2 Timothy 2:11-13 – “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” NKJV
Let me explain my title. We want “half” of this statement not the whole enchilada. We want to live with Christ but not die with Him. We want to reign with Him but not endure or suffer with Him. We want Him to be faithful even though too often we are unfaithful. We want the Power of His Resurrection but not the Fellowship of His Suffering!
We want to be able to do warfare as a Soldier of Christ but no “endure the hardship” of a good soldier. We become so entangled in the affairs of this life that we fit the old song of Tennessee Ernie Ford – “Sixteen Tons.” We owe our soul to the company store and through our “entanglement with the affairs of this life” we have virtually become slaves to the system rather than those who can and will follow Christ anywhere, anytime, under any conditions. Too often it is “I owe, I owe, I owe, so it’s off to work I go.”
Dying with Jesus is not a physical death in the cessation of life, as we know it, but a dying spiritually. It is the dying to self and the crucifixion of the old nature that we have a problem with. We don’t like it because it is hard, requires commitment, and discipline. It requires humility and often involves self-effacement. But, if we die with Him we will Live with Him! We enter into the newness of life and find access to the Abundant Life that He promised. The end product is well worth the getting there but too often we are half-ers and only want the end result without the process or the pain.
Enduring with Jesus is easily one of the most difficult things that we will encounter as Christians. It’s hard to endure when it would be easier to retaliate or even run for cover. Yet, the message is clear that if we endure, we will Reign with Him! We will walk as Overcomers in this life and see the fulfillment of the promise of Scripture that “as He is so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17). Enduring is never easy, has never been easy and will never be easy but if we have our eyes focused on the prize of the high calling in Christ endurance is not only a possibility but a probability for the believer!
Too often we fail to understand that denying Him goes far beyond denying that He is the Christ and rejecting our faith. Remember that Jesus told us in as much as we did good things to the least of these we did them unto Him. Our insensitivity to the needs of others, our callousness, our lack of the demonstration of grace, our judgmentalism and self-centeredness are methods through which we “deny Him.” If we deny Him – He Will Deny Us! He told us that clearly that if we deny Him before men He will deny us before the Father. What could be worse?
Too often we are unfaithful but know that He is Always Faithful! We are unmerciful but He is Always Merciful! We are sometimes unloving but He is Always Loving! We fail but He does not!
So instead of being a half-er be one that is willing to die with Christ as painful as that may be. Be one who will endure with Him and suffer hardship as a good soldier when it is required. Refuse to deny Him either in word or deed and know that He will then never deny us. Refuse to be faithless or unfaithful and rest in His Faithfulness. He is our Hope!
May God be with you as you go through your day!