Paul is determined to wake up Timothy, to rouse him out of his comfort zone, to motivate him into action. It is terribly disturbing to see someone, especially someone you care for, sit on their gifts and fail to reach their potential. All too often I see gifted people, talented people, people who have been blessed with abilities I would love to have, sitting idly on the bench of life wasting time and talent. Why? Because they are either afraid to assume the responsibility of what they possess or they don’t see the need to move out of their comfort zone and get involved. Are they unable or unwilling to see the urgency of the mission God has placed before them? In the Scripture passage below, Paul repeats the words “Good News” again and again. He is completely, entirely, totally convinced that the Good News must be shared. It’s his goal, his mission, his life’s purpose and he will preach and teach and evangelize and reach everyone he possibly can without fear of life-threatening consequences because it is THAT important!
Scripture – 2 Ti 1:8-12
So do not be ashamed to tell people about our Lord Jesus. And do not be ashamed of me. I am in prison for the Lord. But suffer with me for the Good News. God gives us the strength to do that. God saved us and made us his holy people. That was not because of anything we did ourselves but because of what he wanted and because of his grace. That grace was given to us through Christ Jesus before time began. It was not shown to us until our Savior Christ Jesus came. Jesus destroyed death. And through the Good News, he showed us the way to have life that cannot be destroyed. I was chosen to tell that Good News and to be an apostle and a teacher. And I suffer now because I tell the Good News. But I am not ashamed. I know Jesus, the One I have believed in. And I am sure that he is able to protect what he has trusted me with until that Day. (2 Tim 1 8-12)
How important is it that we share the Good News of Jesus Christ? Well, the eternal lives of those around us depend on it. Timothy was reluctant, and not without cause. Paul had endured unfathomable hardships, torture and is writing to Timothy from prison, all because of his conviction to preach the Gospel. It’s not something you sign up for unless you are 100% in! Fear and timidity are holding Timothy back. Although we don’t fear that sharing our faith, sharing the Good News, will result in the kind of suffering and sacrifice that puts our lives in danger, we do have to step out of our fear and timidity. We are often ashamed and shrink from opportunities to share about Christ’s saving power. We act as though it is something for those interested and if they’re not, that’s fine too. We really don’t want to offend or make anyone uncomfortable. But if you believe it truly is life and death, that there is a bus coming straight toward each and every person you know and love, will you warn them, help them get off the road that will destroy them? If you believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth and that it has the power to save those who receive it, then get busy, no excuses. You may be avoided, excluded or labeled because of your faith and your witness for Christ. Paul states it well in 2 Ti 1:12 when he writes, “I am sure that he (God) is able to protect what he has trusted me with until that Day.” What God brings you to, He will bring you through!
Have you ever been afraid/ashamed to share your faith or to stand up for God’s Word? Explain. Have you ever been excluded/penalized because of your faith? Explain. In a culture that finds Christian beliefs to be offensive, how does a Christian share? How does a Christian manage a work environment that is hostile to religion? (no religious icons, jewelry, conversation, etc.) How does a Christian school teacher navigate in today’s social and religious climate?
Think about how you are sharing your faith, or are you? Make a list of friends, family and co-workers who don’t know Jesus. Pray for them and ask God to give you opportunities to share the Good News with them.
Our gracious God, give us passion and boldness to proclaim the saving power or Jesus Christ. Reaffirm within our hearts the mission before us and the eternal impact we can make. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.