by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
In September we read Paul's letter to Titus and his very last letter, called 2 Timothy. Paul's concern is that the true gospel be preserved and proclaimed by a faithful church.
2 Timothy 2:8–13
I am ... chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained (2 Tim. 2:9).
A great number of people at this moment are suffering the loss of freedom because of their Christianity.
We remember them in our prayers. And we think of the words Paul wrote while chained like a criminal during his second imprisonment in Rome. The word Paul uses for "criminal" is the same word the Bible uses to describe the two men who were crucified with Jesus. Paul was treated like riffraff simply because he preached the gospel.
Paul urges his spiritual son Timothy to remember Jesus Christ, who is at the center of the gospel. He calls it "my gospel" (v. 8), not because he made it up but because it was entrusted to him. In the next sentence he calls it "God's word" (v. 9).
Paul did not believe his suffering denied the power of the gospel. Some people today would think so, for they recommend the gospel as a sure way to happiness, health, and wealth—as long as you give ten percent to the Lord. But look where the gospel led Paul!
He was not depressed or surprised. Nor did he think that the cause of the gospel was lost because its preacher was cuffed and tied. "God's word is not chained," he exclaimed. The gospel has its own power, and God can create an army of evangelists.
Meanwhile, all suffering Christians can take comfort in the knowledge that "if we endure [with Christ], we will also reign with him" (v. 12).
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version