But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed. (2 Tim. 4:17)

My two-year-old son is mean to his younger brother sometimes. The first time I saw him push the six-month-old, I was overwhelmed with emotions. I was angry and protective of my baby. I was ashamed of the behavior of my older son. I was worried that this brief interaction could be the albatross for their long-term relationship. I knew to rein in those feelings, especially the last one. But I also knew I had to act: to teach each son how to deal with sin—their own and the other’s—and to correct their actions so they could correct the actions of their future children.

In the same way as kids learning not to push, we must learn how to live the Christian life. God’s Word guides us toward righteousness, teaches us how to share his hope with others, and delivers us from a fallen world unwilling to hear that message. Given how complicated those things can be, that instruction is vital to the Christian life.

Paul’s second letter to Timothy reminds us that God does something no one else can do—something miraculous. God delivers us from our own sin and fallen ways, imparts his own righteousness to us, and grants us intimacy with him. All this, he does freely, by divine grace.

Do nothing but accept the miraculous grace of God freely given.

Lindsey Priest is an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate and lives in Arkansas with her husband and two sons. She likes to read to the kids, play video games with her husband, and refurbish furniture.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.