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). See the story of Bernice Lee and Tan Soo-Inn in the link below. Like Casey, they experienced God’s grace, and now the Holy Spirit empowers them to be living witnesses of Christ’s love. Through the Holy Spirit’s enabling, we too have a new calling to share the good news (v. 8).
Watch Episode 2 of In Pursuit of Jesus below and view the story of Bernice Lee and Tan Soo-Inn.
Along with Titus, Paul’s letters to Timothy form what are known as the Pastoral Letters. Timothy (who would serve the church in Ephesus) and Titus (who led the congregations on the island of Crete) were two of Paul’s numerous protégés that he’d mentored for spiritual service. As such, Paul’s letters to them are filled with instruction and encouragement on how to deal with situations in the local church. These situations range from qualifications for leaders to dealing with false teachers to personal example and conduct. Even while imprisoned and facing death, the apostle continued to train his students.