Jeremiah 12-14 2 Timothy 1
“I was chosen to tell that Good News and to be an apostle and a teacher. I am suffering now because I tell the Good News, but I am not ashamed, because I know Jesus, the One in whom I have believed. And I am sure he is able to protect what he has trusted me with until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:11-12 NCV)
If you’re filling out a job application, you don’t usually want to highlight your time in prison. That’s usually a mark of shame. As Paul wrote to Timothy from his Roman prison though, he made it clear that he wasn’t ashamed of his prison experience because of why he was in prison. He was suffering in prison because he was true to the gospel. There are some indications that Alexander, an apostate who had taken control of the church in Ephesus, was one of the people who had arranged for Paul to go back to prison. He didn’t let any of his prison experiences get him down, though, because each time, he knew he was imprisoned for speaking the truth of the gospel and he had faith that God was in control of each situation he faced. He knew that Jesus could protect him until the day He came again and judged the world.
Is jail time on your resumé as a Christian? Not too many reasons for Christians to go to jail for following God here in America. Maybe you’ve been sued because of your stands. So let me ask you a different question: if following Christ were a crime, would you have to go to jail? Seriously, if a law was passed tomorrow outlawing Christianity, would your friends and neighbors tell you to hide, inform on you, or would they be ignorant of your walk with Christ? I know that’s a completely unbelievable scenario, but I hope it makes you think about your walk with Christ. Are you committed to sharing the Good News, the gospel, with other people or are you ashamed of talking about Jesus? While Christians aren’t being arrested these days, we do get some negative reaction when we stand for God – is it worth it to stay true to Christ? We should be proclaiming the gospel verbally and visually. People should hear about the love and grace of Jesus when we speak, and they should see His love in action in our lives. There are no Christian sleeper cells; there are no secret agents. We’re called to stand for Christ without shame. We’re called to stand for Him in faith, knowing that He will protect us until the day He judges the world. Are you up to that challenge? Are you prison-ready?
Lord, let me be ready to follow You no matter what the cost may be. Thank You for choosing me to share Your Good News, as You have chosen all Your people to do so. Help me to be faithful in sharing Your love and grace at all times in word and deed.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.