THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
EMPOWERED FOR MISSION
Today’s reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-8
was “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for
the promise of life in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim 1:1). We
are all called to be like Paul. It is the will of God to send
us (an apostle is one who is sent) in order to bring salvation
in Jesus to others, thereby assuring them true life.
members of the community, we went through a Christian Life
Seminar (CLS). There was a session on Receiving the Power
of the Holy Spirit (or Baptism in the Spirit). There we were
prayed with for a renewed infilling or outpouring of the Holy
Spirit in our lives. The prayer was done “through the
imposition of (our) hands.” (2 Tim 1:6b). It was a prayer
we would not have known, or not have fully appreciated, is
what that empowerment is for. It is for the work of worldwide
evangelization. We are being commissioned to become evangelizers,
missionaries, apostles. The key verse cited is this: “But
you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses, in Jerusalem, throughout Judea
and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).
It is a prayer for empowerment such that we would become witnesses
to Jesus not only in our local place, not only in our province
or country, but throughout the whole world.
in becoming members of community, we are called to be apostles.
How do we cooperate with the grace of God that comes with
the baptism in the Spirit?
we need “to stir into flame the gift of God that (we)
have” (2 Tim 1:6a). When we were sacramentally baptized
and then confirmed, we already received the gift of the Holy
Spirit. But because of how we chose to live our lives, the
Holy Spirit could not do what He wanted to do. God never forces
Himself on anyone. Then we turned back to God and renewed
our baptismal commitment in the CLS. We were prayed with for
a renewed infilling or outpouring of the Holy Spirit, already
present within us, in our lives. But again, if we choose to
continue to live our lives not fully according to God’s
intent, then we will not fully experience such empowerment
of the Spirit. So we need to stir that gift into flame, to
act on it, to live such that the Holy Spirit can truly work
in and through us. The Holy Spirit must become a blazing fire
that purifies us and causes a conflagration throughout the
we must know that “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice”
(2 Tim 1:7a). The baptism in the Spirit enables us to courageously
and boldly move into unfamiliar territory and aggressively
build God’s kingdom. The Holy Spirit gives us the gifts
we need. The Holy Spirit accompanies us on mission, guiding
and protecting us. It is not for us to fear to move forward,
citing inexperience, or lack of resources, or opposition from
the enemy. Empowerment in the Spirit is meant by God to be
used to assault the dominion of the enemy, and bring God’s
light to a darkened world.
apart from overcoming cowardice, we confidently move ahead,
knowing that God equips us. He gives us a spirit “of
power and love and self-control.” (2 Tim 1:7b). We are
doing God’s work, according to His will. We are standing
in the place of God. We are continuing Jesus’ work of
salvation. We participate in Jesus’ victory over the
enemy. Everything is there for us. We go in the power of the
Holy Spirit, manifesting the love of God for the world, exercising
self-control over a life turned over to Jesus.
we should “not be ashamed of (our) testimony to our
Lord” (2 Tim 1:8a). Our lives have changed radically.
It is precisely that change that we share with our relatives,
friends, co-workers, neighbors. We do not allow ourselves
to be intimidated by their worldly views. We gladly suffer
ridicule, mockery, insult, even persecution. We persevere.
we “bear (our) share of hardship for the gospel”
(2 Tim 1:8c). It is not going to be easy. We need to give
of our time, our resources, our convenience. We may lose friends
and antagonize neighbors. We may be misunderstood and opposed
by our co-workers. The Lord will turn our world topsy turvy.
He will bring us out of our comfort zones into a new life
of self-denial and bearing the cross. Suffering and pain will
be normal. We are up against a strong enemy, determined to
hold on to his dominion over the world. We will be bloodied.
we go “with the strength that comes from God”
(2 Tim 1:8d). God has called us according to His eternal plan.
Jesus has shown us the way. The Holy Spirit has empowered
us. We do God’s work, we proclaim Jesus’ salvation,
we go in the strength and power of the Spirit.