Daily Devotionals

Present Yourself for Inspection

Present Yourself for Inspection

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved. (2 Tim. 2:15) Very few people know that I was once the honor graduate at the US Army cook school at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After months of training, the trainees cooked a meal that would be served to the base...
Valuable Quarrels

Valuable Quarrels

Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. (2 Tim. 2:14) I left my theology class feeling great about the discussion that erupted after my lecture. This response didn’t always happen. Sometimes hands...
The Gift of Discernment

The Gift of Discernment

I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes. (Ps. 119:125) Teddy Roosevelt had a dog that was always getting into fights and always getting beaten by larger, stronger dogs. Someone commiserated with Mr. Roosevelt by saying,...
A Gifted Man

A Gifted Man

The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Tim. 2:2) Jon Ford was an evangelist. He was gifted in leading people to Christ. I have been privileged to lead a few people to...
You Bear His Name

You Bear His Name

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. (2 Tim. 2:4) Alexander The Great is acclaimed as one of the greatest military strategists who ever lived. He conquered nearly the entire known world with...
Keep Your Guard Up

Keep Your Guard Up

Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (2 Tim. 1:14) Banks of the ancient world were nonexistent as we know them today. People couldn’t run down to the First National Bank to deposit...
Born to Lose?

Born to Lose?

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7) In a tattoo shop window on a crooked little street in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Norman Vincent Peale saw this statement: “Born to lose.” Staring at...
Hot and Cold

Hot and Cold

Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you. (2 Tim. 1:6) Two men were discussing their church. One of them said, “Which do you think is a bigger problem in our church: ignorance or apathy?” The other said, “I don’t know, and I...
If You Believe . . .

If You Believe . . .

Your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. (2 Tim. 1:5) It was a near-accident, fortunately, instead of a tragic crash landing. Descending toward his destination, the airplane...
Walking with God

Walking with God

I have put my hope in your word. (Ps. 119:114) The view was impressive. We were awestruck at the size of Niagara Falls. As we observed the waters cascading, we talked about what it must have been like for Nik Wallenda to cross the Niagara Falls, walking on a tight...
The Richness of Holy Living

The Richness of Holy Living

Take hold of the eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:12) Think about two newborn babies. One comes from a rich family, the other one from a poor family. The babies themselves do not know the difference. What they require can easily be provided by both families. Now think about...
Take Care of It

Take Care of It

Guard what has been entrusted to your care. (1 Tim. 6:20) I was in charge of everything, yet nothing was mine. I had been asked to care for the valuables of a family while they went away. Under my care was a nice house, a vehicle I could not afford, and a dog I did...
Jesus Is in Charge

Jesus Is in Charge

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords. (1 Tim. 6:15) “This ball is my ball, and I make up the rules.” Those were the words expressed to me when, in my childhood, I tried to join a game of soccer. I was not allowed to play....
Managing Our Affections

Managing Our Affections

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Tim. 6:11) I was shocked when I read an article about athletes who once were sports stars but ended up losing it all. Some filed for bankruptcy, others ended up in jail, many were involved in...
Godliness Expressed Through Contentment

Godliness Expressed Through Contentment

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Tim. 6:8) I had a close encounter with the Kogi people, descendants of the indigenous Tayrona, in Santa Marta, Colombia. They have their own language and live in a coastal mountain range in the...
Defying a Culture of Greed

Defying a Culture of Greed

But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Tim. 6:6) I remember the first time I unboxed a new smartphone. I was excited to have a phone with cutting-edge features and technology. The packaging was very nice. The phone was elegant. However, within a couple of...
The Word Illuminates

The Word Illuminates

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Ps. 119:105) Thunderstorms and tornado watches are a relatively common part of Oklahoma living. This means that at our house, we prepare for blackouts. We have a stash of candles, plenty of matches, and a bucket of...
Selfless Service

Selfless Service

But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. (1 Tim. 5:6) Today’s young people are hungry for mentors. I have been surprised at the number of college students who are desperate for genuine community with older believers. For this reason, I...
Faithful Service

Faithful Service

Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. (1 Tim. 6:2) My youngest son recently started his first “real” job at a local restaurant. Insatiably curious and a lover of adventure, he could not resist when he...
Struggle and Sacrifice Revealed

Struggle and Sacrifice Revealed

The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. (1 Tim. 5:24) Over a decade ago, I was teetering on the edge of a dangerous depression. As tends to be the case, I was together on the outside—full of...
An Impartial Family

An Impartial Family

Keep these instructions without partiality, and . . . do nothing out of favoritism. (1 Tim. 5:21) I became a professor and completed my doctorate when all my children were still living at home. Quite often, I would take a child or two with me to the university where I...
Prioritize Caring for One Another

Prioritize Caring for One Another

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim. 5:8) When I was pregnant with my first child, I was working at a mental health clinic. Many of the clients we served...
A Loving Family

A Loving Family

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. (1 Tim. 5:1) Sometimes, families can be contentious. Siblings fight, children rebel, and parents criticize. Healthy families, however, lovingly recognize and correct these shortfalls. As the...
The Teacher

The Teacher

For you yourself have taught me. (Ps. 119:102) I attended a graduate-level lecture taught by a world-recognized Bible scholar. I hoped to gain insight from this teacher, but ended up walking away in total disagreement with his interpretation of Scripture. He was...