To Follow Jesus
My (Shayne McCusker) notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
November/December 2014 Issue – ‘Bringing down giants’
Text set for today’s reading and meditation:
2 Timothy 1:1-12 (NIV-UK): “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus.
To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that God is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”
I’m often amazed at how many times the Scripture set, for these daily studies, have a special significance for me – at that moment. A number of people, who use devotional material, such as Every Day with Jesus, have told me of similar experiences.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve grown to love the last verse above, which tells us that God guards our faith. How great is that? Another fantastic truth is that this grace was given to us before the beginning of time. Jesus knew us – you and me – before we were born – we are His ‘planned’ children; always loved and wanted.
Last point; we are called to live a holy life because of God’s purpose and grace: the way we try to live a holy life is our expression of love, for Jesus. [John 14:15, ‘If you love me, keep my commands.’] You cannot say, that you follow Jesus and continue to live a life of habitual sin. Yet, sadly, so many do.
Now onto what Selwyn has had to say about fear in today’s study.
He writes: “Before we leave the subject of fear it is important to understand that some fears are healthy and work positively in our lives. Fear of getting hurt or killed, for example, is one of the best policemen on our traffic-infested streets. [Yet, even these types of ‘helpful’ fears, can become excessive and irrational.]
The fears I have been talking about are those that are harmful and debilitating. This kind of fear we must bear in mind, is prompted by Satan. Now let me make myself clear: I do not believe every fear is a demon but I do believe that all crippling and debilitating fear has the deceiver behind it. …
So now, without going overboard on this matter of rebuking the devil, be aware that the Holy Spirit dwells in you and you can calmly and confidently stand up to fear in the authority that is yours in Jesus. …
Take your stand now against every crippling fear in your life, and resist the work of Satan in Jesus’ mighty and powerful name.”
In Jude 1:9, we read: ” … even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!'”
It is the victory that we have in Christ, that enables us to stand up to the evil ‘powers’ in this world; and say – with the authority of the Holy Spirit within you – The Lord rebukes you.
I would guess that this is a topic, that can generate a wide range of views. Care to share yours?