Day 6 – Saved and Called for God's Purpose
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…
– 2 Timothy 1:8-10
It’s become a cliche: 2020 was pestilence, fear, uncertainty, and painfully long. Even those of you who aren’t prone to crying, have you wept this past year? Paul began this letter to his protege and brother in Christ saying “I remember your tears” (v. 4). As a young Christian ministering to God’s people in a strange land, Timothy was overwhelmed, prone to sickness (1 Tim. 5), and faced with the all-too-real fear of being a stranger in a strange land (2 Tim. 1:7). What is Paul’s counsel as one who has faced fear, abuse, temptation, overwhelming responsibility and death itself? He points Timothy, and us, to God’s grace: the power of God; He saved us; He called us; because of His purpose and grace; He gave us this in Christ…bringing all of this to us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
There is an imperative in this passage: “[D]o not be ashamed…” (v. 8). What was there to be ashamed about? Christ’s suffering, betrayal, and shameful execution. Paul experienced suffering, too, as a prisoner for the sake of the Gospel living in a world of sickness, pestilence, famine, persecution and ignoble death. So he calls Timothy to the same reality: share in Christ’s suffering, learn how to die to yourself. That is our calling, too. But this is not something to be ashamed about! God, who has saved us and called us to a holy calling for His glory is, through this, bringing life and immortality to light for us!
In the Kingdom of God shame brings glory, weakness brings strength, death brings life. Therefore, “fan into flame the gift of God” (v. 6), which is the very power of God’s Holy Spirit in us: the Spirit of power, love and self-control (v. 7), even if circumstances would otherwise bring fear, shame, and despair. How do we fan into flame the gift of God? Look to Jesus:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Ministry Director, Chrisitan Union at Penn
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