Friday

"This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began." (v. 9)

2 Timothy 1:8-10 Friday 30 December 2016

Psalm: Psalm 96:7-10


Background

A recent book, 'Dear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self'collates letters from celebrities asking them what they would writeto a younger version of themselves. It is a book of heartbreakinghonesty, comic moments, and inspiration from those whom societyconsiders have 'made it' and yet the letters also contain hints ofdisappointment, frustration, anger and shame. In celebrity culture,as in life, all may not be as serene and ideal as the surface maysuggest.

This short passage from 2 Timothy is Paul's final letter to histrusted friend and colleague. The letter has the tendency to soundlike the celebrity letters in the book. Paul spends some of hislast moments recalling his journey, encouraging his protégé, andoffering a clear gospel proclamation in the mix.

It is this proclamation that we find here.

Before the world came into existence, God's gracious plan wasbrooding. God has moved into the neighbourhood through the personof Jesus. Jesus shows us how to live holy and grace-filled lives,and calls us into a holy life in a deep relationship with Godthrough the Holy Spirit. At the very end of life, through Christ,we have an eternal hope.

Ultimately, Paul is encouraging Timothy not to be discouraged,disappointed, frustrated, angry or ashamed - of either his calling,or of the Gospel itself.

In our contemporary society, it can be easy to become surroundedby negative headlines, images, icons, criticism, cynicism, andexamples of poor life choices. Even today, we need theencouragement of Paul's words to cut through some of the surfaceand the veneer. We too need to live holy and grace-filled lives,equipped by the Spirit and in a deep relationship with Jesus.

As we move towards the turn of another year, we can becomeincreasingly introspective about the past. Perhaps there is anexample here of showing generosity and grace to ourselves and toother people.


To Ponder

  • Where have you noticed or received grace this week?
  • Where have you shown grace, or blessed, someone else thisweek?
  • Write a letter to your sixteen year old self. What would youwant your sixteen year old self to hear?
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