Daily Devotionals

Respond Well

Posted in

Scripture: “To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 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.” – 2 Timothy: 1: 2-7


Do you remember the story and video of the U.S. Airways jet that lost power shortly after taking off from New York about a dozen years ago, when the captain had to land the plane in the Hudson River? Sully Sullenburger was the 58-year-old captain who became a hero that day. In an interview a few days after the event, Captain Sullenburger explained how he handled that situation so well. 


He said, “One way of looking at this is that for decades I’ve been making small, regular deposits of education, training and practice into this bank of experience, and on January 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.” In other words, he was saying his lifetime of training and experience prepared him to be able to respond well that day.  

Similarly, in today’s passage, Eunice and Lois made daily deposits of training and teaching into young Timothy until, over time and by God’s grace, he began learning and serving God for himself. This passage, in fact the entire book of 2 Timothy, describes small, regular deposits that shape young Timothy. 

This happened to the point that, after a while, Timothy’s own response to God stood out in a way that caught the attention of the Apostle Paul. We’re not told when or how, but like all of us, Timothy surely faced times of crisis… times and circumstances that required him to draw on all the strength, endurance, and character he had. 


How do you respond to frustration or failure? Or at the other end of the spectrum, how are you responding to God’s goodness and to God’s grace? How are you responding to circumstances that are out of your control?

Touched by the grace and goodness of God, you and I, like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, are called to pour into the children entrusted to us- to teach and train them in the way of Jesus Christ. And we’re called to pour into others as well. We can also respond by living differently, by avoiding destructive words, and by contributing to the building up of others of our community and God’s world. 

God calls each and every one of us to respond well, by loving the Lord our God and loving our neighbor.


Prayer: Heavenly Father, how exciting it is to see what you can do when we respond well. When we hear your call, remind us to act not with a spirit of timidity, but with a spirit of power and love and self-control. Amen. 


Submitted by Rev. Dr. Brad Smith