“The word of God is not bound!”1 the apostle Paul wrote to his young friend Timothy while he was in prison in Rome awaiting his execution. After the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, it was rumored that Nero had ordered the fire to build a new and grander city. To divert attention from himself, Nero accused the Christians of arson instead and persecuted them greatly. Paul was arrested again and sentenced to death.
These words of Paul came to my mind during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when I had to spend a lot of time indoors. I took heart from the fact that Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy and four other letters in the New Testament while he was first under house arrest, then in prison. Paul was filled with a passion to tell others about Jesus, and he didn’t let his physical circumstances limit him in pursuing his goal.
I was grateful that the internet was still working during the COVID lockdown and I could reach out to others using technology. I noticed that with the turmoil and uncertainty the pandemic had created, many people were looking for answers and were more receptive to the gospel message than before. I asked God for guidance in how to bring these people closer to Him, and He showed me to begin online sessions of prayer and reading God’s Word for those who were isolated and not having much contact with others. It was also a good time for me to renew my own spiritual life.
Paul also prayed that “the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified.”2 God’s Word will always move freely and accomplish its purposes no matter what the situation in the world is, just like Christianity spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire in the face of the most brutal and inhuman persecutions..
- 2 Timothy 2:9
- 2 Thessalonians 3:1