Building People of Substance for Works of Power
As I was cruising through 2 Timothy earlier this week, I was again struck by verse 8 in Chapter 2. Paul is writing to his spiritual son, Timothy, whom he left in charge of a turbulent church in Ephesus. He is encouraging him to solider on, stay in training, and reap a harvest. Suddenly, he says “Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. (2 Timothy 2:8 NLT)” Surely Pastor Timothy hadn’t forgotten this fact! Jesus is alive!!!
It is actually easy to get bogged down in church life and forget the whole point: Jesus is alive! There are fine points of obscure doctrine and practice to be debated, social issues to be addressed, and facilities to be maintained. There are generational preferences to consider, musical styles to be pondered, and dress codes to be wrestled with. Sunday and Wednesday come closer and closer together as fresh messages seem harder to produce. Now, they even have to be relevant and inoffensive lest someone get their precious feelings hurt.
But, the main thing remains the main thing: Jesus is Alive! Remembering this takes a lot of pressure off, both in ministry and in real life. If we genuinely believe that He’s alive and that He is working with us to confirm His Word, it relieves a lot of anxiety.
- He is present in our services. Let Him do the work. Matthew 18:20
- He is present in our distresses. Lean back, take a deep breath, exhale. Hebrews 13:5-6
- He is making intercession for us. Trust His ability to see you through. Hebrews 7:25
- He is dwelling in others. Turn loose and let Him work on them. Philippians 2:13
- He dwells in our worship no matter what genre they are. Welcome Him! Hebrews 2:11-12
- He wants people saved more than you do. Tell them He’s alive and trust Him for results. Mark 16:20
- He thinks you are great. Believe Him. 1Peter 2:5
- It’s His resurrection power that transforms people, not your great preaching. Lighten up. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
- He guides the steps of a good man. That’s you. Walk confidently. Proverbs 3:5-6
- He meets your needs whether you think you deserve it or not. Cálmate. Philippians 4:19
- He’s already been to tomorrow, checked it out, and made arrangements for you. Sleep well. Revelation 1:8
Somebody Said: “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.” Timothy Keller
Scripture Reading:The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 1:3-4 NLT)
Here’s the Point: The reality of the resurrection as a historical fact and the current personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only absolutely essential issues for life and eternity. To argue with an unbeliever about anything else is useless. To argue with them when you can trust the Holy Spirit to prove it is just plain dumb. For Christians, the great reality of life is the personal presence of a living Savior walking in us and with us, working with us and through us, at all times and forever. All our debates don’t amount to a hill of beans. You see, Jesus is alive!