Pause

To be taught any subject requires openness.

Openness to new things. To not being an expert. To change.

Today God brings a word worth your openness.

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Listen

I’m giving you this commission in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is coming to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearance and his kingdom. Preach the word. Be ready to do it whether it is convenient or inconvenient. Correct, confront, and encourage with patience and instruction.

2 Timothy 4:1-2

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Think

Today's passage asks us to “encourage with patience and instruction.” Perhaps this might strike you as slightly strange. Many of us think about instruction as something heavy, challenging, and maybe even burdensome. That is not the message we hear from 2 Timothy.

Good instruction, this text implies, is uplifting! Good instruction helps us love others and live more meaningful lives. Good instruction tells us more about who Jesus is and who we are.

Many Christians find creeds, statements of belief with long histories in the church, to be examples of good instruction. In my Episcopal tradition, we often pray the creeds, mostly the Nicene and Apostle Creeds, in our services. These creeds speak to the basics of our faith. I feel encouraged when I join a chorus of voices proclaiming core beliefs about the Trinity.

Have you found a song, sermon, creed, or quote that helps instruct you on who God is? Turn to it today, and be encouraged.

Megan McDermott

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Pray

Encouraging God, help me today to be encouraged by your presence. Allow me to serve as an encouragement to others. Amen.

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Go

Understanding God's instructions can be complicated. Do not be so overwhelmed that you cannot act.

Love of God and others — these are the heart of God's instructions.

Follow love today.

Megan McDermott

Megan McDermott is a second-year master's student at Yale Divinity School, where she is preparing for ministry in the Episcopal Church. In 2014, she graduated from Susquehanna University with a degree in Creative Writing and Religious Studies. Pennsylvania is her home state.

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