Jeremiah 44:1-23; 2 Timothy 2:8-21; Psalms 92:1-15; Proverbs 21:13
NT: “This saying is trustworthy: For if we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to fight about words. This is useless and leads to the ruin of those who listen. Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. Avoid irreverent and empty speech, since those who engage in it will produce even more godlessness, and their teaching will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are among them. They have departed from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and are ruining the faith of some. Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, bearing this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his, and let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:11-19 CSB)
Many people refer to the Kingdom of God as the “upside down kingdom,” because the ways of the kingdom are paradoxical to the ways of the world. If you die in faith, you live for eternity. If you endure suffering in faith, you reign with Christ in glory. If you lose your life for Christ’s sake, you find your life in Him. However, if instead of pressing forward and holding on in faith, you deny Christ and deny your faith, Christ will deny you at the end of the age. Our level of faithfulness or faithlessness has no effect on His faithfulness to His word. The choice to be faithful or faithless is ours. If we choose to be faithful, God will grace our faithfulness in Him by the Holy Spirit. If we choose to be faithless, God will release us to our desires and will not vary from His word to accommodate our decision.
As Paul was nearing the end of His life, His desire was that Timothy and the Ephesian church would be faithful to the word, will and ways of the Lord, and stop prioritizing activities, attitudes and arguments that were of no importance to the kingdom of God. When we come to faith in Christ, we are all commissioned to be workers in His kingdom. A worker in the kingdom can either find himself approved at the end of this age, or he can find himself ashamed. The worker who is approved is the worker who has diligently given himself to the work of the kingdom and has not allowed himself to become distracted by lesser things. The worker who is approved is the worker that has remained committed to the word, will and ways of God and has not gotten sidetracked by the ideas and opinions of man. The worker who finds himself ashamed is the worker who has not given himself over to kingdom work, but has pursued building his own kingdom instead. The worker who finds himself ashamed is the worker who compromises the truth of the word and the ways of God in order to find approval and acceptance in the eyes of the world. God’s foundation stands firm. There is nothing that we can do that will cause His kingdom to shake. And we can be sure that God will be faithful to bless those who are His and resist those who, in the end, are not.
Psalms: “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to your name, Most High, to declare your faithful love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, with a ten-stringed harp and the music of a lyre. For you have made me rejoice, Lord, by what you have done; I will shout for joy because of the works of your hands. How magnificent are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts! A stupid person does not know, a fool does not understand this: though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be eternally destroyed… The righteous thrive like a palm tree and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they thrive in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green, to declare, “The Lord is just; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”” (Psalms 92:1-7, 12-15 CSB)
God is faithful night and day, and He has promised to bless those who walk in righteousness and remain faithful to His word, will and ways. The Hebrew word translated here as ‘stupid’ actually means brutish. Someone who is brutish is someone who lacks reason and intelligence and is led strictly by his senses. The Hebrew word for fool refers to someone who is arrogant and unteachable. Brutish and arrogant people do not understand that unrighteousness and evil will eventually be destroyed – for they are only concerned with their reality and what they can see in the here and now. The truth, however, is that though unrighteous people may profit and succeed now in the world system, they will ultimately fail and find themselves wanting. However, those who place their faith in God and walk faithfully according to His word, will and ways… even when they are old, they will still be fruitful, and their lives will be eternally blessed.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that by placing my faith in You, I have been counted worthy to be a worker in Your kingdom… and member of Your family and a co-worker in Your family business. My desire is to be a faithful and diligent worker, who at the end of my life, hears the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I don’t want to get to the end of my life to find out that all of my efforts were not kingdom worthy and end up going up in spoke and fire. As I endeavor to to be faithful to Your word, will and ways, grace me by Your Holy Spirit to remain diligent and faithful.