2 Timothy 2:8-10
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
What a reminder Paul gives to Timothy! I have to wonder if Timothy really needed to be reminded of the fact that Jesus was David’s seed and that he was raised from the dead. So why does Paul make such a statement. Why would he tell Timothy he needs to remember this?
I have read the Bible over and over and over again. I have read it from front to back, straight through in one year, 6 times. I have studied out subject after subject, book after book, line upon line about mor3e things than I can care to guess. I studied through the book of Psalms for over a year, took months in James, Philippians, Galatians and now Timothy. In line with that knowledge, God has granted me a certain amount of wisdom. He has also given me a wonderful ability to craft my words, both with the pen and with my speech, to help instruct others in the truths I have learned. I am a blessed man in this regard.
I do not say all this to boast, or in a manner of pride. I say all this so the next statement w ill carry a little more weight. I have a lot to learn about the word of God, about Jesus Christ His Son, about the love Christ displayed on the cross and about so many other things. I have to continually remember what Jesus has done for me so that I can more fully understand the rest of God’s word. More than that, I must continually remember the price that he paid for my salvation so that I will be more equipped to endure the hardships that may come as a result of my witness. People will give me a hard time if I am vocal about my relationship with Jesus. Look at all the hardship Paul put up with. ! can’t even imagine living a life lived like he did, always oppressed for the gospel. Yet he was willing to pay the price because he remembered that Jesus was raised from the dead, and he knew he would be as well. This prize was worth all the suffering he might go through. This is why Paul continued to preach despite the hardships he faced.
The word of God is boundless Even if they had killed Paul, there were 12 other disciples preaching the gospel. They all were willing to give their lives for the gospel also, because they knew Jesus was risen from the dead and they would be as well. Paul continued to write letters from prison and he converted prison guards in Rome. He was relentless and as a result we have the mighty lessons that the New Testament contains. His pen became even mightier than his preaching was and I am sure the officials in Rome were not real pleased with all this church uprising going on about their kingdom. They could not keep the word of God contained and that is as true today as it was in Paul’s day. The word of God will endure until the end of time. Jesus said heaven and earth would pass away before His word would pass away. His word is boundless forevermore.
Because of this, Paul was ready to endure anything that came His way. Listen to this excerpt from
2 Corinthians vs 23-31:
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
Paul was an extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life. He gave up the riches of a Pharisee and one sent by the Pharisees to live a life of great tribulation, wandering across southern Europe (as we know it today) to preach the gospel. He was willing to endure anything that came his way. I have to ask myself what I am willing to endure! I find it hard to go a day without food. I can’t stand having pain anywhere in my body. I can’t swim well now with this neuropathy in my hands and feet. I wouldn’t mind being in the wilderness wandering and hiking, or in the sea in a boat. But I would mind if there was peril in front of me, or if I had gone through a rough time in one of these places. Paul just kept on going, knowing there was another trial or test right around the corner. Nothing phased him!
I don’t know where you are with your faith, but I know where I am. I would not have gotten through one of Paul’s journeys without saying it isn’t worth it. I would have gone home and just worried about my own circle of friends. Why go to all that risk. Let someone else do it! But then I think about the relentless call God must have been pouring into Paul’s life and I wonder if I would have the courage he did if only I would yield more of myself to Him. I think back to a little song I wrote a few years ago and say once again “I’m Yours”
Wherever you ask me to go
Whatever you ask me to do
Whatever you ask me to say
Whatever you want me to give
However you want me to live
Whoever you want me to love
Because I am yours
I have given all my heart and soul to you
Help me live my life to glorify your name