“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God” ~ 2 Timothy 1:8
2 Timothy is Paul’s last letter written before Nero executed him. He gave Timothy final instructions to continue fighting against false teaching and to remain strong in his faith. In this verse, Paul encouraged Timothy to never shy away from proclaiming Jesus, even under threat of persecution. Paul was to willingly suffer for the Gospel, just as Jesus did and he wanted Timothy to do so as well. He trusted fully that the Holy Spirit would help them both endure.
If we are true believers, we are called to a life of mission. We cannot just sit on the sidelines and let the Pastors, Evangelists or any others be the only ones doing the work of the ministry. We are all called to witness and minister. When we do though, we will be persecuted. The devil especially likes to target people that are effective for the Kingdom. But we are not to shrink back. Jesus said that we would be despised and rejected because of Him. Nevertheless, we are to take up our cross and follow Him.
Oh Lord, I lift up to You all of those I know that are building up Your Kingdom and are suffering as they do! Touch them, strengthen them, empower them today to keep on pressing and shining Your Light! Help me Lord, today and always to be a witness for You in words and deeds. Help me never to hesitate but to share the Gospel boldly. In times of persecution and adversity help me to endure in a way that honors and glorifies You. It is my desire to look like Jesus to this dying world…not only in Word and deed but also in attitude – in my heart. Create in me a clean heart Oh God and renew a right spirit within me. I ask this in Jesus Holy and precious Name. Amen!