walk in the word
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. —2 Timothy 1:12-14
Earlier in this letter to Timothy, Paul hammered the theme of not being ashamed as a key factor in endurance, even under suffering. Now he is giving us the key to not being ashamed. He tells us, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed. He is saying, The reason I’m not ashamed and willing to suffer is because I know Jesus Christ. That phrase, I know whom I have believed, captures the past, present, and personal quality of Paul’s relationship with Christ. His faith wasn’t intellectual belief in a concept or idea of a savior, but a deep connection with the risen Savior. He had just described Jesus in verse 10 as the One “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” In other words, Jesus is someone not to be ashamed of knowing!
Paul continues, And I am convinced that he is able to guard. Some translations say I am persuaded. This was faith exercised and then made stronger. Paul was certain because he had decades of experience in trusting in God without ever being disappointed. He remained convinced that God is able to guard.
What is God able to guard? Depending on your translation, the answer can be said two ways: “What has been entrusted to me” (ESV), and “What I have entrusted to him” (NIV, NLT). Is it one or the other? No, it’s both. The original language allows both meanings. God guards everything—what He’s entrusted to me (the Gospel, eternal life, His Word) and what we’ve entrusted to Him (our lives, our destiny, ourselves). God is able to guard, take care of, and completely handle it all.
Paul also includes a time stamp on our perseverance in verse 12: until that Day. He was saying, I don’t expect this to go on forever. I have a day in mind. I have entrusted my life to God for a specific period of time—until that Day, however long it takes.
Followers of Christ are waiting for the day when Christ is going to return. True disciples persevere by worshiping Christ, walking with Christ, and working for Christ—when it is easy and when it is difficult.
As you wait for that Day, is your awareness of Christ building on your faith in Him? Can you say you know Jesus more deeply today than you did a year ago because you are increasingly trusting Him with everything? Knowing more and more about Jesus is important, but God also longs for you to have an intimate and growing relationship with His Son. Because knowing Christ, as Paul discovered, is the key to not ever being ashamed.
Heavenly Father, knowing Your Son is the greatest and most overwhelming privilege in my life. I cannot think of our relationship without being struck with my unworthiness. Thank You that Your faithfulness overcomes my failures. Thank You for demonstrating over and over that You are able to do far more abundantly than all that I could ask or think. Thank You for the way Your Son has allowed me to know You, whom to know is life eternal. I want to express my gratitude as well as my ongoing need for You, in Jesus’ name, amen.
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