Early in the days of lockdown, our Vicar Joe emailed us to suggest we pray daily for the church family, perhaps being reminded by an alarm.
I dutifully set an alarm for midday every day. But what to pray when it rings?
I’ve found myself most often praying that we would “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
Those are words of the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:1. This letter to Timothy is in one sense Paul’s dying words: the last letter he wrote awaiting his death in prison. So throughout it’s filled with urgent pleas to Timothy to keep the main thing the main thing – to keep looking to and pointing to Jesus.
Which is what’s so encouraging about his words to “be strong…”
It’s not supposed to be a burden, or a command to look within and find our inner strength.
No, it’s an instruction to consciously allow Jesus to strengthen us – by his grace, his gift, his undeserved favour, his kindness to his people.
Paul urges Timothy and us to depend upon and be strengthened only by Jesus’ gracious kindness to us.
A few verses later he gives us the answer:
“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.” (2 Tim 2:8).
As we consider our Saviour, we will be strengthened and encouraged.
Allow me to commend to you considering him, and finding that to be true for yourself. We’re not reaching into a mist or contemplating nothingness, we’re savouring our Saviour – and finding that He will deliver us through each day with faith in Him.
Let’s remember Jesus Christ.
But to get you going, here’s some insights I’ve enjoyed myself in these past few days.
- Jesus was with his disciples in the storm (Mark 4:35-41), but let them experience it before he brought it to a standstill. He did this to grow their understanding of and faith in him.
- Jesus was perfectly able to heal everyone who came to him (Mark 1:32-39), but chose to prioritise his preaching ministry. He did this because it’s more important for people to receive his message of the eternal kingdom rather than be healed only for this life.
- Jesus is the one religious leader (and only person!) who consistently and truly does good and saves life (Mark 3:1-6). Why look elsewhere? And he persevered in doing the right thing – God’s will – even knowing it would provoke others to take his life. He served others knowing it would cost him everything.
As you can see, I’m making my way through Mark’s gospel currently, and I’m finding that remembering Jesus Christ in it is providing rich fare to keep me going through lockdown.
Friends, in whatever way you can, let’s keep remembering Jesus Christ. The gospels are a great place to start.
With love in Him,