2 Tim. 1:12
It pays to know Jesus personally
Here Paul explains why he is not ashamed to suffer for the gospel. According
to him, he is not ashamed to suffer for the gospel because he knows whom
he has believed (2 Tim. 1:12). Paul is not ashamed to suffer for the
gospel because he met the Christ of the gospel (Acts 9:5-6). He is not
ashamed because he is not suffering on account of a cleverly invented
fable, myth, but on account of one whom he met personally. Like Paul,
the early disciples were courageous in the face of suffering because
they knew Jesus personally (Acts 4:13).Anyone who knows Jesus personally
will not be ashamed or afraid to suffer for Him. One who does not know
Jesus personally will not have the courage or reason to suffer for Him.
Knowing Jesus personally is the primary basis for courage to suffer for
Him. An unbeliever cannot suffer for Christ. Our personal relationship
with Jesus should drive or encourage us to suffer for Him, if and where
this is necessary.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to know Jesus personally.
2. Father, please deepen my personal relationship with Jesus.
How to become God’s child
According to this passage, the right to become God’s child belongs
exclusively to the one who receives Jesus and believes in Him as the
Messiah (Jn. 1:12; cf. Jn. 1:29). Anyone who becomes God’s child
through Jesus Christ is truly born of God (Jn. 1:13; 1 Jn. 5:1). Anyone
who is not God’s child through Jesus Christ does not belong to
God (see 1 Jn. 2:23; 2 Jn. 9). Although the right to become God’s
child is universal, it is only the one who believes in Jesus Christ who
attains it (Jn.1:12; Jn. 3:16). Anyone who rejects Jesus as the Christ
forfeits the right to become God’s child. This right is available
through Jesus Christ only (Acts 4:12; cf. Jn. 1:29; Jn. 3:16). God has
only provided this one means alone for becoming His child (Acts 4:12;
cf. Jn. 1:29; Jn. 3:16). To become God’s child through Christ is
a unique experience (Jn. 1:13). There is no experience similar to it
(Jn. 1:13; cf. 2 Cor. 5:17). It is an experience no one can afford to
miss (cf. Matt. 16:26). Even if one possesses the whole world but does
not possess this right, he possesses nothing (see Matt. 16:26).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please make me your child through Jesus Christ.
2. Father, please take the spirit of unbelief from me.
2 Tim. 1:11
The purpose of our gifts
Paul states that he was appointed a herald, an apostle and a teacher
of the gospel (2 Tim. 1:11). As a herald, he is to bear or proclaim or
announce the gospel. As an apostle, he is sent with and for the gospel.
As a teacher, he is to teach the gospel. The offices are meant for the
gospel (2 Tim. 1:11). His appointment in these capacities is not meant
to serve any other purpose than that of the gospel. This is true, not
only of Paul, but of all believers. Whatever gift God gives us, it is
meant for the service of the gospel (see 1 Cor. 12:7ff.). Anyone who
exercises his gift for any other cause or purpose is not using it for
the cause or purpose it was given. Spiritual gifts are gifts of the gospel,
for the gospel. All gifts must be exercised to serve the purpose or cause
of the gospel, nothing more, nothing less. Spiritual gifts that are exercised
for another purpose are exercised in vain (cf. Gal. 1:8-9). The gospel
is the sole motif for all spiritual gifts (cf. Acts 1:21-23).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to exercise my gifts to your glory
2. Father, please keep me from exercising my gifts for any other purpose
than for your glory.
Jesus is all seeing
This passage describes the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as one whose eyes
are like blazing fire (Rev. 2:18). This means that like the Father, His
eyes are everywhere (Prov. 15:3; cf. 2 Chron. 16:9), and nothing in all
creation is hidden from His sight (Heb. 4:13). The fact that He knows
the deeds of the Thyatira believers confirms this (Rev. 2:19). It is
His nature that Jesus is all seeing. Everything is indeed uncovered or
laid before His sight (Heb. 4:13). He sees everything that everyone does.
None of our actions or activities is hidden from Him (Heb. 4:13). Since
He sees all our actions, He will call us to account for them (2 Cor.
5:10). Whatever we do, we must bear in mind that Jesus sees everything
and will demand us to account for it (2 Cor. 5:10).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to please you with all my life.
2. Father, please keep me from doing anything that is not pleasing to
God promised to be with His children always, even to the end of the age
(see Matt. 28:18-20; Jos. 1:5; Matt. 18:20). The presence He promised
His children is everlasting (see Matt. 28:18-20). He promised never to
leave or forsake them (see Jos. 1:5). This means that there is no time
or moment when He is not present with them (see Ps. 139:7-12). His ever-abiding
presence means success and victory for His children (see Acts 18:9-11;
Exod. 14:19-20). His presence is enough for His children (see Exod. 14:
19-20; Jn. 15:4-6). Everyone needs God’s presence all the time.
No one can do without His presence. The absence of His presence even
for a second would mean complete catastrophe (see Exod. 33:14-17). Anyone
without God’s presence is dead, even though he lives (see Jn. 15:4-6).
Only sin can cause His presence to be withdrawn from His children (Is.
59:1-20; Is. 50: 1-2).
PRAYER: Father, please grant me the fullness of your presence.
God still speaks to His children
The Lord is the God who speaks to His children (see Exod. 20:1-21). He
is not an unspeaking or dumb God but the speaking one. He is indeed the
living God (see Rev. 1:18). The Scripture is full of instances or cases
of God speaking to His children (see Gen. 1:29-30; Gen. 6:13-21; Gen.
7:1-5; Gen. 9:8-17; Exod. 8:1-5, 16, 20-21; Exod. 9:1-4, 8-9, 13-19;
Exod. 10:1-2, 21; Jos. 1:1-9; 1Sam. 3:1-18). God speaks in various ways
(see Heb. 1:1). He speaks through His Word (Exod. 20:1-21), through dreams
(Gen. 41:1-32; Acts 2:17; Num. 12:6), through visions and revelations
(Num. 12:6; Acts 2:17), and through His only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ
(Heb. 1:1-2). He still speaks today. No one can do without God’s
speaking in his life. If anyone desires God to speak to him, he must
clear away everything that can hinder Him from doing so (see Heb. 12:1).
But God’s written Word is His final, ultimate and complete speaking
to man (see Rev. 22:18-19). Any alleged speaking of God that conflicts
with His written Word must be completely and roundly discarded (see Rev.
PRAYER: Father, please speak to me and enable me to listen to you.
God is able to rescue His own
King Herod put Peter in prison, intending to bring him to trial, and
do with him as he did with James, the brother of John (Acts 12:1-5).
But the night before Peter’s trial, God sent His angel to deliver
him from Herod’s clutches and from everything that the Jews were
anticipating (Acts 12:6-11). God miraculously rescued Peter from prison
and death (Acts 12:6-10). This shows that God is able to deliver any
child of His from every evil situation. He has done it time and again
(Dan. 3:1-30; Dan. 6:1-28; Exod. 14:5-31; 1Sam. 17:1-54). He is able,
ready, and willing to perform even the most dramatic or spectacular miracle
in order to save His children (Dan. 3:1-30; Dan. 6:1-28; Exod. 14: 5-31;
1 Sam. 17:1-54). Nothing is indeed impossible with Him (Lk. 1:37). And
indeed not even a hair can fall to the ground from His children’s
heads unless He authorizes it (Lk. 12:7). What God did for Peter, He
is able, ready, and willing to do for us today (see Matt. 28:18-20).
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). Only sin can
hinder the outpouring of His mighty power on our behalf (see Is. 50:1-2).
PRAYER: Father, please rescue me from all evil.