Summary: Remember Jesus Christ - 2 Tim. 2:8 - Many problems are caused by failing to remember Christ and His resurrection power
Remember Jesus Christ - 2 Tim. 2:8
Many problems are caused by a failure to remember what Christ’s presence, power and perspective. Failure to remember all the riches we have in Christ can lead to many mistaken perceptions that produce fear, anger or faulty reactions toward problems.
Illustration: Quote: Abraham Lincoln once said when asked if he thought he would succeed or fail in his the civil war conflict said, "Without God I cannot succeed. With God I cannot fail."
Illustration:It was said of Helen of Troy, that when she lost her memory of who she was when she fell into captivity that she became a common woman of the street. But when she remembered her identity as a Queen, her entire view of life elevated her to a life worthy of heritage. Many Christians live a commoners when they should be living as sons and daughters of the King embued with all the rich resources, power and confidence of royalty.
Paul, the apostle, told Timothy to remember Jesus Christ because he wanted him to persevere through all kinds of hardships. Let us examine some of the key aspects of that are eseential to remember about Christ or we might become weary in well doing and faint before we reap a great harvest.
1. Remembering Jesus Christ gives us a greater perspective of the power we possess in our resurrected Savior. Christ’s overcoming power enables us to not be overcome by evil, but helps us overcome evil with good. People who remember Christ will be assured by Christ’s promise, "In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) We can be confident that we can do everything God asks us to do with the help of Christ who gives us the strength and power. (Phil. 4:13)
Illustration:Well over three hundred verses are concerned with the subject of Jesus’ resurrection in the New Testament. We are told that this event is a sign for unbelievers (Matthew 12:38-40); cf. John 20:24-29) as well as the answer for the believer’s doubt (Luke 24:38-43). It serves as the guarantee that Jesus’ teachings are true (Acts 2:22-24; 1 Corrinthians 15:12-20) and is the center of the gospel itself (Romans 4:24-25, 10:9; 1 Corrinthians 15:1-4). Further, the resurrection is the impetus for evangelism (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 10:39-43), the key indication of the believer’s daily power to live the Christian life (Rom. 6:4-14, 8:9-11; Phil. 3:10) and the reason for the total commitment of our lives (Rom. 7:4; 1 Cor. 15:57-58). The resurrection even addresses the fear of death (John 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:54-58; cf. Hebrews 2:14-15) and is related to the second coming of Jesus (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7). Lastly, this event is a model of the Christian’s resurrection from the dead (Acts 4:2; 1 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and provides a foretaste of heaven for the believer (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Peter 1:3-5). For a popular treatment that addresses these and other aspects, see Gary R. Habermas, The Centrality of the Resurrection.
Gary R. Habermas & J.P. Moreland, Immortality - The Other Side of Death, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992, p. 245.
2. Remembering Jesus Christ helps us fear God more than people or circumstances. When we know that we will one day give an account to God we must remember that Christ will judge the living and dead. When we know that we have to report to Christ we do not have to worry about pleasing people. Paul wrote, "I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therfore, judge nothing before the appointed time." (I Cor. 4:3,4) Premature judgment of ourselves is faulty because it is often unable to see the entire picture impartially as Jesus does. Faulty criticisms from people tend to be limited by their own conditioning and personalities and perspectives. Only the judgment of Jesus Christ is completely objective and not tainted by the subjective feelings of daily discouragements, circumstances or the cycles of life.
Illustration:Why did only one cleansed leper return to thank Jesus? The following are nine suggested reasons why the nine did not return:
One waited to see if the cure was real.
One waited to see if it would last.
One said he would see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the priests.
One said, "O, well, Jesus didn’t really do anything."
One said, "Any rabbi could have done it."
One said, "I was already much improved."
Charles L. Brown, Content The Newsletter, June, 1990, p. 3.
3. Remembering Jesus Christ allows us to suffer with dignity, purpose and a greater sense of identification with our Lord. Paul wrote, "This is my gospel for which I am suffering even on the point of being chained like a criminal." (2 Tim. 2:9) Paul endured terrible suffering as an innocent man, but he knew that God can work all things together for good as we love Him and fit into His plans. Paul reconfigured his perception about his imprisonment so he was able to see triumph come out of a seeming tragedy. Allow the Lord to use whatever hardship, adversity or discouraging situation for His greater good. Just as God allowed Joseph to be thrown into prison so He may allow circumstances to get worse so that He can work a greater good through you.