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Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Barn
A happy face barn also makes my heart cheerful!
This barn is near Reinholds in northeastern Lancaster County, PA.

(Note: This is not doctored by photo shop.
This barn really does have this smile face painted on it!)

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"What I Have Committed"

"For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12).

Traveller's umbrellasPresently there's a song we enjoy that is used in a commercial for Travelers Insurance featuring lots of red umbrellas. It has an interesting tune but I suppose most intriguing is the rather distinct voice of the musician, a fellow by the name of Langhorne Slim. (Turns out he's from Langhorne, Pennsylvania and he does appear to be rather slightly built!)

"And if you got worries, then you're like me. Don't worry now, I won't desert you."

I suppose Travelers uses it as a reminder that when you buy insurance from them they have you covered regardless of the circumstances.  The ad ends with the announcer declaring, "When it comes to protecting the things you care about leave nothing to chance."

Protecting things you care about and leaving nothing to chance is good advice and supremely so when it comes to that which is most important; our soul that lives for all eternity.

Today we will conclude our series from 2 Timothy 1:12. Paul writes of the assurance that he has in regard to that which he has committed to the Lord. He is confident that Christ whom he believes in is able to keep or guard that which he entrusted to His care.

Man in despairIn the New Testament the word translated "commit" has a very interesting background, meaning to "deposit as a trust or for protection".  I find it to be a present tense type of experience in my own life since there are times when I want to hold on to the deposit, turn it over in my hands a few times, or temporarily tuck it "under the mattress" until I'm sure!  I begin to rely on my own understanding as I think through every angle.  The "what if" questions begin to mess up my mind, stir anxiety within my emotions, and drive me further from the plan God has for me. Trusting in Him is vital so that we can confidently hand over our deposit to the One who is ever trustworthy. In doing so we will experience His peace as He brings His will to pass in our lives.

F.B. MeyerF.B. Meyer wrote concerning this passage: "There is a double deposit here, and the comparison comes out clear and marked in the Greek. When we give our most precious treasure into the custodianship of Jesus, He turns to honor us by entrusting His own treasure to our care. Oh that we might be as eager to keep that which He entrusts to us, as He is that which we entrust to Him; so that He might be able to say of us, 'I know them in whom I have trusted, and am persuaded that they will never fail to do whatever needs to be done for My honor and glory.'"

I don't know about you, but Meyer's words bring a stinging conviction to my sometimes vacillating heart.  As I continue to mature in my Christian walk I want my life to resolutely declare that I can be trusted to faithfully do that which brings glory and honor to God.

What was it that Paul believed Christ was able to keep until that day?  There are various thoughts regarding that which he does not expound upon, so perhaps we can do a little conjecturing based upon Paul's life and his work for Christ.  Surely Paul was speaking of an inner peace regarding his ability to remain faithful to his apostolic calling no matter the extent of his suffering or the dreaded circumstances of his martyrdom in which he would be summoned to give his final account.  He trusted Christ that his soul would live on. Though wicked men might destroy his physical body, they could not destroy his soul.

Perhaps he was thinking of the beloved Gospel message that he had been preaching since the time of his miraculous conversion.  Who would God raise up to take his place, to carry out the duties that he cared so deeply about, to follow up on new converts and the churches he had established?  Paul knew that God could easily overrule the sentence of a painful, unjust death if this was His will, but in his heart he had likely committed this weighty matter to the Lord as well.

It is my prayer that each of us would learn to have this same kind of confident hope in Christ Jesus our Lord.  But it comes only as we die to ourselves, build our lives on the firm foundation of Christ, and lean wholly on His name:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name. --Mote

Sir James Simpson discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform which was used for general medical use in the mid 1800's. When he was on his deathbed, a friend asked him, “Sir, what are your speculations?” Simpson replied: “Speculations! I have no speculations! ‘For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.'”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, today we survey our own hearts and ask, Are we ashamed to bear Your name?  Do we really know You in whom we believe? Do we fully believe that You are able to keep that which we have committed to You until that appointed day?  Reveal to us that which needs our attention so that we gain full confidence in Christ Jesus our Lord, for here and now, and for the future date when He returns to earth or we meet Him through death. In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Note: The final phrase in 2 Timothy 1:12 "until that Day" was covered (although out of order) in our message February 8.

Here are some additional notes from our study:

"That day" That day (same phrase in 2 Timothy 1:18, 4:8) - This begs the question "What day?" For Paul it would be the day he would see Jesus, either by Jesus coming for Paul (see harpazo - the Rapture) or by Paul going to Jesus (falling asleep in Jesus). The early saints lived with an awareness of imminency of that day, and this was so well known to them that they did not even need to identify it. That Day was enough.  Oh, that we would live with such expectancy!

Most expositors favor the view "that day" in this context as reference to the Second Coming of the Lord, when the church will be raptured and then experience the Judgment (bema) Seat of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10). Each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work (I Peter 1:7). If any man's work which he has built upon remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:13, 14,15).

Personal note: Due to an early schedule yesterday we were unable to post a message for Thursday, February 17.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Surrender All"
 Video  Vineyard

"In Christ Alone/The Solid Rock"  Video  Promisekeepers

"When It's All Been Said And Done"  Video  Robin Mark  I heard this song last year at a funeral service for Grace Wolgemuth, who had lived her life in commitment to Christ.

"Take My Life And Let It Be"  Video  Christ For The Nations Worship Team  I suppose I am especially blessed by seeing these young people so fervently worshiping the Lord!

"I Know Whom I Have Believed"
 Video  This is set to a newer tune but maintains the same wonderful words.  It is beautifully sung by a worship team in a local church.

"If You Got Worries"  Video  Langhorne Slim This is the song I referred to in the first part of today's message.  Here's the Travelers Insurance commercial with the song. 

Here's a beautiful piano version of the same song using the tune we are familiar with. Audio
 All through our series of messages on 2 Timothy 1:12 we have used this song as a background to our daily podcast.

If God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and EvilIf God Is Good . . . Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil
By Randy Alcorn / Random House, Inc
Difficult times beg questions about God's goodness and power. Offering compelling true stories, fresh answers, and biblical insights, Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief and reveals the big picture of who God is and what he's doing in the world---equipping you to share your faith clearly with those experiencing pain and fear. 432 pages, hardcover from Multnomah.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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