“Do Not Be Ashamed To Suffer For The Gospel!”(II Tim.1:11-14).
I did my first practical month(internship) in Itoki, Dikoume presbytery with Rev Njwei Lucas of blessed memory. May he and all the faithful departed continue to rest in peace. He called me Timothy and I called him Paul. What a coincidence that few months later, after my practice he was transferred from Itoki to Njenka, Bali (Mezam presbytery at the time). He became my home parish pastor, but to me he remained Paul and I was his Timothy. Even when I became his lecturer at the seminary, the role never reversed. He was my Paul and I was his Timothy.
I wouldn’t say I saw him as a “perfect” role model. But who is that person who has no flaws? I don’t expect anybody to see me as perfect, because I am not.
Of all the New Testament writers Paul is the “most talk about” and “most written about.” One way to determine that an epistle was written by Paul is to check the way he makes himself part of his writing. Perhaps from Paul we can quite agree that you cannot seperate the author from his/her writing.
There is this humour of a motivational speaker inside a bus advertising his book titled, “How to Become A Millionaire.” When the bus conductor ask for passengers to pay their fares, he doesn’t have money to pay. A fellow passenger asks him why he is not yet a millionaire and he replies that it is because he has not yet finished reading the book.
Dear friend, if it hasn’t worked for you, you cannot express it to others. This is more so in matters of faith. If your own stories do not reveal your personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are like the motivational speaker who has not yet read his own book to become what his book says.
Writing to young Timothy, Paul says because of the gospel he was apponited a herald and an apostle and a teacher. Then he goes on, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”
I consider that suffering for the sake of the gospel should reveal the inner strength that “Christ in me is my hope of glory.” When we are tossed this way and that way like the ball children use in playing “dodging,” we remain tall in our spirits because we know whom we have believed. We are not ashamed when what is done is done to humiliate us.
To all of you, our Timothys(Christians undergoing hard times) we like Paul advise, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit that lives in us.”
My dear friend, when the heat seems unbearable listen to the Holy Spirit in you whispering, “Calm down, whatever is hot must soon get cold!” Yes, keep the faith! And keep on keeping on!
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit help me to guard the good deposit entrusted to me and to bear any shame for the gospel. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.
“Awesome God!”(Rom.11:33-36).One of my Cameroonian Old Testament Lecturer wondered, “Who are we Africans to pray for the salvation of the Jews? We embrace a people’s