Written by David Arthur, President & CEO of Precept Ministries International 

The Apostle Paul instructs Timothy in his final letter to “guard the treasure” (2 Timothy 1:14). The word “treasure” refers to the Gospel or the Word of God in this powerful final charge. Recently, I spent several days in Kiev, Ukraine studying 2 Timothy with Precept leaders.  It didn’t take long to realize that I was the student and they were the experienced teachers!

2 Timothy 1:8 says, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the Gospel by the power of God.” Teaching this to these dedicated disciples felt awkward to me.

Why was it difficult for me to teach this text to these Precept leaders?

Take Denis for example.  Denis was a former drug addict who found freedom in Christ while studying Precept in his rehabilitation center in eastern Ukraine.  While everyone else is fleeing eastern Ukraine from the invading Russian army, Denis is planting churches, feeding desperate nursing home patients and sharing “the treasure” with rehab clients.  Some of the villages he serves in are without electricity, police protection or basic supplies.  Just in the past two years, he has planted three churches using Precept Bible studies!

God used Precept’s materials and leaders to rescue Denis from the Kingdom of Darkness and transfer him to the Kingdom of Light. And today – while suffering for the Gospel, Denis is guarding the treasure entrusted to him in war-torn Ukraine.

By the way – I learned from the Baptist Union in Ukraine that approximately 70% of church planters are former addicts.  How awesome is that?

How is God using you to “guard the treasure” – the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ? Are you willing to join in suffering for the Gospel casting shame and fear to the side and pressing on?

Thank you so much for your partnership in this most critical mission! I hope you know that without your prayers and generosity, our mission would not be what it is today. If you’d like to read more about how God is using the generosity of our giving partners to impact His Kingdom around the world, check out this month’s Plumbline.