“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:3 ESV)
Have you ever been ashamed of Christ? Have you been tempted to shy away from proclaiming the gospel to the lost people in your life? If so, you are not alone. In the book of 2 Timothy, we see that a young preacher named Timothy had the same struggles. He was prone to be ashamed of Christ (1:7-8a); he was inclined to shy away from the inevitable suffering that comes with being a minister of the gospel (1:8a).
Timothy’s mentor, the apostle Paul, understood Timothy’s temptations. He understood the temptation to be ashamed of Christ, to shy away from suffering. So, he writes a letter to encourage this young pastor to press on in the faith. And, in 2 Timothy 2:1-7, Paul provides a roadmap of sorts on how Timothy (and, by extension, all of us) may persevere in the Christian life and ministry. Paul tells Timothy that:
1. Strength to persevere in the Christian life and ministry is found in the grace of Christ Jesus.
2. Perseverance requires us to pass on the gospel to other faithful believers carefully.
3. Perseverance in the Christian life and ministry requires that Christians expect and embrace suffering for the sake of the gospel.
Friends, I want to encourage you to read the entire book of 2 Timothy before Sunday (don’t worry, it’s not very long). And, Lord willing, we will spend time together this Sunday being encouraged to persevere in the Christian Life and ministry from 2 Timothy 2:1-7.
God bless you all.
Matt Wiese Missionary to Southeast Asia