We make decisions every day about who we accept and who we don't, who belongs and who can be ignored.

When dealing with matters like this, it's good to remember that God knows no such boundaries and ignores no one.

You are welcomed now into the presence of the very One who embraces you in the same way as any other person.

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The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 2:11-13

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This letter to Timothy provides instructions on how to follow Christ and be a leader in the church. Paul wrote from prison, and it is safe to say he knew the cost of following Christ. It is a call to share the faith, a call to hold strong to the Word, and sometimes, a call to suffering.

This part of his letter quotes a hymn as a word of encouragement for Timothy to endure all that he may face as he follows Christ. In all things, God remains faithful.

Where is the call to follow Christ leading you? Into a prison? To a foreign land? To the apartment complex where the immigrants settle? Maybe you are led to pray for your enemies or to open up to people who are different than you.

As we find ourselves in places where we are uncomfortable, we are encouraged to endure. In all things, God remains faithful.

Meredith Shaw

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God, it is so comforting to know that you are faithful, even when I am not. Help me to listen as I try to discern your voice. Amen.

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You are moving now into the day ahead,
No stranger to the One who has made you
And has kept you right up until this moment.

Pause today from time to time and feel
The embrace of a God who offers you welcome.
Share that welcome with all you meet.

Meredith Shaw Forssman

Meredith Shaw is a student at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She also works in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Resource Center as a missional congregations assistant. She likes books, coffee, travel, and snail mail.

I Come to the Garden Alone

Ken Medema

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