Specific Text: 2 Timothy 1:5-10
Do you remember the day grace first came to you? Some people can tell the exact year, day & even the hour that they first understood their salvation in Jesus Christ. But many of us can't remember it, because we're like Timothy; we have been raised and nurtured in the faith our entire lives.
As it turns out, whether you have known Jesus your entire life, or just since last week, God's grace was given to us all at the same time - before time began. This is mind blowing stuff... how can something be before the beginning? Paul's point here isn't to melt your brain, it's to comfort you, by reminding you of three key concepts:
Your are saved not because of anything you have done but because of God's own purpose and grace;
There has never been and will never be a time where God's grace is not active in your life (although you often don't realize it);
Because this grace began outside of time, the life it brings is immortal - it will never end.
This is awesome stuff, but be careful, it can quickly trip you up. You could conclude that since all of this was pre-planned in the mind of God before anything else ever existed, and God's plans always work out no matter what, that you can just skate through life without a care in the world. You're in God's hands, remember, so just kick back and take life easy.
Wrong. That's never how the Bible portrays these concepts. Yes, all things have been preordained by God, but He created you to take an active role in this process. Just look at the commands God gives you in today's passage:
v6 - Fan into flame the gift of God.
v7 - Do not be timid, God has given you power, love & self-discipline.
v8 - Do not be ashamed about believing this and living a different lifestyle.
v9 - Live as a saint (a person called to be separate from the world and to live a holy life).
This is the paradox (two things that seem opposite but are both true) - All things have been fully ordered and worked out by God in advance, but He expects you to follow His plan using the strength and ability He has given to you.
Prayer For The Day - Dear God, it's hard for me to understand Your ways. Thank you for the confidence of knowing that I will always be in Your hands. Help me to fan into flame the powerful gifts you have given to me, so that I might be the saint you created me to be. Amen.