2 Timothy 2:8-10 – Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
- Reflect On: 2 Timothy 2:8-10
- Praise God: For opening your eyes and ears to His mercy.
- Offer Thanks: Because Christ wants to spread His kingdom through you.
- Confess: Any reluctance to share your faith with others.
- Ask God: To give you opportunities to tell others about how Christ has loved you.
Successful publishers understand how crucial it is to distinguish between “needs” and “felt needs.” If a commercial publisher were to form its list simply by asking what people need to read rather than what people want to read, it wouldn’t stay in business for long. Perhaps that’s why Christians publishers rarely introduce new books on the topic of missions and evangelism. They know that most readers don’t feel the need for such books even though it might be good if they did. And when I say most readers, I am including myself. In fact I confess to having a slight aversion to the word “evangelism” because it reminds me of something I should be doing but would rather not. But why do I find evangelism so difficult?
Jeffrey John,…, helped me answer that question when he wrote:
Before we can hear the Word of God, we need God Himself to open our ears to do so. Our natural state is not one of readiness to hear His message; rather, it is the opposite. … The Prophets were in anguish over the people’s spiritual deafness. Jesus wept for Jerusalem. … It is still the case that a Christian …minister, or any Christian who attempts to share the gospel, is likely to hit the same barrier and share something of the same agony, the agony of God desperately trying to get through to His estranged children. However we understand the doctrine of the fall, a large part of its meaning is that we are born spiritually autistic—instinctively self-centered and self-enclosed. …
No wonder I find it difficult to share my faith! Only grace can forge an opening for the gospel, leaving people free to resist that grace is they choose. But while I, like most people, dislike encountering resistance, I realize that my aversion to evangelism goes far deeper. My biggest problem is not that I hate conflict but that I lack love. Because if I loved people more, I would share more of God’s anguish for the lost. Without love’s propelling force, I have neither the energy nor the courage to share my faith, despite the fact that I, like all believers, am called to spread the good news of the kingdom.
I want God to change my heart, to help me break out of my own self-centeredness so that I can experience two things—more anguish and more love for His estranged children. Pray with me today to the One who is called the “Son of David,” remembering that God described David as “a man after my own heart.” Ask Jesus to give you His heart for those who are still far from Him. Think especially of the men, women, and children in your own circle of influence. Ask God to break through their blindness and their deafness so that they can begin to perceive His goodness and His love.