From The Heart

Publish date: 02/07/2005

I am calling up memories of your sincere and unqualified faith (the leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), [a faith] that first lived permanently in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am [fully] persuaded, [dwells] in you also. 6 That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 8 Do not blush or be ashamed then, to testify to and for our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for His sake, but [with me] take your share of the suffering [to which the preaching] of the Gospel [may expose you, and do it] in the power of God.  2 Timothy 1:5-8 AMP


In Romans 1:16, Paul tells us that he is not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes it no matter who they are - whether Jew or Greek. Here in his second letter to Timothy, he encourages him not to be ashamed to preach the gospel or to testify about Jesus, firstly because he was anointed by the Spirit to do it and also because God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love and a sound mind. Fear is not from God, therefore, any time you experience fear, you know that it must come from somewhere else. The devil uses fear to intimidate you, hinder you, and stop you from accomplishing the will of God. God gives you the power to overcome fear. If you will put your trust in God and His word, you can put fear away from you and do what the Lord tells you to do.


We should never be ashamed or afraid to preach the gospel or to testify of what Jesus has done for us. If we are called by the Lord, then we are also anointed and empowered by Him to do what He has called us to do. We need to trust the Holy Spirit’s anointing on our lives and we must be bold to do and say what the Spirit tells us to do and say. 


We should not ever be ashamed to preach the gospel and neither should we shrink back from persecution. A Christian is one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died and was resurrected for them, personally. Jesus was not ashamed to be physically and verbally abused, to be mocked and despised, or to suffer agonizing pain, and death on a cross, for our benefit. If we Christians want to partake in His resurrection life, we cannot afford to be ashamed to be counted as one of His. If we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us – because it means that we have not esteemed Him or His blood or His sacrifice. If we are ashamed of Him, it means that we have rejected Him and if we reject Him, how can we be a partaker of His eternal life? You cannot call Him Lord, privately and be ashamed of Him publicly. If He is not your Lord at all times, before all people, then He is not really your Lord. If you acknowledge Him privately, you must acknowledge Him publicly.   


Paul encourages Timothy, and us, to take our share of the suffering to which the preaching of the Gospel may expose us. This is the same suffering that Jesus bore. The suffering that Jesus bore, was not sickness or disease, but was the suffering of intense persecution. The reason that some Christians shrink back from openly and boldly preaching the truth of the gospel, is because they are afraid that they may not be received and that people may be offended. You cannot afford to take it personally when people are offended because it is not your message, but God’s – you are just the delivery person; you are just the messenger.


If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you. 20 Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours. 21 But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the one Who sent Me.  John 15:18-21 AMP


The world hated Jesus and now that you belong to Him and represent Him, they will probably hate you too. The good news is that anyone who is hungry for God will welcome you and the message of hope that you bring. They will be so thrilled to hear and receive the gospel and to miss hell and make heaven their home. For this reason, for the joy of seeing people saved and set free, and for the rewards that await us in heaven, you and I can endure the persecution that comes with the territory!