Google+ 0/8/16/2013 Good News Often Causes Suffering!

2 Timothy 1:6-8

 

This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.

And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him.

With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News.

 

In part five of our seven-part devotion series exploring who we are in Christ, we listen in as Paul speaks to his young apprentice Timothy.  Paul is in jail once again!  Before we move on to any other point, let's examine this fact closely.  During Paul's ministry, we believe he spent between 5 1/2 and 6 years in prison.  During this period of time, he kept preaching and writing, planting churches and encouraging others.  As we contemplate this fact, we truly have nothing to complain about!  Most of the Jews hated Paul with a passion.  Paul would simply not stop preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This rendered their "traditions" mute and forced the "New Testament" perspective to be the most important thing Timothy would preach.  Jesus was the first person to preach that tradition, for tradition's sake, simply was not the message from God.  Jesus let us know that it was only through His death, burial, and resurrection that we could truly come to know His Father.  This infuriated the Pharisees and corrupt priests, as their deceitful tactics no longer worked.  In short, "buying" one's self into heaven was no longer an option!  Paul told Timothy to explain to all the people that Jesus had already paid their admission into heaven.  Paul made sure that Timothy knew who he was in Christ.  He reminded Timothy, and us, that we should fan the flames of our spiritual gifts given to us by God.  We are not to be filled with timidity and fear, but rather with God's power, love, and self-control.  We should never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and we should preach it every day, in every way.  Finally, Paul tells Timothy to ignore those that might try to shame him because of his association with Paul.  After all, Paul is in jail.  Here comes Paul's big finish!  We should all be ready to suffer for the sake of the Good News.  Who gives us the strength to do that?  God does!  If you are having trouble coping with who you are in Christ, listen carefully to Paul today.  Six years in jail, for preaching the gospel, has strengthened Paul in his resolve.  We must all understand that, "Good News Often Causes Suffering!"