Today, Loving Lord, I pause to bask in Your love and attention. Be with me now through Your Spirit, I pray.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 1:8-18
 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,  who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,  but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.  And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.  That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.  What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you-guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.  You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.  May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.  On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me.  May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectTo what has God called us and why?
As chaplain to a football team, I watch the first string train every Thursday. Training normally involves a defensive drill, i.e. teaching the players to stay in their zones and stick to their assigned coverage. Paul urges Timothy to stick “to the coverage” by staying connected with others.
First, stay connected to your fellow Christians (8-9,15-18). Paul knew too well the pain of being deserted and let down. Christians are connected not just through friendship or shared social interests, but by God’s purpose and grace (9), which leads to a shared life characterized by holiness.
Second, stay connected to the core gospel (13,14). Timothy should hold on to a basic set of Christian teachings and a pattern of life characterized by “faith and love,” faithfully transmitted from one generation to another. The two words “ashamed” and “suffering” (8,12) echo throughout this passage. Staying connected with fellow-Christians and with the Gospel will, at times, involve sharing in humiliation for the Gospel. If the football team leaves one player to battle on alone, the whole team will lose (see 1 Cor. 12:26).
How well are you connected to other Christians and the Gospel? How can you stay connected this week?
Lord, keep me mindful of my need to stay connected and to offer others the same encouragement You provide me.
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