Saturday, September 17, 2016

Paul's Letter to Timothy

In Acts 9, we see a slice of Paul's life when he breathed murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went all the way to the high priest with them. After this, he encounters the Lord Who asks Saul why do you persecute me? His life was changed forever. He preached, he traveled, he obeyed, he wrote. We have God's message poured out through him in the Epistles. Our lives in Christ are enriched through previous generations' obedience. I hope I am always thankful for them and do not take the sacrifices they made for granted.

Paul's ministry included many years and much travel. Today, he would be a frequent flyer. We know during Paul's ministry he was surrounded by people. I am willing to bet he was a people person maybe not when he lived as Saul, but definitely when he became Paul. People responded to the love of the Lord he exuded as he preached. He traveled, he worked along the way as a tentmaker. He developed relationships with people especially Timothy who became like a son to him. His life was full. The Lord was his # 1 priority.

I think of him as he awaited his execution, virtually alone in prison. We have no record of him sitting around bemoaning his fate, crying out why me? We know he prayed, he remembered, he wrote. Dietrich Bonhoeffer did the same thing. I am reading his Letters and Papers from Prison.

I believe when we are in the desert, living through a tough season, wondering if we will make it to the other side, we need to look towards Paul and Dietrich's examples. We need to remember what the Lord has done for us, we need to pray and ask others to pray for and with us, and write - pour out our hearts on paper. You don't need a fancy journal, a spiral notebook or legal pad will work.

Life is hard, the news is dreadful, ghastly stories assault us relentlessly. We must keep our faith and stand on God's promises that are sprinkled throughout His Word.

Let us fight the good fight in praise, prayer, and love. He will never leave you or forsake you. Be encouraged today and encourage others.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.