“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
II Timothy 1:8-12 NKJV
Unashamed of the Gospel
We are living in a time when people are eager to declare their ability to fix this or that. They think that, by their own efforts, even then most calamitous reality can be turned around. This tendency comes from the sinful inner core of humanity, the result of the sin of Adam, and perpetuated at Babel, where humanity desired to make a name for itself.
“Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.””
Genesis 11:3-4 NKJV
The Bible is the record of the futility of humanity, as the greatest accomplishments of man, were met with the most dismal failures, as the greatest successes of humanity, are but temporary and do not last.
The bible is also record of the faithfulness of God, and His ongoing progress from the garden of eden to the New Jerusalem in Revelation. He will accomplish everything He has set out to do.
He is accomplishing this through the redemption of HIs creation through the message of the Gospel.
For many who still seek to bring about earth bound solutions to supernatural problems, the Gospel has become all but neglected. In fact to espouse favor toward can open one up to mocking. But it is the Gospel that has the power to transform the human heart, and thus change the world we live in.
It can be hard to be a Christian, for it is a life running in bold contrast to that of those who live in the world. One of the realities is that as one becomes closer to God, the more the evil one seeks to destroy. Sometimes people see the struggle and they seek to shrink back, choosing to be more carnal, thus less of a threat to the evil one.
We fall back on the tried and untrue, and try and accomplish the supernatural by the natural and naturally fail. We become timid about doing anything by the power of God.
Paul offered Timothy his best advice, his last advice, for the II Timothy is the death bed confession of the great apostle. He urged Timothy to not be ashamed of the Gospel. Paul has suffered many things as a result of his ministry, and I get the impression that Timothy was timid, as he witnessed all that Paul endured. In his effort to assure him, Paul reminded him of the power of the Good News.
Though Paul suffered greatly, he never lost his confidence in Christ, and knew that the One that he had trusted would be able to keep what he had committed to Him until that Day.
Even as he neared the end of his life, he knew that his Lord was faithful.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
II Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, it is very tempting to seek after what we think are solutions for the problems we see before us. In reality, there is not fix for any of it, for those we have selected or elected to do the fixing are themselves in need of fixing. Those we look to, are sinful, flawed people, most of whom do not know the Lord.
It is also tempting to shrink back in the face of conflict, as we rely on the power of God.
Let us be about the business of spreading the Gospel, for it only has power to save. I tell you the truth, we are beyond the time where we can bring about the repair of our sin damaged world, but we can rescue souls from hell.
Let us be unashamed of the Gospel, going boldly into the world preaching and teaching from the word of God. Let us not faint in the face of the pushback, but let us push forward, being relentless in sharing our stories of want the Lord has done for us.
Let our lives be living testimonies of God’s grace, for people are more likely to believe hat they see. In light of this, let us be true ambassadors, reflecting the glory of God. Let us be faithful to Him, and let us love those who are in opposition.
There will be times when we will feel like Timothy, requiring encouragement and admonishment to continue in the faith, but these times demand the we continue. Once again, I tell you the truth. It will be hard. The hearts of those ensnared by the devil have been hardened, and he has stopped up their ears with the din of sin.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
We are there.
It is only by the power of the Gospel that hardened hearts can be softened, and stopped ears opened. Let us pray for opportunities to go and tell, let us do so unashamed, for our Lord Jesus suffered the shame of the cross that we be saved. Many have lived and died, knowing the faithfulness of the Lord.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
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