“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” (2 Timothy 1:8-9 NKV)
It’s an old axiom of biblical interpretation that when you see the word “therefore” find out what it’s there for. Paul had just made a powerful statement that God hadn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a strong mind. Because God has given us that kind of spirit, we should never be ashamed to share the gospel of Jesus no matter what the circumstances. It would be easy for Timothy to shrink from the question “who’s your teacher?” because Paul was in prison, eventually to be executed. Paul made it clear: be ready to share about Jesus and His power because He called us for His own purpose and through His grace.
Paul recognized that his calling was to preach the gospel: in season and out of season; when convenient and when inconvenient; to the rich and powerful, and to the poor and weak. He sought to fulfill God’s calling on his life no matter what. And, Paul realized that if fulfilling his calling meant that he’d end up in prison with an execution looming before him, that was fine with him because God was still in control. Paul’s message here is simple, fulfill your calling from God no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the consequences may be. We’re saved for His purpose and calling by His grace. What’s your calling from God? Once His calling becomes clear, then get rid of any “excess baggage” and focus on fulfilling that calling with a laser-like intensity. Don’t let circumstances, problems, or fear of man keep you from doing what God has called you to do.
Lord, Paul was bold even as he faced the executioner, because he was certain he knew what You wanted. Let me be just as bold in fulfilling the call You have on my life.