Back in April, Austin and I went to the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
One of the speakers was Shai Linne - He’s a rapper who is now a preacher and he landed a minor main stage assignment.
I say minor because he had 30 minutes - the big boys all got an hour.
But I’m telling you, of all of the messages we heard, his was the one.
I say that to say this - today’s message is based on his idea and I’ve included a few of his quotes.
This was not his message - but his message did inspire me.
I simply want to make sure I gave credit to whom credit is due.
Our text today is a single verse.
Open your Bibles up to 2 Timothy 2:8.
There are 5 T books in a row in the New Testament.
When you start seeing books beginning with a T - 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.
Next you’ll see 1st and 2nd Timothy - the final T is Titus right after 2nd Timothy.
Paul wrote 2nd Timothy while he was in prison.
He was in Rome and he was expecting to die there.
And he wasn’t wrong.
So, if you knew you were about to die, what would you write to the folks you loved?
Hear now the Word of the Lord
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel,
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
Remember Jesus Christ.
The word remember here doesn’t mean that you totally forgot, it’s more like you are clarifying a foggy memory.
I’m the worst about this.
I’ve had some car trouble lately.
I’ve taken it to two mechanics; nobody has completely fixed it.
I was talking to someone about it the other day and they mentioned their favorite mechanic.
And it was someone I had used years ago who did really good work for me.
But I forgot.
I didn’t mean to - it wasn’t on purpose.
It’s just life is life.
I moved, I was busy - and they just slipped my mind.
Paul knows that life is life for Timothy.
It’s never easy.
It’s never fair.
It always includes suffering.
All of those things cause us to go kind of foggy.
So Paul tells Timothy,
Remember Jesus Christ.
Remember Jesus risen from the dead.
See, Paul was persecuted not because he preached about Jesus dying on a cross.
Paul says in Acts 24:21 “... ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’ ””
Yes, Jesus died for our sins, but if Jesus’ life ended with His death, again, Paul says, “1 Cor 15:19 “...we are of all people most to be pitied.”
Because if Jesus died and stayed buried, well, He’s just another dead guy.
Do you remember the message from last week?
Remember Acts 2:24
God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Yes, Jesus died for our sins.
But remember, they thought they had ridded the world of Jesus.
But what they didn’t know is - that death that they thought put people in the grave forever.
“It was not possible for [Jesus] to be held by [that death].
It was not possible.
Remember that Jesus is not just the Son of God, Jesus is God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word - Jesus - the Word WAS God.
He was in the beginning.
Before anything that was created was created, Jesus was.
Father, Son and Spirit.
Three distinct persons but all of one essence God.
Jesus was there.
When the Father said, “Let us create man in our own image,” it was Jesus who was the agency of that creation.
It was Jesus that made it happen.
Everything that we say about God applies to Jesus.
What do you remember that has been said about God?
God is eternal - Jesus is eternal.
God is good - Jesus is good.
God is full of grace and mercy - Jesus is full of grace and mercy.
God is Holy.
God is immanent.
God is immutable - He is unchangeable.
God is perfectly just.
God is perfect love.
God is all powerful.
God is all present.
God is all knowing.
He is righteous - there is never a hint of a sliver of a whiff of evil in Him.
He was neither created nor will He die.
He rules over all.
God transcends all things.
And Jesus, being fully God, is all of those things as well.
We’ve painted a picture of Jesus meek and mild - we let our vision collapse to a single thing that “Jesus wants to be my friend forever.”
But let us never forget that the perfect, holy, righteous, sinless, just, loving, unchanging, all powerful, every present, all knowing
Jesus will one day bust the skies wide open when he comes back with a host of heaven’s armies to judge the living and the dead.
Because death could not hold him.
Remember Jesus is the offspring of David.
Kind of an odd thing to say - so what does that mean?
It means the Jesus is a promise keeper.
We read earlier scripture we hear at Christmas every year, Isaiah 9:6-7.
God promised David, the king of Israel, that for eternity there would be one of David’s descendants reigning over the Lord’s people.
Remember hearing Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
And here Paul is saying, Remember Jesus - proof that God does what He says He will do.
I read last week in my Bible reading Joshua 23:15
But just as all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the Lord will bring upon you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land that the Lord your God has given you,
Everything the Lord promises, He fulfills.
He never fails.
No promise He makes is so big He can’t fulfil it.
When the Jesus speaks a Word, it will accomplish what He means for it to accomplish.
Remember Jesus, the promise kept, the offspring of David.
Remember Jesus as preached in my gospel.
Remember Jesus who was there in the beginning, calling matter into existence so a big bang could occur.
Remember Jesus who reached into the clay of the earth and formed a man’s body - then took a rib from that body to make a woman’s body
That they would be a single species, a species like no other, created in God’s image, created to reflect God’s glory to anyone who would see them for all time.
When you are thinking you are all that and something comes along and puts you in your place.
And your wounds feel deep and your pride is hurt - remember Jesus.
Who being eternal God, didn’t think He was above the very rules He Himself created.
Instead, he humbled Himself by allowing a man He created to baptize the One who created him.
The created baptized the Creator.
Remember Jesus lifts up the humble.
When you are embarrassed remember Jesus.
Maybe your plan didn’t work right or maybe your plan just didn’t make sense.
At a wedding Jesus went to, the groom failed to order enough wine for the reception and his poor planning was about to be his embarrassment in front of his new bride, her family and all of his friends.
But Jesus was there.
And what seems to be a petty failure in the grand scheme of things was not too petty for Jesus to notice.
Jesus turned the water into wine.
When you are confused and you don’t understand, remember Jesus.
Who wasn’t so proud that He would be offended when a very important man didn’t want to be seen with Him.
So instead of being offended, Jesus met with the man after dark and said something that every church going child has had to recite.
