- 2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV) I kept the faith…
Today’s and yesterday’s devotionals have been inspired by a short series of affirmations I developed from Paul’s closing words in 2 Timothy 4.
I entered them a number of years ago and revisit them each year when they come back around.
There was something I noticed this morning about my previous entries about today’s affirmation (see above); they all dealt with “knowing” the faith not “keeping” the faith.
Over the years I had expressed how I had worked through doubts about my faith, questions about my faith, and concerns about my faith.
There are still times I have doubts, questions, and concerns. But I can say with integrity, that I have also “kept” the faith. Oh there have been times of testing, doubting, and even stumbling. But at the end of the day, while far less than perfect, I have managed to keep the faith.
This morning it occurred to me the reason why. Knowing the faith and keeping the faith are connected.
Paul is a wonderful example of this. He was arguably the most knowledgeable of the apostles. His contribution to the Bible is the most scholarly of all the writers—the man knew the faith.
Perhaps an example will help illustrate what I’m saying.
As many of you know, Monday is “family night” at the Kemp home and Sonja usually prepares a big meal for all of us. I can’t count the number of times I have come home on Monday evening and entered the kitchen to find it in a state of apparent chaos. Music is blaring; Sonja appears to be frantically trying to be in three places at one time. One minute she’s peering into the refrigeration, the next minute stirring something on the stove and then it’s down under checking something in the oven and so it goes.
If I didn’t know better, I’d simply turn around and head for a local restaurant and order take-out. But I know better; I have faith in Sonja. Years of getting to know Sonja has taught me that while she has her own way of doing things, she always comes through. Without fail, come dinner time—all that apparent chaos somehow turns into a delicious meal.
In other words, I can keep the faith through the chaos that dinner will be served, because I know Sonja.
In the same way, God (at least to me) sure has some wacky ways of getting things done. His watch seems to be slow (or fast), a lot of his methods seem to outdated and ineffective, and he seems to enjoy playing “hide-and-seek” at the worse possible times. But I have learned, without fail, come time to put up or shut up—God comes through. I’ve learned that about Him. Years of learning the faith has given me the ability to keep the faith.
So the ONE THING for today is this: Never underestimate the importance of your daily devotional time and faithful church attendance.
It’s these daily and weekly deposits that build a deep reservoir of knowledge about God (“the” faith) which helps you keep the faith—especially when the going gets tough and you have to walk by faith and not by sight.
Perhaps a way to sum it all up is this: “You go with Who you know.”