Knowing the God of Love

child-in-hands-of-godLiving in the Spirit
September 30, 2016

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-14

For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. –2 Timothy 1:11-14

As I look back on my life, I must admit I probably was a weird kid. Way too serious; my dad described me as three going on 103. My two favorites songs as a child were Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone and I Know Whom I Have Believed. Obviously, I got my social justice creds early in life and I also learned early that I am never alone even when the world seems to be going crazy. While neither song is sung much today, neither are in our contemporary hymnal; I believe they have much to say about being a follower of Christ in a world living in fear, strangled by greed.

I do not remember knowing at the time that 2 Timothy was the source of I Know Whom I have Believed. Apparently, such assurance was as necessary for the first century as it is now. We become disillusioned because with put our faith in lesser gods promising magic wands to make all things right again. If I just had enough money, if we just had the right person in power, if we just drop a bomb and kill all the bad people, everything will be OK. We dig ourselves deeper and deeper into futility.

There was a man who lived in that first century who proposed a different way: the way of love. When applied with all due humility, Jesus’ way works.

 But I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able
to keep that which I’ve committed
unto him against that day. *

Prayer: Lord, save us from ourselves. Give us the courage to love as you love and to spread that love throughout the lands. Amen.

*Chorus of hymn I Know Whom I Have Believed, Lyrics by Daniel W. Whittle, see at

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights