Thirty years after Jesus brought Paul to his knees on the road to Damascus, Paul wrote a letter to Timothy, one he calls “my dear son”. He is writing from prison, alone; only Dr. Luke is with him. He talks about being deserted. “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed…The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:17-18. God is bringing our GBC family through a unique season of grief and death. Yet, from the prison that would consume us, Paul would encourage us to keep on keeping on - to “not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner”; “to join him in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God who has saved us”; who has revealed His grace “through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”.
May God give us grace to keep looking beyond our own selves and witness of God’s grace, mercy, and peace to our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family who do not know the hope Jesus gives us. May God give us grace to remember our missionaries, who are walking through their own seasons of grief, both personal and for the people to whom they bring the good news. We read of evil around the world, much directed at Christians who love and serve God. Pray for the persecuted church, although in chains, to be bold and fearless in proclaiming the mystery of the gospel. And pray for the cross of Christ to be lifted up that all men everywhere will see, hear, and repent. Paul concludes his description of God’s armor with these words…”Be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints”.