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Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message: We Are Challenged by Paul’s Sufferings to Follow Christ

As we continue to study Scriptures and pray, we are filled with hope as we wait for the glorious return of our Savior Jesus Christ. Just think about His efforts to rescue us from evil! He wants us to be eager to be His own people and to continue following Him.

Can being ashamed of the Lord hinder our works for Him? Even when claiming to be followers of Christ, can we be trapped by the devil? In 2 Timothy Paul warned Timothy to run from temptations that can weaken our faith in the Lord Jesus. Paul also admonished Timothy to keep preaching God’s message even if it was not popular and to beware of false teachers. He charged Timothy to preach with patience and careful instructions.

Paul knew that he would soon die for his faith, but he would be rewarded for his continued faithfulness to God. He reminded Timothy, and passes the message to us today, that to die with Christ, to live with Him and not to give up because we will rule with Him! How can we encourage ourselves and others to have more faith in God through Christ Jesus? How can we understand and explain to others the hope of eternal life that God promised long ago? Is it possible for us to be good soldiers of Christ? We can continue praying for ourselves and others as Paul did for God’s kindness and for His peace!

Only without any gratitude can we entertain thoughts of being ashamed of our Lord! He made everything possible for Paul, Timothy and for us as present-day believers. Paul’s advice continued by telling Timothy to make full use of his gift of faith from God. This too is good advice for all of us today. God’s Spirit does not make cowards out of us. His Holy Spirit gives us power, love and self-control.

Do we deserve God’s grace? Paul told Timothy that God saved and chose us to be His holy people. We have done nothing to deserve this. God has loved us so much and has shown unlimited kindness through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Christ defeated death and brought us good news and offers life that never ends! We can always let the faith and love of Christ be our model. We have been trusted to use the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us to follow Christ. As a good soldier of Christ, we must endure our share of suffering too. With God’s help, we will understand this completely. Paul’s advice also told Timothy to win God’s approval as a worker who needed to not have been ashamed to have given the true message. How can this be done? 2 Timothy 2:16 tells us to stay away from worthless and useless talk because it only leads people farther away from God! Praise God forever for keeping us away from all harm and danger as He brings us safely into His heavenly kingdom!

Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.

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