Todays readings… Nehemiah 12, Amos 4, 2 Timothy 1


This is what Paul declared in his 2nd letter to Timothy (ch. 1 v.12).  This is the final letter of Paul’s life and he writes with utter conviction.  It becomes obvious as we read these 4 chapters that Paul is writing from his heart; this is both because of his special affection for Timothy and because he is aware from his heart that his mortal life is nearly complete.   He tells Timothy “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner” [1 v.7,8]  Note that – he “gave us” not just Paul. This is a challenge to us as our world becomes ever more godless; indeed, increasingly – ungodly – that we should “do not be ashamed” of our faith and our convictions of the incredible meaning of life and of the wondrous events that seem sure to happen – and seem more and more likely – to happen soon.

Let us echo the words of Paul – from our hearts!  “Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord … who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace … manifested through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel … I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day” [ch. 1 v.8-10,12]

When Paul says, “I know” we can clearly see – there is no shadow of doubt in his mind. Can we say this – with the same conviction?

We must develop this – more and more – and be able to say with Paul, “I know whom I have believed” and “follow … in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” [v.13], our manner of life showing this day after day, being conscious of the words of our Master, “whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes.” [Mark 8 v.38]