1 Timothy 1:18-19 (ESV)
18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,
The Christian life is hard. This statement was made a number of times as I sat with some dear brothers and sisters reviewing Bro. Rick’s Sermon from last Sunday. If you’ll remember, he preached on “A Shipwrecked Faith” and what we Believers can do to avoid the same fate that befell Hymenaeus and Alexander in Paul’s first letter to Timothy. He told us that we Christians will never automatically “drift” towards God but will always, without His grace, drift toward sin. As we talked about this truth, we begin to all realize just how many different disciplines of the Faith we were all trying to keep track of on a weekly basis. For some of us, there was the daily struggle of starting every morning reading God’s Word. For others, it was the courage to take a conversation from one of mutual interests to one with Gospel implications. Others still confessed an unwillingness to get uncomfortable in order to help others. These are just a few of the spiritual disciplines that we struggled with. Some of us admitted that oftentimes we will go through a season where we seemed to have conquered a struggle, only to notice months later we had drifted away. More than that, some testified to creating good habits in one spiritual discipline only to promptly recognize sinful habits in another.
Let me restate; the Christian life is hard. However, I left that night encouraged. I wasn’t encouraged because others were struggling, but because of how the conversation ended. Grace. At the end of all of our efforts and strivings stands the Grace of Jesus. The Grace of Jesus isn’t only applied in conversion, but also in every moment thereafter. We all left that meeting encouraged with the reality that the Grace of Jesus was just as strong in our lives today as it was on the day we turned our lives’ control over to Him. The reality of Romans 6:14 that teaches us that “sin will no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” God calls us to flee from temptation and from sin, but he does not just leave us to figure it all out on our own, but instead walks alongside us as we strive to follow Him. When we fail, James teaches us that He gives more Grace.
The Christian life is hard. That statement is true. God’s grace is greater than all our sin. That statement, praise be to God, is truer still!
Sheep who Shepherd: