Thursday 16 July 2015

Bible Book:
2 Timothy

“But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.” (vv. 12-14)

2 Timothy 1:1-14 Thursday 16 July 2015

Psalm: Psalm 43


From one perspective, it seems odd that the author of today'spassage might feel the need to urge Timothy not to be ashamed ofthe gospel and to assert that he himself is indeed 'not ashamed' -why should they be? But it strikes me that, to those around them,the early Christians must have seemed a very strange bunch.

If my brother (who, for the record is an upstanding, law-abidingcitizen) was convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced todeath, it would most likely be a source of real shame - as well asgrief - for my family. Yet here we have a group of people who arenot only unashamed of their 'brother' the convict, but whocelebrate his life, death and resurrection as the greatest victoryin human history. For those on the outside, it's understandablethat Jesus was perceived as a failure and a criminal, and hisfollowers as more than a little strange! Who can blame them if theyoccasionally lost their nerve and needed encouraging to be bold andconfident in the hope they had received?

It's always hard to challenge the dominant narrative thatsociety subscribes to, to choose to see the world in a differentway. But the author of today's passage assures us that we needn'tbe timid, but should instead remember what God has done for us andto fix our feet firmly on the truth and 'rely on the power ofGod.'

Once again we are reminded that in Jesus God turns the worldupside down: death loses its power, sin is defeated, prisoners areset free. To many this can seem like nonsense - but not to thosewho have seen and experienced the transforming power of God'slove.


To Ponder

  • Does your faith ever make you feel like an outsider?
  • What helps you to feel confident in sharing your faith?
  • What would it mean for you to 'rely on the power of God'?


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