16th May 2020
The Great Commission – in essence, all Christians are called to “go and make disciples of all nations” (see Matthew 28:18-20). This call will naturally include talking to other people and sharing with them about the Jesus’ story – His birth, life, death and resurrection and sharing the fact that Jesus died on the cross as a redemption for our sins and that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (see John 3:16).
Honestly speaking, many non-believers may not be able to grasp the gospel truth, and some may even humiliate the cross and consider Christianity as foolishness. In extreme cases, some of those who share the gospel may face persecution and may even be put to death. One example is the Apostle Paul who was put in prison many times for proclaiming the gospel and was put to death in the end.
In the midst of hostilities, in 2 Timothy 1:8-18, we read that Paul is willing to pay the price and suffer for the gospel. Paul told Timothy that he must not be ashamed of the gospel and that he should share in the suffering for the gospel by the power of God (see verse 8). Paul is also willing to suffer for the gospel because he knew whom he has believed (that is, Jesus), and he is convinced that Jesus is able to guard what he has entrusted to Jesus (that is, his life) (see verse 12). Paul also knew that Jesus has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (see verse 10). Hence, Paul knew that even if he was put to death, when he died, he will in the presence of God forever.
We may not suffer the same kind of suffering that the Apostle Paul had to endure. Still, it may not always be safe or popular to share the gospel. Suffering may come in different forms, be it mental, physical, emotional or spiritual. In face of suffering (irrespective of the degree) or potential risk of suffering, are we willing to defend the gospel? Are we willing to share the gospel? Are we willing to pay the price? It is by the power of God that we can endure suffering for the gospel.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Lord, it is so easy for us to shy away from taking a stand for You or sharing the gospel with others especially when our listeners are hostile. Help us to be bold and seize every opportunity that present itself to take a stand for You and to share the gospel. In Jesus’ name, Amen.