1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: Day 10

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

by

Today's Text: 2 Timothy 1:1-18, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-18, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

The exact details of the story have faded in my memory. I’m not sure where I heard it or the name of the man at the center of the narrative. I don’t need to know his name to want to be just like him.

His story goes something like this…

Christians were gathered in a home church in a country where worshiping Jesus was strictly forbidden. Authorities raided the home, forcing the terrified worshipers to lie on the floor, then brutally beat anyone who dared to resist. Despite this violence, they could not stop the man; he was determined to rise.

Over and over, he simply stood up silently, squared his shoulders, and looked his attackers in the eye. He was beaten back down each time only to rise to his feet again. He did not fight. He did not argue. He simply stood, no matter how bloody and bruised he became. Eventually, his attackers relented. Like Paul’s words to Timothy—penned despite imprisonments, beatings, abandonments, and trials—this man’s faith could not be shaken. He would not be kept down.

I may never face the butt of a gun as a result of my faith in Jesus. I may never know Paul’s fate of repeated imprisonment for declaring the gospel. The stakes may not look as dramatic, but we all know how it feels to be beaten down in some way or another. We feel the pressure to play it safe and be quiet about Jesus. But we cannot. Over and over and over, we must continue to rise. We must.

Paul’s powerful words echo throughout time, to the Church in every era. Whatever obstacles we face in culture or in the parthenon of public opinion, whatever makes our knees buckle, whatever threatens to silence us, or makes us want to simply lay low—when we weigh them against the heavy weight of the gospel, the scales are easily tipped.

We must speak out.
We must live boldly.
We must rise.

Fear cannot become our default. Let us remind each other often that we are a people uniquely armed with power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). Through the silent testimony of our sold-out lives and words seasoned with grace, we must declare, “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me” (v. 12).

What inspired Paul to declare the gospel so boldly? He refused to forget the stench of the prison of sin he had been delivered from. Every other cell smelled like freedom. He remembered how it felt to be buried by the weight of his own sin, but through Jesus, he had been invited to rise and walk a new life.

Paul’s declaration to Timothy, and our declaration to each other is this: I am not ashamed of the gospel, because the gospel is not ashamed of me. Church, we do not deserve such extravagant grace. We are a ragamuffin bunch called to reach the world with radical truth.

There will always be opposition. Even so, let us rise.

SRT-TimothyTitus-Shareimage-Day10

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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  • Courtney Moyer

    THIS IS FREEING: I am only capable of planting seeds, God is the only one who can make it grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose, working together for God.

    “playing it safe and being quite about Jesus, ” only bypasses our opportunities to experience God while we hand the seeds to another person. God doesn’t” need” us to do the work but from His heart of love He wants us to join Him. Live boldly and speak out then experience God’s guard for what He has entrusted to you.

  • Denise Powers Fabian

    Overt punishment or persecution is easy to detect but I fear we, as Christians, have been pressured from speaking the truth because of the gospel of political correctness, a much more subtle stifling of the Good News. We hosted several Ukrainian Christians in the early 90s as Communism fell and religious persecution by the Communist government disappeared. The Christians from Ukraine spoke of they weren’t necessarily happy about that as they believed that persecution kept the Church pure, making them even more effective.

    • Karen

      Interesting perspective Denise. I think political correctness may have become our persecutor here in the states. I know it often stops me from expressing my faith especially when at work. I think in any kind of persecution we must remember that God is faithful and will give us the words to say and the power to do His work in the world.

  • Martintal

    Hi All im noob here. Good post! Thx! Thx!

  • Beatrice

    Not sure if anyone else noticed, but today’s reason on the study book is 2 Tim 1:1-18, yet the blog has it as 2 Tim 2:1-18!

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Beatrice, sorry for the confusion! The reading is 2 Timothy 1:1-18. Hope that helps! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Sabrina Michelle

    Oh my goodness, today’s reading has me in tears of gratefulness! I admire the Apostle Paul so much, I am not ashamed of the gospel because the gospel is not ashamed of me. Rich!!

