II Tim 1:8-12: “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, 9 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, 10 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, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 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.”
For Paul, the gospel of Christ was his everything. He gave up his status, profession and eventually his freedom for the cause of Jesus. He was so passionate about the message that Jesus died for the world, that he was willing to be beaten, stoned, and imprisoned for that message. Paul, now in chains writes this final letter to his “son” in the faith, Timothy. His charge to this young man was that he should not be ashamed of Jesus or of Paul. Jesus, who is the king of kings, and lord of lords, died as a common criminal, and Paul who was also considered a criminal, sits in chains for the preaching of Christ. For Paul, there was nothing better to live for and there could be nothing more honorable to die for. Paul was so passionate about the gospel of Christ because, “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.”
Salvation came to this world because Jesus died and shed His blood on the cross, and on the third day rose from the grave, witnessed by thousands of people, and then he ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father. This salvation did not come from us or by anything that we could do. Brining this message to the world made Paul and many followers endure persecution and discrimination. Today, Christians around the world are being persecuted because they deliver this message of hope to a dark world. Christ-followers proclaim this message with boldness and courage even in the face of suffering. We do this because we know that Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). The world needs this message, and how will they hear if we do not tell them?
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Old Testament: Jer. 23-24 New Testament II Tim. 2