Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! – 2 Timothy 2:8-9
Scripture reading: 2 Timothy 2:1–13
Second Timothy is Paul’s last Letter. He was in prison awaiting his execution. These words are his “Will and Testament” sent to his spiritual son Timothy, pastor of the Church in Ephesus. He reminded him of the essence of the Gospel message and exhorted him to train men who will hand down the faith to the following generations. To be a servant of Jesus Christ required a readiness to suffer and perhaps to die as a martyr (Greek for witness).
While the Lord’s servants have often been chained throughout history, the Word of God has not and cannot be chained. No power on earth can thwart God’s eternal purposes. This is the verdict of the history of missions.
A colleague, who had once served as a missionary in China, told me that his work came to an end with the victory of the Communists in 1949. At that time, it was estimated that the number of Christians in China was around one million. During the Cultural Revolution (1960–1970), thousands of Christians were imprisoned and many were martyred.
Regardless of the severity of persecution, Christianity was not wiped out. Lately, the situation has changed drastically. House churches have sprung up in many parts of the country, theological schools have opened and the number of believers is estimated to be in the millions. What a testimony to Paul’s words: But the word of God is not bound! Western Christians are providing the Chinese Church with theological instruction to help believers grow in faith.
Suggestions for prayer
Praise the Lord for preserving the Church in China, for the courage of its leaders and for Western Christians who are helping with theological instruction.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”