2 Tim. 4. 9-18
“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth” (17)
This verse gives us a glimpse of the hardship that Apostle Paul endured in bringing the gospel to the Gentile world of the first century. He was pulled out of the jaws of death several times, including the instance mentioned here. The early Church that Paul and other Apostles planted grew throughout the ancient world, despite severe persecution at the hand of Roman government, through the witnessing of individual believers. We do not face the kind of peril that Paul and the early Christians faced. However, witnessing the gospel is a challenging task today also. Most people do not feel comfortable discussing their faith. Religion is considered a personal matter and often portrayed as a source of social conflicts. As a result, believers feel considerable inhibition in sharing their faith with non-believers.
Christians are messengers of God’s hope and love for the world. The Great Commission that the risen Lord gave his disciples was to witness the gospel throughout the world. We may not all have the same calling and gifts for mission works, but every one of us has a role to play. An effective way to witness Christ is by showing our Christian character in everyday life. St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St. Francis did not rely on eloquence or oratory to spread the gospel; instead he adopted a lifestyle identifying with the poor and the deprived of the society. The Bible teaches us that we should be imitators of Christ in our life. Although we cannot reach Christ’s level of perfection, our striving should be in that direction.
Another way we can be effective witnesses is to look for opportunities around us. Everybody has gifts that can be put into the Lord’s service. Someone who is good in playing guitar or piano can use that talent in praise and worship; someone who is a medical professional can do God’s work by caring for somebody who cannot pay back. A person who has technical skills in computer and software can think of donating some time to help spread Christian media and literature. People who have preaching and teaching skills can use those skills; administratively gifted individuals can donate time for church administration. Finally, all of us can support God’s ministry financially to varying degree. God has a plan for each one of us to serve him. We just need to identify our role.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray for all the mission works that are going on in the world in your name, and please show me how I can help. In Jesus name, Amen.
Thought for the day: When we are determined to do the Lord’s work, the Lord will provide us opportunities and resources.
Samuel Chackalamannil, Ph. D, MTC Randolph