This morning, I read Hannah Whitall Smith’s words of great encouragement:

Wherever the Lord is, all must go right for His children; His presence is enough. 

She explains how God’s presence assures of us comfort, rest, and deliverance, and if we could truly understand this, a wellspring of joy would be opened up in our religious lives that would drive out every vestige of discomfort and distress.”  There’s a pathway to this wellspring of joy. I’m also reading Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart–something my counselor recommended 20 years ago that I could hardly grasp intellectually or spiritually at the time. What a joy to reread it now! Willard heartily argues for the pathway to “soul rest” and joy through spiritual formation; we get there by inviting Christ to form His own resurrected life within us. I highly recommend this book as it’s teaching me how to continually “nourish” myself in Christ’s presence moment by moment.

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Several years ago, I wrote some devotional material for Camp Greystone campers that added to Greystone’s collection of great words of encouragement for children and teens alike.

Greystone sends out a short, daily devotion written by counselors and former staff. They are so good! I love reading simple, clear, and powerful words of instruction intended for younger audiences. I find myself challenged and inspired each new day. If you need some wonderful words of encouragement to share with your own children, you can discover these short devotions here: https://devotions.campgreystone.com/blog/2020/11/kind

Today’s devotion I wrote many, many years ago, but it spoke to my own heart in a fresh way and sent me diving back into 2 Timothy this morning. Paul writes this to instruct young Timothy:

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 2 Timothy 2:24

Was I kind to everyone? Was I patient with difficult people in my life? Could I become someone who doesn’t quarrel anymore?

I thought of the kindness and patience of Jesus. I thought of His teacher’s heart. I thought of how He always rose above quarrels and pointed people to truth with that blend of truth and love.

I invited the children reading to ask the Lord to help them become a new person inside because we cannot live this way on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to make us new and produce this impossible, beautiful life in us.

Can you imagine becoming a person like Paul describes?

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. (2 Timothy 2:24) Such a good challenge today to become like this with God's power. Click To Tweet

 

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