Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
2 Timothy 3:10-17 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Paul’s Charge to Timothy
10 Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15 and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is[a] useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Our scripture reading this morning comes from one of the New Testament books known as the Pastoral Letters. They are letters written in Paul’s name and the first two are addressed to Timothy, a young leader in the church whose name appears 27 times in the New Testament—sprinkled throughout the books of Acts and Paul’s letters.
Young Timothy’s faith was shaped by at least three important influences. The first was the teaching and example of his mother and grandmother. In the first chapter of this letter to Timothy we have these words: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.” Timothy was a third generation Christian. What a great influence Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice had on him!
I can imagine that when it came time to name him, Eunice—and maybe Lois, too had a strong say in his naming. I can imagine that Eunice and Lois conspired to name Timothy, so that when he asked about his name, they could tell him that his name—Timotheos—means “honoring God” or “one who honors God.” I can imagine that time and again he would ask, “Mama” or “Grandma, tell me the story about my name.” They would answer, “Timothy, you’re special. Your name means ‘one who honors God.’ We named you that because we knew that you would grow up someday to honor God with your life.”
The second influence was the example of an elder, a mentor. We see it in today’s reading: “Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra.” Timothy has been watching and learning.
The third influence was scripture—“the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” He goes on to write that “all scripture is inspired by God and is[a] useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”
What have been and are the influences in your faith development? How have you been influential in helping someone else grow in their faith?
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster