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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, November 2, 2014
Today is “All Saints Sunday” and Dan G. Johnson (Florida) wrote his story in The Upper Room titled “COMMUNION OF SAINTS.” It is wise to pray consistently for others, especially for those who do God’s work.
To read the entire story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
As Paul was waiting to die, he wrote a letter to his dear friend Timothy, a younger man who was like a son to him.
Paul constantly prayed for Timothy, his friend, his fellow traveler, his son in the faith, and a strong leader in the Christian church. Although the two men were separated from each other, their prayers provided a source of mutual encouragement. We, too, should pray consistently for others, especially for those who do God’s work.
We don’t know when Paul and Timothy last parted, but it was probably when Paul was arrested and taken to Rome for his second imprisonment. The tears they shed at parting revealed the depth of their relationship.
Timothy was experiencing great opposition to his message and to himself as a leader. His youth, his association with Paul, and his leadership had come under fire from believers and nonbelievers alike. Paul urged him to be bold. When we allow people to intimidate us, we neutralize our effectiveness for God. The power of the Holy Spirit can help us overcome our fear of what some might say or do to us, so that we can continue to do God’s Work. (NLT)
2 Timothy 1:1-14 – This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus.
It is written to Timothy, my dear son. May God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
Timothy, I thank God for you. He is the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.
I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for Christ. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News.
It is God who saves us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began—to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the coming of Christ Jesus, our Savior, who broke the power of death and showed us the way to everlasting life through the Good News. And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
And that is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.
Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me. And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. –Hebrews 12:1 (NRSV)
Here is part of Dan’s story: “I love ‘All Saints Sunday’ when we celebrate the saints among us who have gone on to heavenly glory. . .
“Maybe I love this Sunday so much because it is the Christian church’s way of announcing to the world that there is a glorious heaven and that Jesus is the one true light to lead us there. We who believe know absolutely, for certain, things that non-believers cannot know. Maybe I love this Sunday because of the time of Holy Communion when I am aware of that phrase we say in the Apostles’ Creed: ‘I believe in the communion of saints.’ Each time I strongly feel surrounded by the great ‘cloud of witnesses.’ And it is all very good. That’s why I love this Sunday.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Every day, each one of us stands in company with all the saints.
Prayer: Dear God, help us live in gratitude for all the faithful ones who have gone before us. May we follow their example in living so that others come to know Christ. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO MODEL THE FAITH FOR ME
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