“Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evil doer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.” 2 Timothy 2:8-9
Do you ever have trouble remembering things? If you’re not sure, the answer is probably “yes”. Do you ever forget where you put your keys? Your wallet? Your sunglasses? Your cell phone? Your mind? Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a national Day of Remembrance for those who have lost their lives in service to our country. These men and women have given the ultimate gift, their life, that we might have freedom. Even the freedom to gather together today in worship is a freedom that many Christians around the world do not enjoy. As Americans, it is good to have days like Memorial Day to remind us to be thankful and to express gratitude to those who have served and are serving our country, and to their parents, children, and spouses. As Christians, we are called to remember certain things as well. In 2 Timothy 2:8-9, the apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to “remember.”
As we reflect on this passage from God’s Word this morning, we see that we are called to remember five very important things.
- The Person of Christ: “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the Seed of David, Was Raised from the Dead” (v. 8). The word “remember” is imperative; it’s a command, not a suggestion. The verb suggests continual action: “keep on continually, moment by moment, remembering”. We must never lose sight of the Person of Christ.
- The Power of the Resurrection: “Raised from the Dead”(v. 8).We are called to remember the power of the Resurrection. Would you agree that some of life is unmanageable? Life is not always easy! What you need is a power greater than yourself! You were never meant to live your life just on your power; God wants to have a relationship with you!
- The Promises of God: “The seed of David” (v. 8). We remember Jesus Christ as One who has walked on this earth, who knows and understands the struggles we face (Heb. 4:14-16). This phrase highlights Jesus’ humanity.
- The Priority of the Gospel: “…According to My Gospel, for Which I Suffer Trouble as an Evildoer, Even to the Point of Chains …” (vv. 8-9). The gospel is the most important message in the world. Paul was willing to endure any hardship, any suffering to share the gospel, because He remembered (Eph. 2:12-13). We are to remember the priority of the gospel.
- The Paradox of Suffering: “… For Which I Suffer Even to the Point of Chained; but the Word of God Is Not Chained” (v. 9). Paul affirmed that even though he was imprisoned, the Word of God was not imprisoned.
How’s your memory this morning? “Do you remember?” God has given us something much greater than a camera to help remember. He has given us His Word and His Spirit so we will remember Him and all His blessings and not forget. As Americans, we remember the sacrifice of those who have fought for our freedom. At funerals we present an American flag to the family with the words, “on behalf of a grateful nation.”
As believers, should we not present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice and say, “on behalf of a grateful sinner who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus”? Remember Jesus. Remember that God has provided for you a divine Companion, One who has promised never to leave you or for sake you. Remember that Jesus is a divine Friend, who understands what you feel and knows what you are going through.