John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
And the man understood and he followed Jesus.
When your faith is faltering and you think God is mad at you, remember Jesus.
John the Baptist’s life didn’t turn out like he expected.
He ended up in prison for doing the right thing - it didn’t make sense to him.
As he started to despair thinking he had made a mistake about Jesus, not knowing if he should believe in Him anymore,
John sent some friends to point blank ask Jesus, “are you worth it?
Jesus didn’t condemn John.
He told John, Remember what you see - the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor in spirit hear the good news of God.
He said, Remember Jesus.
When you’ve sinned so badly that maybe your family has disowned you.
You start thinking God is against you - that every decision you make is the wrong decision.
Every person you trust is the wrong person.
Everything you’ve done is the wrong thing.
Who met a woman at a well who had been betrayed by men so many times she quit trusting them.
Till death do us part doesn’t mean anything - why say it.
I’ll live with him so when he leaves it will be easier on me.
The whole community watched her - and the whole community looked down on her.
But Jesus came.
He met her by a well - He talked with her when no one else did.
He accepted her because He created her.
And on that day, He rescued her and made her into her town’s hero.
When you are sick, remember Jesus who is the great healer.
When there is too much month at the money, remember Jesus who provided bread for 5000 using a kids Lunchable.
When you are terrified, remember Jesus who walked on the water and calmed the storm.
When your family turns their back on you for your faith, remember Jesus who’s family said he was crazy so He made the church folk His family.
When people sneer at you because you weren’t raised like them, or you don’t have what they have, or you don’t have the education,
Or you aren’t as pretty, or well dressed, or fit, remember Jesus.
Who walked by a blind man one day that everyone said he was blind because he came from a bad family.
That God Himself was punishing him for their sin.
But Jesus said no.
The man was created in God’s image to reflect God’s glory and Jesus made that blind man see to the glory of God Father.
Remember Jesus as He died on the cross He promised a criminal that that very day he would be with Him in paradise.
Remember Jesus who when He was raised out of death, He appeared to women first and then to the men.
Remember Jesus who ascended into heaven with people watching and those people were told by angels, “Acts 1:11 “…why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.””
Remember Jesus is coming again.
“When you are tempted to sin, remember that Jesus Christ himself suffered when he was tempted so he is able to help those who are being tempted.
“When you’ve fallen into sin, remember Jesus Christ, that we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,
“When you are discouraged, remember Jesus Christ who said, in the world you will have tribulation, but take heart for I have overcome the world.
“When you are sick, remember Jesus Christ who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies that they will be like his glorious body.
“When you are healthy, remember Jesus Christ, and give him thanks like the leper who was healed and returned to express his gratitude to Jesus.
“When you are anxious about finances, remember Jesus Christ who said, Consider the ravens, they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
“When you believe God is calling you to do something hard for Him, remember Jesus Christ who said, I am with you, even to the end of the age.
“Children, remember Jesus Christ. God made you and He made you for his glory that you might live and honor Jesus Christ all your days.
“If you are single remember Jesus Christ, your maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name and the holy one of Israel is your redeemer.
“Fathers, remember Jesus Christ, in your homes as you lead your family, pray that your home is a sanctuary where the Lord is acknowledged and worshipped.
“Mothers, remember Jesus Christ, both his power to save your children and his acceptance of you when you feel overwhelmed or when you feel like a failure.
“Older saints, remember Jesus Christ, who says in Isaiah 46:4 “even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”
“Deacons, as you serve the Lord, remember Jesus Christ, the ultimate deacon who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
“Elders, as you lead [the] congregation, remember Jesus Christ, the good shepherd and overseer of our souls - remember that your righteousness is not found in your leadership, your teaching or your counseling, your righteousness is found in Jesus.” (Shai Linne, T4G, 2022)
He is the Word Giver,
The Promise Keeper,
The death overcomer,
The criticism transcender
He’s the moral encourager
The life restorer
The sin condemner
The Satan Conqueror
The proud humbler
The humble exalter
The truth giver
He is the sportsman’s provider.
The president’s leader.
The brokenhearted’s healer.
He is our creator.
He is our savior.
He is our redeemer.
He is our friend.
He is our Lord.
2 Timothy 2:8 “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel,”
Let us pray:
Dear heavenly Father,
You created us for Your glory, so there must be something good about needing to be reminded.
Maybe it’s because when you remind us, it also reminds us of your mercy.
Or maybe it’s because it reminds us of your grace.
Or maybe it’s because it reminds us of your faithfulness - that you are the keeper of promises
And that you promised you’d never leave us or forsake us.
Even when the transitory cares of this world blind our eyes to the eternal.
You are God.
Thank you for loving us and making sure we know where home is.
In Jesus’ name
So as we stop now and think back on everything we’ve sung and heard preached today, let’s ask ourselves, what are we going to do with it?
Paul, in a sense here, is from his death bed.
And the most important thing he could think to say was remember Jesus.
Jesus gave us a way to never forget him - the perfect of object lessons.
Not a meal passes just about that bread isn’t available.
Jesus told us, every time you sit down and have a piece of bread, remember Jesus.
So, let’s eat.
As you step out of our seat and come to the front, take every stray thought captive.
Try, for these next few minutes, to remember Jesus.
Remember how knowing Jesus has changed your life.
And then, whisper a word of thanks.
Let us return thanks for this meal:
6. Oh Father,
a. We ask you to bless and sanctify this bread and this juice to the souls of all who receive it.
i. Cause us to eat in remembrance of the body of Your Son Jesus.
1. Cause us to drink remembering his spilled blood.
a. Please let our eating and drinking remind the world of your sacrifice and your victory.
i. Cause us to always remember Jesus and revere His Church and speak His name
That the world might know that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of you, God, our Father.
We ask in Jesus’ name.