2 Timothy 1 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Eugene Peng, Gracepoint Berkeley

Apostle Paul reminded Timothy what the Gospel is – that is, Christ Jesus has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light, and He did so because of His own grace and purpose rather than anything that we have done.  And of this Gospel, he was appointed a herald, an apostle and a teacher.  We find very similar words in 1 Timothy: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus… Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst… as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:13-16) “and for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle.” (1 Timothy 2:7)

We do not know when Apostle Paul penned these two letters, but one thing is clear: the Gospel was as fresh to him when he wrote the second letter as when he wrote the first, and he was just as excited and passionate, if not more, about the privilege of being appointed a herald and apostle.  The Gospel contains a simple truth that can be summarized in a sentence, and yet, it never got old to Apostle Paul because he remembered his past and God’s grace – God did not have to save mankind and God did not have to find Paul and God did not have to use him, but amazingly, God did.  Because of God’s grace, this simple truth remained fresh and new to Apostle Paul even after many years of laboring for the Gospel.

Recently I was apprised of the tragic news of a junior in Berkeley who suffered irreversible brain damage as a result of his use of marijuana and cocaine.  Unquestionably, many others out there are engaging in some forms of harmful activities, whether it be drugs or computer gaming.  More than ever, the task God has given us is urgent – we need to tell people of the good news of life and immortality ushered into humanity by the appearing of our Lord so that we can spare people from self-destruction.

As I prepare myself for yet another new academic year in Berkeley, this reminder of God’s grace cannot be any timelier.  Many years ago when I was a freshman at Cal, I trumpeted my atheistic worldview and mocked my Christian friends.  Despite my atheistic boasts, I felt quite depressed and sought to intoxicate myself with alcohol because I could not find any meaning to my life.  I am thankful that God chose to spare a sinner like me and saved me from ruining my own life.  It is my conviction that the same Gospel that has saved me can save many others.  That is the reason why I am still here in Berkeley after so many years and why I want to continue to serve Him this year.  To fulfill my role as a herald, it is important that first and foremost, the Gospel should never become stale to me and I should never outgrow God’s grace and mercy upon me.

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