I am sorry it took so long for me to post this part of Life with Jesus. I have been sick and pretty busy with life. But here it is and I pray that God will richly bless you in studying deep in His word. We have been talking about what this life with Jesus looks like. We talked about our purpose, our identity and lately we have been discussing living like Christ. We have been looking at scriptures that teach us what traits should be seen in us. We should possess knowledge of God, grace, righteousness, freedom, and we should live under Christ’s authority with a life that is overflowing in abundance and peace. We looked at the fact that we should have eagerness and a hope in our Lord. We have also discussed what our character should be and that we are to have satisfaction in this life. Now let’s continue this study as we delve into the book of 2 Timothy.
May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he diligently searched for me and found me. May the Lord grant that he obtain mercy from the Lord on that day. And you know how much he ministered at Ephesus (2 Timothy 1:16-18).
Are we refreshing others?
At the first look this is a passage that may not really mean anything to us. But as I began to read it over and over again, I found the attitude of Onesiphorus was something that I think we need to understand. Think about it, Paul is saying that Brother “O” had refreshed him and that he was not ashamed of his chains. Refreshing someone is to encourage by words or by action. The Word in the Greek is anapsucha (an-asp-oo’-kho) meaning properly “to cool off” or figuratively “relieve or refresh”. So this man was given credit for helping Paul while he was in prison. We know this because he was not ashamed of Paul’s chains. He reaches out to Paul and did not care where he was or what had been done. His main objective was to help and refresh him. I wonder how many people have come into our lives that we were supposed to help them to cool off or refresh. How many just needed a word of encouragement and nothing more. So many times we get caught up in looking at the person’s looks or past and we forget that we must just see the person. I think most of us are probably guilty of not refreshing people but, instead, stifling them. This is really having mercy for others. We need to ask Jesus to help us see what He sees and show compassion and mercy on those that God sends to us. I believe that Mercy is a quality that we all must work on.
In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.
Are we living up to the truth that we have attained?
This is a hard one for many of us because it really causes us to stop and evaluate ourselves. Think about it, we have been given truth…we all have been taught something from God about ourselves that He wants us to change and we are in the process right now of learning something else. None of us really can say that God has not challenged us in this area. I can say this because the Bible says that God has written Himself on our hearts and if God is there then we realize (whether we want to or not) how our lives are in direct conflict with His nature. So, we have been given truth. Do we live our lives in that truth or do we minimalize the truth, run from the truth or ignore the truth?
Are we imitating someone and are we being imitated?
I love how Paul tells the Philippians to imitate him. He understood that we need to have mentors in our lives. These are the people that seem so real in their relationships that we want to imitate them. I don’t mean to be carbon copies but we imitate the desire to have Christ first in their lives. You see I used the word “seem” because we are human and we will make mistakes and we will let people down. Have we put people in the place of God? We want to say, “No!” but we put people in that place more than we think. How do we know when we do this? When we put people in the place that if they make a mistake and offend us then we stop having relationship with them – that is when. Because every time we open our mouths (or type on a keyboard, or text on a phone), someone can choose to be offended by our words. Even Jesus offended people but He has called us to imitate His life. He even asked us to lay down our lives for our friends. This means that we have to let people into our lives and let them see who we really are.
Enemies do not determine our citizenship
Notice how Paul tells us that there are many enemies. I need to remind you that our enemies are not people (flesh and blood) but entities that we can’t see and many times things we don’t understand. So many times we get caught up in all of this and we start to think that these situations and feeling are who we really are and where we live. But our citizenship is not found here on earth. If we are His then our citizenship is in Heaven with Him. He also says that our enemies are really enemies of the cross or His work. He even takes on the enemies for us! (Exodus 14:14) He says that our hope and salvation is Jesus and He will show up and take care of business! We belong to Him! I think many people feel like they are stuck in this world so they might as well focus on what the world has to offer. This passage of scriptures tells us the end is our destruction if we are focused on earthly things. This means that the stuff that we want so badly is what will get us in trouble in the end. We need to focus on Jesus, the One who has given us this citizenship. We are not stuck, we are FREE!!!! We have the power in us to live this life free from the destruction that is all around us.
Are we letting Jesus transform us?
I know many of you will say that Paul is talking about when Jesus comes back we will have a new body and then we will be able to stand against these things. Well I think a little differently, I believe that when we allow this citizenship to really change us then we are given the power from Jesus to stand against these enemies…in this life! We need His transformation now, not sometime in the future. He is in the business of taking our old self and transforming us into a new creation on a daily bases. The question is, are we letting Him? Are we digesting His teachings? Are we accepting the things in our life as a tool that He is using to change us? He wants to use the same power in your life that enables Him to subject all things to Himself. Think about it! Colossians 2:9-10 says, “For in Him the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
I am going to close for now. Think about all this and see if your life is reflecting these things. I know that Jesus wants us to live like Him. I know that He is waiting for us to receive the power that He has given to us. I know that if we just stand in Him, He will show up and do powerful things in our lives. Let us live this life together in His name.
In His Grip,