READ: 2 Timothy 1:3-14 (esp. v8-9)
- Paul never lost sight of grace. In other contexts, he refers to his own sinfulness when he misunderstood the plan of God. He was guilty of opposing God and even of having Jesus’ followers put in prison and even put to death. But, in spite of that, God used him. He reminds Timothy that we are all called to this high and holy calling as an act of grace. In fact, Paul reaches back to pre-creation, reminding us that this was all under God’s plan.
- No one should ever feel as if their power is their own. No one should ever believe that their influence comes because of their natural gifts or their personality. Nothing we do will ever overshadow what God is doing. Even our natural gifts are from Him. We are who we are because of the way He created us. Therefore, we should never attempt to take credit for the good that comes through our service. In other words, we should never claim the glory that belongs only to God.
- It’s interesting that Paul never shies away from talking about his actions. He doesn’t practice false humility, acting as if he had no influence or had done nothing good and commendable. He simply makes sure that others realize that he knows where it all came from. He wants it to be clear that there is no part of his life and ministry that isn’t the result of God’s work, and thus, it all is deserving of God’s glory. That is as it should be for all God’s servants.
- Who do you know that seems to point to God’s glory, in spite of what might appear to be their accomplishment?
- How do you react to spiritual leaders who carry themselves arrogantly, as if they are responsible for the good that results from their ministry actions?
- How do you think we can develop the ability to maintain balance between self-confidence and legitimate humility?
PRAY: Pray for a spirit of humility. Ask God to use you without you even knowing it. Pray that in every circumstance that God will be honored by your heart.