URC Daily Devotion 5 January 2024

2 Timothy 1: 3 – 7

I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy.  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. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands;  for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.


What would it feel like to receive a letter from your mentor affirming and challenging you in your faith and your living? Here was Timothy, a young man, in receipt of such a letter from Paul. Paul, the man responsible for ensuring the faith was known throughout the world. ‘Worshipped’ and revered in many places, ready to endure long spells in prison because of his faith but taking the time to write a personal letter. 

The letter paints a picture of a close and long standing friendship, with mutual respect and trust. It also affirms the depth of faith which the older man had observed in his younger protégé. Faith which had been nurtured by Timothy’s mother and grandmother so not a temporary phase of life but a solid foundation from which to go forward with the tasks which Paul has lined up for Timothy.

Might we imagine Timothy reading the letter for the umpteenth time and realisation dawning as to the magnitude of what this means for him and his life. But challenging as that realisation may be there are words which remind Timothy that nothing he will be called to do is beyond God, and the gift of God is already within him.

At the beginning of this new year the landscape does not look particularly hopeful but God’s Spirit is within us, there, just waiting to be rekindled. Remembering how we all need affirmation, look around you and see who you can write to, affirming them in their ministry and thanking them for showing the presence of God’s Spirit to you.


Look around you and give thanks for God’s Spirit working in the world
Renewing God,
open our hearts and awaken your Spirit within us.
Loving God, when we are weary – love us.
Self disciplined Christ when we doubt our ability – give us your self discipline.
Powerful Spirit, when we falter – give us your power.
May we go into the world with a faith re-ignited and ready to reveal you to those around us. Amen


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