2 Timothy 1:12-18 — “Guard the Gospel”
The following is a meditation on Psalm 144:3-4.
Indeed, Father, I proclaim my incredulity at the fact that you, the glorious, all-sufficient, omnipotent God who spoke existence itself into existence should regard one so small and insignificant. And yet the truth is that You allow finite men to occupy space in your Mind–Your eternal, excellent thoughts which are higher and greater and better include finite, limited, small, rebellious men. You concern Your wondrous Person with the limited and simple (in comparison with the weighty matters of eternity and infinity) matters of men. You regard us in love. What wonderful condescension! And more than that, You do not watch, as from a distance, but You enter into us and dwell with us and participate alongside us in these matters. You are as intimately acquainted, as intricately interwoven, with our creaturely affairs as seems possible (and even more than seems appropriate and fitting for One so noble and dignified and praiseworthy and extravagantly beautiful). Truly, what is man that You are mindful of Him?
So often, I have needed to be convinced that I should be mindful of You. But the king of Your people, David, sees reality from the opposite (and correct) perspective; You, who need nothing (and should have to be convinced to think of me), willingly choose to set your mind and love upon me, and such a fact should cause my heart to sing with wonder whenever my mind recalls this truth. Forgive my pride.
So often, I have been unconcerned with the affairs of Your kingdom, and the thought that You are intimately involved with my affairs to the extent that You are walking with, and carrying me through, them is a gentle rebuke to my lack of Godward concern. Forgive my foolish apathy.
So often, through both words and actions, I invite others to glorify me to the exclusion of you. I seek to steal praise for myself that is rightly due to You. I want others to be more impressed with me than with You. Forgive my self worship and idolatry.
So often, I have feared other people instead of You. The picture of mankind in Ps. 144 reminds me that all men relate to You (or will one day) as creatures toward their Creator King to whom they owe the very breath they breathe. They are nothing to fear, but You are ever worthy of my reverence, love, confidence, worship, awe, and obedience. Forgive my fear of man.
Sovereign Lord, please break through my heart, and allow the light of Your gospel to shine into the dark places around and within my heart that still remain. Please help me to proclaim with David my wonder at the fact that You regard me in love and care. My days are like a breath, a passing shadow, but You are eternal. I am thin and wispy, but you are solid, immovable, unchanging. May I therefore anchor my hope within You and serve You exclusively! Prepare my heart for the gathering and communion of the Saints. Spirit, help me this day to see in my experience the reality of my dependence upon You. May my life bear witness to the living, dying, and rising of Christ my Savior, in whose name and through whose sacrifice I am able to make this prayer.