired by the memory of a dead guy who did an extraordinarily good or heroic deed.
The remembering in our text is present tense. It means to: Keep on keeping on remembering that Jesus Christ, who lived among us and knows all about what it means to be human, is alive and well and forever present with us. So, be inspired by remembering Christ is present and that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
So first of all, we keep it simple by simply remembering to remember Christ is alive and with us.
The second simple word of encouragement is the reminder to keep our faith.
II. Keep your faith
If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. II Timothy 2:11-13
In verse 10 Paul wrote of endu
ring anything and everything in order that others may come to faith in Christ and receive salvation in him, with future glory.
Just as there are many implications to what it means to remember, there are a number of ways to think of what it means to endure. Sometimes to endure means to simply have patience. Other times enduring requires a great deal of hardship, suffering and courage.