No “Designer Jesus”
Lord, where I have wandered off, search me out; take my face in Your hands and turn it to face Your smile of grace and truth.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105 KJV). God’s Word both enlightens and leads.
We witness a great transfer here. Paul is passing on the flame, as must happen in every generation. These are the last whispers of Paul, the final charge to his son in faith, Timothy. It is all about the Word (identical with the deposit, the true and priceless treasure of the Gospel in 1:14). He has entreated Timothy to guard it, love it, trust it, suffer for it, continue in it, and now to preach it (2). There is a sense of urgency here (in season and out, v. 2) as it is a matter of life or death to those who wait to hear it. The shepherds in Auden’s Christmas Oratorio speak for those we are sent to: “We who must wait demand a miracle. Nothing that is possible can save us.”
Timothy is to go on offense, as we are, with the joyful, relentless proclamation of the Word, for the temptation of the “last days” will be for many (with “itching ears”) to construct a designer spirituality which builds their own theology around their passions and preferences instead of the Word of God. You can go to “Beliefnet.com” and tell it your preferences (reincarnation, tolerance, etc.), and it will tell you what you are. But a designer Jesus will never disturb us, never judge us, never cut deep enough in transforming love to redeem us. “But you,” in contrast to the world (su de, again, 4:5), Paul says, “discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
Finally, Paul recognizes that he “…the time has come for my departure (6).” The word means the pulling up of the anchor, loosing the mooring lines, unfurling the sails and sailing into the deep water where the next chapter is always better than the first! It’s an adventure which never ends.
Pray about this: Who might God use you to bring a verse, a glimpse of the kingdom, a taste of the Word to today? Are you ready and willing?
Lord, I don’t want a designer Jesus who meets my preferences and interests; I want to know the real, living Christ healing and leading me.
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