He has saved us and called us to a holy life. 2 Timothy 1:9
Teenage gang leader Casey and his followers broke into homes and cars, robbed convenience stores, and fought other gangs. Eventually, Casey was arrested and sentenced. In prison, he became a “shot caller,” someone who handed out homemade knives during riots.
Sometime later, he was placed in solitary confinement. While daydreaming in his cell, Casey experienced a “movie” of sorts replaying key events of his life—and of Jesus being led to and nailed to the cross and telling him, “I’m doing this for you.” Casey fell to the floor weeping and confessed his sins. Later, he shared his experience with a chaplain, who explained more about Jesus and gave him a Bible. “That was the start of my journey of faith,” Casey said. Eventually, he was released into the mainline prison population, where he was mistreated for his faith. But he felt at peace, because “[he] had found a new calling: telling other inmates about Jesus.”
In his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul talks about the power of Christ to change lives: God calls us from lives of wrongdoing to follow and serve Jesus (2 Timothy 1:9). When we receive Him by faith, we desire to be a living witness of Christ’s love. The Holy Spirit enables us to do so, even when suffering, in our quest to share the good news (v. 8). Like Casey, let’s live out our new calling.
When have you shared the gospel with someone, and what was the result? Did it ever lead to suffering? What happened?
Dear God, thank You for offering me a new calling through Your Son. And thank You for giving me the Spirit to live inside me to guide and empower me to serve You.
Second Timothy is heavy and heartfelt. Paul knew this would be one of his last letters before his death (4:6–8). Based on the formal introduction (1:1), the letter was meant to be read to Timothy’s congregation or others, but it’s addressed specifically to Timothy, who was a spiritual son to Paul (v. 2). Paul was writing from prison, and he wanted to encourage his protégé that the gospel was worth suffering for (v. 8). But he also longed for a chance to see him again (v. 4) and requested Timothy come quickly: “Do your best to get here before winter” (4:21).