  • I live in a place where the cost of claiming His name is getting higher by the day. And I watch regularly as my brothers and sisters refuse to stand down. He is worth it! Thanks for this

    • Brittany

      Praying for you and your family.

    • Becky Smith

      Numbers 6:24-26
      24 “‘“The Lord bless you
      and keep you;
      25 the Lord make his face shine on you
      and be gracious to you;
      26 the Lord turn his face toward you
      and give you peace.”’
      May you be strong in spirit and in His mighty power.

  • Amen, thank you for this! We will rise!

  • Vicki Del Boccio

    Amen! Such an inspiring call to action, Erin.

  • Jessica Terpstra

    Amen!!!

  • Natasha Pavez

    I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because the Gospel is not ashamed of me – so beautiful and so true! I also loved the way Paul described how we should be: soldiers, set apart from the world. Farmers, working hard. Athletes, following the rules of the sport to win the prize. ❤️ May we all have strength to persevere like this!

  • Churchmouse

    A few years back I attended the Super Bowl. Our team won and my family and I were happily exiting the stadium. We came upon a middle aged man with a bull horn and several people with large signs that read “Repent!” The man with the bull horn was exhorting the passing crowd to *repent of worshiping football more than Jesus. ” I was taken aback at first but then decided to approach him. I told him that I am a Jesus follower and that my attending a football game did not make me less of one. He asked me if I could quote some “salvation Scriptures” and so I did. He seemed surprised and then he criticized me for wearing team colors. I guess he thought my apparel revealed some kind of worldly allegiance of which he didn’t approve. I told him that perhaps it would be more effective for him to stop yelling and just quietly talk to people, engaging them in a less aggressive and judgmental way. He did not take me up on my suggestion and I walked on. I heard many in the crowd around me, laughing and scoffing at the bullhorn man. Yes we must step out and rise up to share the Gospel. Yes we must be bold. But may we look at our audience and see their need and think of how best to present the Gospel in a manner in which they might hear and receive. Lord, give us boldness tempered with discernment. Let me know when to raise my voice but also when to simply let my actions speak. If I meet my neighbor’s need, they may be more receptive to my words. Help me to be kind and then kindly share Your good news. Amen.

    • Kathy

      AMEN!!!

    • Veronica

      Yes, Churchmouse. I admire your words once again. May we never focus so much on boldness that we forget the heart of the gospel.

    • Momtomany

      Churchmouse you have so much wisdom. I wish I could have a sit down with you and just listen. I so appreciate your words as I try to show hospitality and genuine friendship to new Muslim friends-yelling at them about Jesus will not get them to believe but creating a loving friendship has opened doors to discussion.

    • Rachel

      YESSSS! I can’t imagine how many people are like bullhorn man – God use them, but most of the time a relational approach is much better!

    • Elle

      This is so good.

      I am sad that the primary cause of my discomfort with being openly Christian in my life is that so many Christians have behaved badly and created a really negative perception of people of the faith. Many of my friends regularly make light of Christians. It’s no wonder that so many of Paul’s letter stressed upstanding behavior so that no one can judge us badly. I try to be an example of a kind, smart, and loving Christian to the people in my life. I know that the more open I am about it the more I can set a positive example, but the shame and fear are still there sometimes. Not shame in the gospel, but in other human beings.

    • Mari

      Love this Churchmouse.

    • Katelyn

      I love this. “Boldness tempered with discernment” Amen!

  • D Parker

    Paul isn’t filled with fear even though he is in prison and shackled. His hope isn’t in his circumstances changing. His hope is in the character of God and the power of the gospel. Even in prison, he is more concerned for the gospel to be preserved than his life. May I know the character of God to that extent in my own life. That the gospel going forward would be of more importance than whatever circumstances my life may bring.

    • Penny

      “His hope isn’t in his circumstances changing. His hope is in the character of God and the power of the gospel” Thank you for that……… churches are sometimes quick to tell people ” do you have a need, God will change it”….. and people pursue God because of what they want from Him , not because of who He is and what the good news of the gospel is. ” My hope is in you alone”.

    • KimN

      Love this!!!

