Monday, June 23, 2014

Be A Partaker

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
2 Timothy 1:8

Paul is writing to his true son in the faith, Timothy, and exhorting him not to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of Paul himself.  On the contrary, Paul encourages Timothy to be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.  And we are exhorted and encouraged to do the same.

This is not an easy command.  How hard it is to stand firm when things around you seem to crumble.  And that's what should be happening in our lives-the old should be going away and the new should be coming (2 Corinthians 5:17).  It can be hard to see everything you know, have come to rely on, and are comfortable with slip away.  But it doesn't have to be difficult if our eyes are fixed on Him who promises us so much more than we can ever imagine.  

Will there be naysayers?  Definitely!  But our eyes should not be fixed on them nor our ears attuned to them.  Let us stand firmly and boldly not being ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of those who are standing alongside us.  

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Philippians 1:29,30

We have believed on Jesus and we must also suffer for him.  Without a doubt there will be the sting of rejection from those that do not believe but the Bible calls us blessed when we are insulted and persecuted as well as falsely spoken against because great is our reward in heaven (Matthew 5:11,12).  Let's not shy away from persecution but embrace it as part of our walk with Jesus.   Let us be those who are partakers of the afflictions of the gospel.  

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10,11

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14