Power for the Ministry - 3 - Saturday April 25, 2015
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:3
Paul told Timothy to be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ not only so that he could multiply his ministry, but also so that he could endure hardship and suffering.
In the book The Insanity of God, Nik Ripken tells stories of persecuted believers. One Russian man named Dmitri started a home Bible study because the Communists had shut down the churches. As a result Dmitri was put into a prison with 1,500 criminals for 17 years. To keep encouraged, he had two disciplines. Every day, amidst mocking and abuse from the other prisoners, Dmitri would stand by his bed and sing one particular song to Jesus. Secondly, whenever he found a piece of paper, he would write down Bible verses and paste them to the wall of his cell. When he did so, the guards would tear it down and beat him.
After many years of this, Dmitri found a huge piece of paper. He wrote down every verse and song that he knew. The guards tore it down and decided that they would execute him. As he was being taken outside for his execution, the strangest thing happened. All 1,500 of the hardened criminals stood by their beds and sang the song that Dmitri sang each morning year after year. He said that it sounded like the greatest choir he ever heard. The guards were stunned and asked him, "Who are you?" He said, "I am the son of the living God. And Jesus is His name." Shortly afterwards, Dmitri was released from prison.
God gave grace to Timothy to suffer as a good soldier, and He gave grace to Dmitri to suffer as well. Are you ready to be empowered by God to suffer for Jesus Christ?
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SCRIPTURE REFERENCB-ES: Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible B) The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are from the Holy, Bible, New International Version, copyright B) 1973, 1978, 1984 by InternaB-tional Bible Society; (NKJV) are from New King James Version B) 1982 by Thomas Nelson; (NLT) are from the New Living Translation, B) 1996, Tyndale House Publishers; (ESV) are from English Standard VersionB., B) 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers; (TM) are from The Message B) 1993 by NavPress Publishers.