O God, you are great beyond measure and deserve the highest praise. I can’t begin to have words that reflect your majesty; I long to use all that I am to glorify you.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 1:8-18
8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He 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, 10 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. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Examples of Disloyalty and Loyalty
15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 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.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God blessed us, saved us, and called us to serve him. Are we faithful?
Paul’s personal testimony (vs 8–12) begins with a confession that God saved him and called him ‘to a holy life’ (v 9). The next part of this verse picks up his central theme in Romans: ‘not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace … given us in Christ Jesus.’ Grace is central to his theology; only through grace can we be united with Christ. This hidden grace has now been revealed to the human race ‘through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus’ (v 10). At his first coming, Christ destroyed death through his own death on the cross.1 Paul was appointed ‘a herald and an apostle and a teacher’ (v 11) and his preaching of the gospel had cost him much in suffering and persecution, but he trusted in the God who called him.
Paul admonishes Timothy to keep the ‘pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus’ (v 13). Doctrine is to be lived and proclaimed with faith and love. Paul had entrusted preaching and teaching to Timothy. This goal could not be accomplished in one’s own human strength, but only ‘with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us’ (v 14). Are you guarding what God has given you?
Paul laments his desertion. Those must have been lonely hours for the aged apostle in prison, facing almost certain death and forsaken by his friends. It is difficult for us to understand why God’s servants, who have given themselves in sacrificial service to others, should suffer like this at the end – but Paul knew that the glory of the next life would repay it all. Pray for missionaries who often feel alone and deserted, that God will comfort them and encourage them in his strength.
Let us be faithful and guard what God has entrusted to us.
Father, I commit my abilities, my strengths, and my weaknesses to you to use as you choose—all for the sake of the gospel.
1 Cf Heb 2:14
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