Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Power for living

He was timid. His mentor was about to be martyred. Reports were coming in of people deserting the gospel. On balance, Timothy's situation was considerably worse than mine. Into the middle of that God spoke, through Paul, to empower and embolden him. How? With a clear reminder that God has manifest himself. He has revealed good news in Jesus Christ. Good news that God rescues people not because they're good but because He is. Good news that his plan is to save those who ignore and oppose him. More than that, this good news means the abolition of death and the introducing of immortality.

When Wilberforce tried to abolish slavery they said it couldn't be done. The empire and the politicians had too much to gain from keeping slavery going. But he did it. Death is a vastly more powerful foe and yet God has abolished it. People still die but death is need now only be a door to the new creation. This new world order is ruled by a new king, Jesus David's Son who himself rose from the dead and leads a risen people. Furthermore, God has put his Holy Spirit in us - a taste of future union with God today. The Spirit who gives us gifts - in Timothy's case to teach. The Spirit who gives us power and who is more than capable of guarding the gospel.

And so Timothy was to rise from his fear, to open his mouth and not be afraid to contend for this good news. To face the inevitable suffering that comes from Christian living. The Christian rises with Christ, but also suffers with him - and you can't have one without the other. Suffering and resurrected. Resurrected and suffering. Like a serving soldier. Like an athlete in competition. Like a farmer at work. Timothy is to be confident, like his mentor Paul, because they know whom they have believed. The news comes from Jesus. He can be trusted. So too should I believe. And believing speak. And speaking face suffering.

Lift your eyes to Jesus.

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