December 30, 2013

Confidence Rooted in Relationship

John 11:17-30

I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
—2 Timothy 1:12


“It is not what you know, but who you know.” Fair or not, this saying often rings true in our world.

We can thank God that this saying is also true in the matter of salvation. Though none of us deserves it, we can be saved from sin and death because we know Jesus. Nothing we do can reconcile us with God. Nor can our head knowledge save us. Today’s verse does not say, “I know what I believe”; it says, “I know whom I have believed.”

Prior to his personal encounter with Jesus, Paul, who wrote the letter of 2 Timothy, knew Scripture and was passionate in his “good works,” but he was lost in sin and traditionalism. In other words, you can miss salvation by eighteen inches, the distance between your head and your heart.

Knowing what we believe is good, and we want to grow in that knowledge. But if our confidence is rooted in what we know rather than who we know, we are trusting in ourselves rather than in the Savior.

The Christ of Christmas is coming again, and we will stand before his throne. Paul says he does not fear that day because the Judge is his personal Savior, the one who already paid his debt and forgave his sin. Paul is confident because he has entrusted his life to Jesus. Do you have that same confidence?

Jesus, thank you that we can stand before God’s throne un-afraid, confident not in ourselves but in you. Deepen our relationship with you each day, we pray. Amen.

About the author — Calvin Aardsma

Calvin Aardsma has been a pastor for more than thirty years. He has served churches in Indiana, Oregon, and the Chicago area. Currently, he is a pastor of Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Illinois. He also serves on the board of the Ugandan Orphanage Relief Fund. Cal and his wife, Sandy, have four children and five grandchildren.

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