By Robert Halsey Pine
“If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 1:15-2:13 NRSV).
We must work toward the point where we cannot deny ourselves in Christ. As hard as we try, the devil slips in and causes us to doubt our seeking of the Lord. We have an intellectual understanding that doesn’t always hold up under the pressure from the evil one. We question why our lives can’t always be enjoyable. We wonder why bad things happen to good people and good things to bad people. Our endurance is weak.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him (John 14:6-7 NRSV).” Ours is a special connection with Jesus. As God the Father came to us through Jesus, He and the Holy Spirit work through us to reveal God’s grace and love to each other. We are in the ultimate pyramid structure. Jesus said to Phillip who asked Him to show them the Father, “Have I been with you all this time, Phillip, and you still do not know me?” (John 14:9)
We sometimes get it backwards. We look at the world and see the imperfections of people and it causes us to be discouraged, to lose hope. We should not look at the world for our example of how our life should be, but to our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ who became the propitiation for our sins. God the Father offered up Jesus His Son for us in an eternal relationship. This is cemented forever as we die with Him, and live with Him and endure and reign with Him. If we choose to deny Him, He can only deny us. But He will always be faithful, for He is God with us.
Father God, I pray that my eyes be opened. I have a hard time understanding that You have forgiven me, so I am missing the blessing of Jesus’ death on my behalf, which I can share in. Help me to see that in order to live with Christ that I must also die with Him. I pray that my faith be strengthened so that I may endure in this life and inherit your kingdom. Amen.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.