2 Timothy 1:1-2:2 (click here)
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.
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…
…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 1:5, 8 and 2:2)
Who shared the Gospel with you? A relative? A friend? A co-worker? A stranger?
The point is not really who it was, but that it was a “who.” In other words, somebody shared the Gospel with you. That’s how it works in this community called the Church. God works through the community to grow the community (Acts 2:42-47).
Young Timothy’s grandmother passed the faith to Timothy’s mother and it was passed on to him. Thus, his heart was prepared to hear the Gospel when Paul first shared it with him. In view of such a history of faithfulness, Paul calls Timothy to likewise not be ashamed of the Gospel, but to pass it on!
What he’s heard he is to speak so that others may hear and be equipped to speak.
The fact that you are a Christian means that you have heard the Gospel from someone. Therefore, in light of that faithfulness God calls you to likewise not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord! He calls you to speak the Gospel just as it was spoken to you.
Take what was entrusted to you and entrust it to others.
We can all likely name the person or persons who shared the Gospel with us, but can we name the people we are sharing the Gospel with now? I’m not just talking about evangelism with non-believers (though that is included), but also discipling younger believers so that they will be able to speak the faith to others.
Who are you discipling?
This is not about guilt… oh no! Guilt is not the motivating factor Paul uses with Timothy and it is not the motivating factor I want for us! Paul aims to motivate Timothy by telling him that God will provide all the power he needs to make disciples. If Timothy should remain silent, he will miss out on an incredible experience of the power of God that results in his own joy! Paul is motivating Timothy with joy… and I aim to do the same!
There is a joy in not just knowing Jesus, but making him known. Don’t miss out on the joy of sacrificing yourself, your desires, your reputation, your time, etc. to make Christ known.
I’m not trying to guilt you into this, but to joy you into it!
Don’t miss out on the joy of God working through the community to grow the community… the joy of us sacrificing ourselves for the next generation of Christians… the joy of being a cruciform community.