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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Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

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In this letter, Paul instructs Timothy, a young leader in the early church. He paints a picture of being a Christian that doesn’t sound too simple. It involves suffering; Paul himself was in prison! His emphasis on right teaching and his mention of a few poisonous personalities in the church also show that hardships come from within the church as well as from without.

Christians today also find ourselves up against opposition. We are called to be Kingdom people in a world that is full of greed, injustice, and violence. Some of these forces can even seep their way into our congregations.

I find myself asking, “How am I supposed to do justice and love kindness and walk humbly with God when the world (and sometimes the church) gets in the way?”

But before we get too discouraged, Paul reminds us, first, that we are already approved by God. And second, we can start with our words. With using our voices for truth, we are on the right track!

Meredith Shaw

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Almighty God, help me to boldly, clearly, and compassionately proclaim the word of truth. Thank you blessing me with your approval and freedom from shame. Help me to be faithful as I walk and work with you. 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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