Saturday July 31st, 2010
If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself
-2 Timothy 2:13
Jesus is faithful. He does not require us to be faithful first. He doesn’t even require us to remain faithful. He is faithful. His promises to us are guaranteed. When He passed around the cup of the covenant to the disciples, He did not drink because He wasn’t accepting their pledge of faithfulness, but giving His. I need to remember that. I’ve fallen so many times and I apologize to God so much. It’s easy for me to think that I don’t deserve His mercy and grace and the truth is that I don’t. But what I forget is that I never did deserve it. It was always mercy and grace. If I deserved it, it wouldn’t be mercy and grace, but just my wages, and the wages of sin is death. (Romans 3:23) He is faithful, even when I’m faithless, or maybe I should say… especially when I am faithless. But that’s when I need Him to be faithful the most.
Let me explain it this way. Let’s pretend that I have a friend named Fred. Fred is a good friend and is nice to me and we get long just fine. We treat each other well. (Some friends just sit around and make fun of each other all day and they think it’s fun. I wouldn’t.) Now one day, when I’ve been having an extremely bad day, I take it all out on poor Fred. I have been living in the flesh and got cut off in traffic. Maybe I just got laid off or yelled at or maybe I tried to argue someone into the Kingdom of Christ and they won the argument and I was kicking myself for losing. Fred comes by and tells me that I can’t argue anyone into the kingdom and I take it as an insult when it is supposed to be a correction. I blow up and say mean things about Fred, stomp and slam the door on my way out. If Fred is a faithful friend, we would still be friends. He would wait until all that emotion is out of my system and then come to me to try and reconcile our friendship. Once I say that I’m sorry, he would act like it never happened and as a result, our friendship would deepen. Well… that’s what Jesus does. He reconciles our relationship and forgets about every time I do something against Him. If Fred was not a good friend, he would figure that I didn’t want to be friends anymore and considered our friendship over. Jesus never does that. If there is still breath in our bodies, He is seeking a relationship with us. And if I, who is already a Christian, ever backslide, (which I hope will never happen,) then Jesus will always be waiting for me to realize how wrong I was and come back to Him. (Check out Luke 15)
Now about the line, He cannot deny Himself. We all know that when we accept Christ and we become Christians, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in our hearts. (Check out Ephesians 3:16-17) Well, God is truly three persons, but one God. If the Holy Spirit is in us, and the Holy Spirit and Jesus are One, then Jesus cannot oppose Himself. He Himself says that a house divided against itself cannot stand. (Matthew 12:25) That is also why that we know if the Holy Spirit tells us anything, it is going to agree with the Bible. We know that He will always agree with Himself. Also, we know that the Bible will always agree with itself so if we get confused by a passage, we can look up other passages on the same subject for a better understanding. There’s also the context and the original language to consider. I believe that anyone who has the Holy Spirit can read the Bible and understand it without needing someone to teach it to him or her. The Holy Spirit teaches. However, I still believe that we should have teachers, (at least until we get to heaven,) because God seems to like using them. It is good for us to serve each other in the way of teaching the Word. Also, there are people who don’t know what the Holy Spirit sounds like even though the bible says that the sheep know the shepherd’s voice. (John 10:4) They are maybe new Christians who don’t quite understand that God speaks to people individually. (Like Samuel in 1 Samuel 3) I like to go and hear how God has moved on these Pastor’s hearts and hear what He told them. They bring a new light to the Word that I haven’t thought of before. I’m not wrong in the way I look at it, but they look at it through the eyes of their experience with God and their experience with the world and I don’t always see it that way. I can learn to avoid a lot of troubles by hearing what they went through and I can learn to follow God more closely when I hear how they follow God. We don’t need teachers, but if anyone thinks that they are too good to sit through a teacher (even a particular teacher) then they need the teaching the most. They are being faithless to the calling of humility that God places on our lives. We are to be gentle lowly creatures, Wanda. We are to lay down our pride and self image and pick up our crosses. My cross isn’t a small golden one on a chain around my neck, but a rugged backbreaking wooden one that gives me splinters. My cross is the cares and prayers of those around me. My cross is the pain that comes when people reject my savior. My cross hurts, but I am called to carry it. But even if I put it down for a moment to “rest,” Jesus is faithful to remind me that I need to carry it. I shouldn’t try to rest from the burdens I carry, but like Simon helped Jesus bear His cross, He’ll help me bear mine. If I grow weary and drop the cross, He will pick me up and put me on it and carry both me and the cross until I’m ready to help again. This is nothing for God. It’s everything for me. But it means so much to Jesus that I do this. And it’s because of the love I have for Him that I obey. I need to leave my selfishness behind. The cross is already heavy enough without me adding more to it.
This is that last day of my personal challenge. I haven’t decided whether or not to continue this into August. It’s been a tremendous blessing to me. I cannot be certain that it has blessed you, Wanda. I was thinking of continuing without asking for accountability, but I already know that I’m faithless, and I would stop. So the question is whether I should just stop, or try to continue and have you help me by keeping me accountable. I’ll pray and sleep on it.