“The Apostle Paul clearly determined to die well. He fought the fight and kept the faith. Let’s do the same.” —Charles R. Swindoll
Following Christ ought to come with a warning label: Christianity is a battleground, not a playground. For 30 years Paul suffered for the cause—and his heroics make it easy for us to conclude every believer should be just like Paul.
Some of God’s choicest saints were reluctant (like Moses), rebellious (like Jonah), and fearful (like Timothy). Despite his timidity, Timothy was called to follow God onto the battleground. To do so, he needed courage to stand for Christ, even if it meant suffering.
In 2 Timothy 1:8–12 Paul outlines five action steps to help stiffen Timothy’s resolve, steps we can apply to our lives and faith as well.
Step 1: Don’t be ashamed of the name of Christ (2 Timothy 1:8)
Step 2: Don’t be ashamed of the people of God (2 Timothy 1:8)
Step 3: Be willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:8)
Step 4: Be sure your life is anchored in sovereign grace (2 Timothy 1:9–11)
Step 5: Be convinced God will vindicate your life (2 Timothy 1:12)
Paul’s message to Timothy was a call to courage, but it’s important to recognize we can’t be courageous apart from God.
Are you willing to give God your very best? If you’re willing to begin or continue giving God your very best, read the following passages and write out the resolutions you discover in each. Begin your week resolving to live by these new goals.
Proverbs 6:16–19, Micah 6:8, Philippians 4:4–8, 2 Peter 1:5–8