Put in the work

Date: Tuesday, October 8

Scripture2 Timothy 2:1-13

Verse: It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. (2 Timothy 2:6)

If you are a football fan, especially here in Colorado, you are aware of the amazing start to the season Peyton Manning is having – it has been historic. People are asking what has made him so good, so much better than the other quarterbacks in the league. I heard one expert talk about his dedication “off the field,” meaning the time and energy he expends between games to get better. This is true of all those who are great in their fields. In addition to their natural ability, they put in the time. A great athlete spends hours alone in the gym between games. A great musician spends hours practicing alone before getting on stage in front of thousands of fans. A great writer sweats for months over a manuscript alone before the glow of the computer screen before the book signing event. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell claims it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become truly great at anything.

2 Timothy, the New Testament book we are using to guide our One Life series, is a letter in which the Apostle Paul is giving advice to his protegé, Timothy. Today’s passage is urging Timothy to put in the “off-the-field time” with God, to practice his discipleship, to put in his 10,000 hours.

The life of the disciple is not always easy. There are hardships along the way – for Paul this included prison, and in other passage we hear him talk about beatings, shipwrecks, and more. But because he had put in his behind-the-scenes time walking in God’s way he had a different perspective on the hardships he endured (see yesterday’s devotion). We too need to put in the work of walking with God by maintaining our spiritual disciplines and growing in his way each and every day.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, nudge me to practice my faith in the days ahead. Amen.

Action: Consider scheduling your “practice time” for the remainder of October. Put in your calendar a block of time each day for Bible reading, prayer, service, or some other spiritual discipline in which you would like to improve.

Respond: What do you think of Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule? Whose dedication to practice their craft inspires 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.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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