Living a Gospel of Persecution and Brokenness

“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”

Paul wrote these words in his final letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:6-7 NLT). A letter that would reach its destination long after Paul was dragged from his prison cell, past the outer wall of the city of Rome, and beheaded for his faith.

I can’t imagine what Paul went through in his life. When we first meet up with him, men are handing him their cloaks as they stone Steven to death. When he writes this final letter to Timothy, he has trekked some 10,000 miles sharing Jesus and lived through more persecution then any person should in a lifetime (see 2 Corinthians 11:22-30) and yet here he is. When God said to Ananias in Acts 9:16 (NIV), “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” God was far from joking. Paul suffered, but he also persevered. His letters to the various churches do not contain the complaints about food or the guards beating him, they contain the very fabric of our faith, he writes with great conviction and burden as God comforts him and guides his pen.

When I am at the end of my life, wherever and whenever that may be, I want to be able to look back and say the words of Paul found in 2nd Timothy with the deepest conviction. To seek God as Paul did is not for the faint hearted, it’s not the health and wealth Gospel you find many places today, but a Gospel of persecution and brokenness shrouded in the loving blood and grace of Jesus and redemption. I don’t know if I have what it takes but I pray that God would look at me when I stand before him, take my hand, and say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Advertisements

~ by Dan Browne on May 21, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: