It seems nowadays that Christians have a lot of great anxieties and fears, and many of them are social. We don't share the Gospel, we don't live like we've been saved, and we don't want to rock the boat. It seems the opposite of what we see in Scripture, and in the parts of the world where Christians are tortured, imprisoned, beaten and even killed for Jesus. If Persecution were to truly come for the western church (and I speak of my experience in the United States), we would not be ready for it. Many of us might outright abandon the faith for fear of getting hurt. How did we go from fearlessly dying for our faith to not wanting to rock the boat? By it's nature, the Gospel is offensive to those who do not desire to know God. If I didn't get offended, I would never have come home to the House of my Father. It requires more than change; it is not straightening up a few rooms in the house; it is a complete remodel, inside and out. So why do we live in fear, if we know this is what is needed? Simply, we're afraid of losing friends, jobs, status, grades, and, in general, we're afraid of rocking the boat. We have a good thing going, why ruin it? That comfort zone, however, is as far from God as we can be. I heard a woman speak, an ambassador and sister in Christ from the Iranian church. She said "You're afraid of losing a friend, so you don't share the Gospel. What you're really saying is that you'd rather lose them to eternity and to have them like you in this temporary state." Church, God did not give us a Spirit of fear. He does not want that anyone should perish, so why do we not care about our friends, neighbors, and everyone around us who's so lost without Jesus Christ? This is a tragedy! God gave us all we needed when we were given the Holy Spirit. He is not a Spirit of fear, but a Spirit that will empower us, as He does the work through us. He is the reason Christians since the beginning have fearlessly been tortured, imprisoned, and even killed for Christ, and why so many are still being today throughout the world. Walk in the Spirit, and leave behind all fear! My prayer for you this morning: walk, not in fear, but in the Holy Spirit, letting Him dictate your path, and may He empower you in boldness for the Faith! 2 Timothy 1:3-14 English Standard Version (ESV)
Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to[a] a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,[b] 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. 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.[c] 13 Follow the pattern of the sound[d] words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 1:9 Or with
2 Timothy 1:9 Greek before times eternal
2 Timothy 1:12 Or what I have entrusted to him; Greek my deposit
2 Timothy 1:13 Or healthy