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      This sermon was preached by Pastor Keith Cardwell at Swift Presbyterian Church.

      2 Timothy 2:3–13
      Oct. 9, 2016


      Sometimes a smell will bring to mind a past experience. Maybe flowers given by a loved one. Sometimes a taste, a flavor, will instantly place you back at family dinner around the kitchen table. It might be a word or a photo that brings back to mind a conversation or a weekend with a dear friend.

      Remembering can bring joy to the soul, a smile to the face, a bounce in our lives. A romantic weekend. Your first home run or soccer goal. A beautiful sunset. Memories of kind words spoken. Or a person who touched our lives in special ways.

      At other times, unexpected and uninvited memories painfully crash through into our present. When for whatever reason you suddenly and frighteningly remember abuse, rejection, embarrassment, failure. The job you didn’t get. The friend who betrayed you. The health decline of a family member.

      Sometimes we want to remember good and we don’t. Other times we want to forget bad but we remember. Then, for some of us, we just have a hard time remembering anything.

       † † † 

      REMEMBER . HOW MANY TIMES did Jesus say that to his followers?

       ● “Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand … ?” 
       ● “Remember what I told you — a servant is not greater than his master.” 

      And how many times did the disciples pause to remember?

      ● “Then they remembered his words.”
      ● “Then Peter remembered the word the Lord has spoken to him .”

      Paul tells young Timothy to remember. These are some of the last words Paul writes. He’s in prison. His death at the hands of the Roman government is coming soon. His work for the Lord is nearing its end. Soon he will join the ranks of those who die for their faith rather than deny their faith.

      What does a person who is about to die think about? Family? Wrongful past? Unfinished bucket list? Salvation? Last-minute instructions about funeral?

      Paul passes along a last-minute reminder to his protégé Timothy. Paul wants to stir Timothy’s memory — to put in the forefront of his mind what Timothy already knows. And in our reading of this letter, Paul prods our memory and our thoughts. Don’t suffer memory loss when it comes to Jesus Christ.

      Remember these truths about Jesus.

       † † † 

      NO MATTER WHAT others may say. No matter what others may teach. No matter how others may live, remember Jesus Christ descended from David. Remember that Jesus was fully human. Jesus was like you and me. He bled. He cried. He got hungry and thirsty and tired and sleepy.

      Jesus was joyous and enjoyed celebrations. Jesus struggled with his desires verses the will of God. He prayed to the Father. His friends disappointed him and let him down. Jesus knew what it was like to be ridiculed and scorned, to be made fun of. He needed friends, just like we do. He got lonely. He got angry. He felt pity and compassion and offered help. His family didn’t understand him.

      Human, descended from David, flesh and blood. Only as human can Jesus truly represent us to God.

      Because he was human, born of flesh, descendant of David, he provided for us the pattern for living as humans. A life of compassion. He went around doing good. Remember that. Jesus healed this sick. Cared for the children. Loved and accepted the throwaways of society. Remember that.

      We learn from him in the manner with which he dealt with the woman caught in adultery. Remember and learn how he ate with the rich, the poor, the religious, the non-religious. Remember how he welcomed everyone.

       † † † 

      REMEMBER THAT JESUS was human yet his words were filled with truth and the authority of God. He speaks and we are challenged to look deep within ourselves and consider our standing with God.

      Jesus, through his compassionate voice, encourages us to accept the grace God offers to each of us. We are to remember “come unto me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” We are to remember, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

      When Paul says remember Jesus descended from David, we remember that he died. Not a pretend death. Not an appearance of death. But crucified, dead and buried. He died for us that we might have abundant life, now and eternity. Don’t forget that. Remember his death; the blood and spit caked to his cheeks. His cracked and swollen lips. Remember thorns ripping his scalp; his lungs crying in pain. His cramped legs.

      Remember he hung forsaken on the cross for the sins of the world.

       † † † 

      YES, REMEMBER Jesus Christ, the descendant of David. But also remember Jesus Christ was raised from the dead revealing that he is fully God. God in human flesh, living among us and with us.

      Remember and celebrate that early on the first day of the week, God’s power — the same power that created everything out of nothing — raised Jesus from the dead. The power of Satan was broken. The power of death lost its sting. Sin has been defeated.

      Remember that the death of Jesus was not the end of the story. By the power of God, Jesus was raised from death to life. And that Jesus Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us.

       † † † 

      REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST ROSE from the dead. His resurrection assures us of God forgiving grace.

      His forgiving grace frees us from our past. His forgiving grace frees us to abundantly live our present. His forgiving grace frees us to anticipate our future. Because of the resurrection of Christ we are assured of God’s triumph over sin and death.

      The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us confident hope as we face life’s uncertainties and death’s realities. Christ Jesus has conquered both.

      Today, remember Jesus’ way, words, death, and resurrection are for you.

      ● Today, remember and renew your commitment to be a follower of the descendant of David and the risen Lord.
      ● Today, remember Jesus by your actions. By your words, your thoughts. your attitudes, your care for others.
      ● Today, remember so that you can face tomorrow.

      Keith Cardwell     

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      23208 Swift Church Road
      Foley, AL 36535
      Phone: (251) 943-8367


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