I really love this passage, but two things really stand out to me.
…be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (1)
Paul doesn’t say, “Man up. It’s all up to you! So do it!”
He says, “Be strong in the grace that is in Jesus.”
Our strength doesn’t come from within ourselves. Our strength comes from resting in him. In knowing that he already loves us and accepts us.
That is to be the foundation of our lives.
It is that knowledge that helps us when we face trials.
It’s that knowledge that sustains us when everything and everyone seems against us.
It’s that knowledge that helps us stand when we’re tired and feel like we can’t go on.
“Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
The second verse that strikes me is related to that first one in many ways.
Remember Jesus Christ… (8)
When things are hard, remember Jesus Christ.
Remember that he faced hardship too. Even the cross.
When things seem hopeless, remember Jesus Christ.
That in the most hopeless place, the grave, he rose to life. And in that cold, dark place, hope arose too.
So let us always remember Jesus and sing in our hearts with Paul that ancient hymn of the church.
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. (11-13)
Why do we have hope? As we saw a couple blogs ago, not because we are good sheep. But because Jesus is a good shepherd.