Monday, December 16, 2019

Strengthened by Grace Devotional: 12/16/19

Prayer for Monday:Give me, God, this day a strong and vivid sense that You are by my side. In time with others and time alone, in business and leisure, in my sitting down and in my rising up, may I ever be aware of Your accompanying presence. By Your grace, God, I will go nowhere this day where You cannot come, nor court any companionship that would rob me of Yours. By Your grace, I will let no thought enter my heart that might interfere with my communion with You, nor let any word come from my mouth that is not meant for Your ear. So shall my courage be firm and my heart be at peace. In Christ's Name, Amen.

Scripture Reading for Monday: 1 Timothy 5-6; 2 Timothy 1-2

Scripture Reflection for Monday: Today's journey in God's word visits 1 Timothy 5-6 and 2 Timothy 1-2.

In 1 Timothy 5, we see that Paul instructs Timothy how to deal with various age categories in the congregation. He refers to fathers, mothers, younger men, and women. This shows the importance of family life. In our society indifference toward family members is increasing. The church ought to reflect brotherly love, mutual respect, and an attitude of esteeming the other higher than oneself. In this way, the church will be a witness in this world of Christian love and faithfulness.

In 1 Timothy 6, we see that Paul gives directions for slaves and masters. As such Paul does not outlaw slavery but provides a framework within which masters and their slaves must operate on the basis of mutual respect, love, and trust. Thereby, in reality, the institution of slavery is undermined. In our day, slave trade is forbidden, but pride, antagonism against other people, races, and those of a different social status, as well as foreigners, is deeply ingrained in the human heart. Paul points out to us the Christian attitude of love, respect, and care toward all other people.

In 2 Timothy 1, we see that Paul reminds Timothy of the deeds of the Lord in the past. He speaks of the faith of Timothy’s mother and grandmother and reminds him of the faith Timothy had shown in the past. This is all to encourage Timothy to persevere in the calling God has given him. It is encouraging for spiritual life to meditate on the deeds of the Lord in our own lives as well as the lives of loved ones (Ps. 77:11–12).

In 2 Timothy 2, we see that Paul encourages Timothy in v. 3 to endure difficulty as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. To some extent hardships and difficulties will be the share of all who are called to be a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Timothy, as a minister of the gospel, had to reckon with these hardships and not be surprised when they occur. Likewise, now all office bearers must count on hardships in their official work. But also God’s children, as they are called to be witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ, must reckon with scorn, tribulation, and other hardships as they witness from the Word of God.

Daily Teaching (Catechism) for Monday:

(4.2) After God had made all the other creatures, he created humanity. He made them male and female, with rational and immortal souls, thereby making them suited to that life lived unto God for which they were created. They were made in the image of God, being endowed with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. They had the law of God written in their hearts and the power to fulfill it. Even so, they could still transgress the law, because they were left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Genesis 1:26; Romans 2:14, 15; Genesis 3:6).

May God help you to grow in Christ today,