Date: Tuesday, May 7
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:3-7
Verse: I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. (2 Timothy 1:5)
Several years ago, basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar released a book titled, On the Shoulders of Giants, an ironic title from a man who stands 7 feet, 2 inches tall. The book is said to share his appreciation for those who went before him, helping make it possible for him to become the person he is today, including his incredible success with the Los Angeles Lakers. Some seem to take their history for granted, as if the world has always been as it is today; as if their arrival on the scene happens out of nowhere. Wiser people recognize their accomplishments are building on the work of others, including those who shaped us directly.
The biblical book of 2 Timothy is letter from an older, seasoned pastor to his protege. The tone is often professional, as advice is shared about how to handle situations within the congregation Timothy, the younger man, is serving. Every so often though, we get a glimpse at the personal relationship between these two. For example, the letter contains advice on how Timothy should treat his upset stomach (1 Timothy 5:23), or encouragement for dealing with people who don’t respect him because he is young (1 Timothy 4:12).
In today’s passage we read another personal piece of encouragement. Timothy is asked to remember his call to ministry, which goes all the way back to the faith handed down to him by his mother and grandmother. I find is fairly easy to consider how this would have fallen on Timothy’s ears. Memories of his mom reading stories to him about Moses, Joseph, and Jesus. Recalling the times he saw his grandmother praying before going to bed, and hearing his mother singing a Psalm as she made the evening meal.
You and I stand on the shoulders of giants – mothers and grandmothers, pastors, Sunday school teachers, neighbors, friends, and youth leaders – all who taught us and modeled for us what the life of faith looks like. My guess is you, like me, have a history like Timothy’s. What a tremendous gift God has given when he surrounded us with people of faith.
Prayer: Thank you Lord Jesus, for the giants in my life who showed me the way that leads to you. Amen.
Action: You stand on the shoulders of spiritual giants. Remember them, and give thanks for them today!
Respond: Who are some of those who handed their faith down to you? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.