  • Amanda Sumrall

    Much needed encouragement this morning!!!!! THANK YOU!

    • Alexis

      Isaiah 43:2 came to me as a verse of encouragement for you: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

  • Kelly Chataine

    Keep getting up. Keep going on. Keep doing what is right. I have days where I don’t want to do all the work around the home, care for myself, and care for my husband. In fact, this morning was one of those mornings. Thank you, God, for today’s scriptures.
    Dennis and I need wisdom. We are doing fine financially (huge praise) but I will be getting checks for $0 or even have to pay my school corporation to cover my insurance. Dennis has been ill, off and on, for three weeks but wants me to go to work. I feel he still needs me here, at least until his strength comes back. He has a UTI and with it some crazy fevers and disorientation. He has been on an antibiotic since Saturday morning and I have kept the Tylenol coming. I guess UTIs are extremely rough on those with compromised health.
    I want to honor my husband. I want to do what is right for him. I trust God with our finances, completely.
    I am a high school Special Education teacher and sometimes the school atmosphere is one of complaining, grumbling, and backbiting. I am concerned about that atmosphere for me because, to a certain extent, I am also compromised and weary.
    Rereading today’s passages. God is so amazing!

    • Kelly Chataine

      12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. II Timothy 1:12

    • Hilary

      Stopping now to pray for you and Dennis, Kelly!

  • Marytony Torres

    I think we were supposed to read 2 Timothy 1:1-12 instead of the second chapter.

    • Amanda Sumrall

      I think so too.

      • Debi

        You are correct. The study guide has 2 Timothy 1:1-18 printed as the reading!

      • September Shaw

        Good call. I went and read those and think you’re right. Key passage: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.”
        ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
        http://bible.com/111/2ti.1.7-8.niv

    • She Reads Truth

      So sorry for that confusion! The reading for today is 2 Timothy 1:1-18. Thanks for letting us know! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Lisa Shelton

    This scripture definitely spoke to me this morning. God has built a ministry in me my entire life, it is so graciously called “Grow Your Soul” because through my testimony, witnessing, counseling and loving in others I pray that some how there very souls can be strengthened through Christ. This entire year God has been speaking to me and I have books upon books of notes journaled that I now will be sharing through a blog that I am just getting started on. I honor and value each of you woman and would love for you to visit my blog and Instagram and let me know what you think. Not for my glory but to glorify God. I know each word spoken to me is from Him and that message is for someone. You can visit my blog at thegrowyoursoul.wordpress.com and my instagram is @_lifeandsoul please follow both if you wish and share with others.. see why this message
    Not Ashamed of the Gospel
    spoke to me today. God is putting me on a bigger platform than I have ever been on with a blog, but I am not ashamed of Him or his work in me.. thank you and God bless.

  • I have some family that are easily offended by my faith and I’ve been guilty of being silent about it to not offend. Lately, I’ve begun being more bold in speaking about it. It has been interesting to me that no one has pushed back, although I was ready for it. I’m not sure if this is God’s timing and they are more ready to hear or if I should have done it earlier no matter the cost.

    I am encouraged by Erin’s words today. I will speak up, be bold and rise!
    Have a great day, ladies!

    • Hailey T

      what wonderful strength he has given you!

    • Ashley

      Perhaps your season of patience and kindness to them has opened their hearts and minds to what you have to share! Praying for you as you boldly proclaim your faith!

  • Libby Kosciuszko

    A call to live boldly in the faith! In today’s society I tend to find myself shying away from speaking truth. God, help me to not be ashamed. ❤️

  • Jessica McCreary

    ❤️

  • I think that perhaps today’s scripture is supposed to be 2 Timothy 1:1-18.

    • Other Karen

      I was thinking the same thing!

    • Bessie

      Amber, I think you are right. That makes more sense. Thanks.

    • Kelly Chataine

      I read what they gave us and 2 Timothy 1:1-18. More of God’s Word for us! Nice!

    • She Reads Truth

      Sorry for the confusion about that! The reading today is 2 Timothy 1:1-18. We appreciate you letting us know! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • “Even so, let us rise”

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