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A Daily Devotion for Friday, February 23

2 Timothy 2:3-5


Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor's crown except by competing according to the rules.


Again, the message to me is that competition should involve pleasing God, not trying to get ahead of others. When I think of Yunchan Lim, the young Korean pianist who won the Van Cliburn competition in 2022, I imagine his hours and hours of practice. He no doubt was competing against himself, trying to do the best job possible. Getting caught up in trying to prepare to play "better" than some known or imaginary competitor would be a waste of energy. Similarly, when I try to grow or become better at what I do, comparing myself to others is never helpful. In fact, it slows me down and gets in the way of progress. Doing my best for God, competing against myself for growth, will keep me on a better course.


Holy Lord, you are speaking to me in a powerful way with this week's readings. Help me to take them in and live these words with your guidance. In Christ I pray, Amen


Becky, transforming

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2 Timothy 2:3-5


Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.


Like any good writer, Paul is using examples to make what he is saying easier to understand. In this case, he is using two types of people, soldiers and athletes, who would be quite familiar to his reader, his son Timothy.


Paul was in prison in Rome at the time, so soldiers were his guards and athletes would then, as now, be well known. In the…


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2 Timothy 2:3-5


If we are focusing this week on competition, the last line is very important in today’s world where it seems many think rules are made to be broken. If even one athlete breaks the rules and, therefore, has an advantage and wins the prize, that prize is really worthless. The prize I want to win requires me to follow Jesus without taking shortcuts and by always being fair and loving.


Prayer: Gracious God, May I always follow your example. Amen


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Friday, February 23rd, 2024

2 Timothy 2:3-5

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.


Paul does not urge Timothy to be a common, or ordinary soldier, but to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Because  all soldiers, and all true soldiers, may not be good soldiers. There are men who are just soldiers and nothing more; they only need  temptation and they become cowardly and weak. I want to be a good soldier who is the bravest, is courageous at all times. Telling Jesus, I kno…


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Tom
Tom
Feb 23

2 Timothy 2:3-5

“Competing according to the rules.”This sounds so simple and so straightforward, but in a culture so focused on self, rules are bent and loopholes enlarged to the point of making “the rules” moot. This has even filtered into athletics, an activity in which rules should be foundational. From “sticky stuff” in baseball to “flopping” in basketball to what seems like interference on every attempted pass in football, the rules take a backseat to gaining some competitive advantage. Call me a sap, but I will strive for my victor’s crown with the Lord by competing according to the rules of God as spelled out in Scripture. Sometimes that spelling out is confusing or difficult to understand, but I…


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