McLean Bible Church supports missionaries around the world. Many of them are serving in locations in which the Gospel is vehemently opposed. For security reasons, we cannot share names, locations or other specifics. These brothers and sisters are living their daily lives sharing the Gospel with men, women and children who have virtually no other chance to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
This week in our house church, a heartfelt testimony was shared about how often believers must endure persecution. It is very common in the lives of those with whom we serve. Working more openly with believers in recent years has caused our own family to begin, in small ways, to experience it firsthand. The Apostle Paul’s letters reveal that he was quite familiar with persecution. In the last of his inspired writings, sent shortly before he was martyred for Christ, he reminds Timothy that, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Paul, loving Timothy like a son, does not encourage him to run, hide or even avoid persecution. Instead he instructs, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings” (3:14,15a).
So how can we prepare to stand firm in the face of persecution? Study, meditate upon, and hold tightly to the precious treasure of God’s Word so that when persecuted, we also will be able to “continue in what [we] have learned and firmly believed.”
Did you notice how important it was to Paul that Timothy knew the Word from childhood, remembering from whom he learned it? As a child, Timothy learned the Scriptures from his mother and grandmother whom Paul commends for their faith (1:5). As an adult he was taught by Paul through discipleship (2:2; 3:10). We can’t stress enough the importance of pouring God’s Word into our children and grandchildren, and the importance of Christ-centered, discipleing relationships focused on learning the truth of God’s Word. We could never start too young (our children) or to early (new believers) in modeling and teaching how to love God and to know Him through His Word.
To we who are among the “all” of verse 12, embrace Christ-honoring persecution by holding firmly to the precious, transforming truth of His Word! Express to God your deep love and desire to know Him by also loving and knowing His Word!
Please pray for this family. They have encountered a myriad of health concerns, most recently their son being diagnosed with scarlet fever, along with the difficulty of being in a high risk area. We are grateful for their service to the Lord.