Letters of Faith

Today’s Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-2

I went through a phase in graduate school of sending Hallmark cards. I was in school several states away from all friends and family, and cards were one way that I enjoyed staying connected. I would purchase a big batch of greeting cards from the Hallmark store, after, of course, strolling the aisles slowly and methodically searching for the “perfect” sentiments. I would take the cards home, fill them with notes and love, and then send them on their way.

But I would never, ever send a Hallmark card without the final touch–that signature Hallmark gold crown seal on the back of the envelope.

Letters of Faith

I was quite insistent about those seals and may or may not have returned to the store a time or two if they had been left out of the bag. (Retrospective sigh inserted here.)

As I begin a journey through another of Paul’s letters this year, I am reminded (and challenged by) in these opening lines of Paul’s faithfulness and what his letters were always sealed with. I think there are several things Paul always made sure his letters (and more importantly his life) were marked by.

  1. Humble submission
    In verse 1, Paul is described as “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” (2 Tim. 1:1a). As is consistent with all of his letters, Paul–who had every reason to be prideful about his status in the faith (Phil. 3:4-6; 2 Corinth. 11:16-33)–makes it clear that his work and his calling is at God’s direction. His position, his ministry, his mentorship of Timothy was all according to God’s plan.
  2. Gospel message
    Paul always presented the gospel at the first opportunity. In this case he writes, “according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:1b). I am always impressed by Paul’s ability to present the gospel in quick and uncomplicated ways. Here is what believers have to offer the world–the gift of life in knowing Christ.
  3. Love of Christ
    And because of his understanding of his relationship to God and fervent belief in the work of Christ, Paul is able to offer to Timothy, “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (2 Tim. 1:2). What a blessing to receive grace, mercy, and peace from God through a great champion of the faith!

These markers of Paul’s letters of faith lead me to crucial questions of faith that I will be reflecting on and journaling through today:

Do I consistently acknowledge and live in humble submission to God in the many roles He has called me to? Is the gospel at the forefront of my words to those around me? Do I share grace, mercy, and peace in my words and actions? 

Beyond cards and crafts, my life–your life–is a letter of faith. May it be filled with humility, truth, and love in such a way that it points others to Him.

 

10 thoughts on “Letters of Faith

  1. Tammy Churchill

    Hmmm, I needed to read this. I am currently caring for my mom, and the Spirit has been convicting me of some reluctance and a smidge of resentment. Your questions to ponder will have me examining my heart before God. Thanks.

    1. Dr. Mon

      Your willingness to open your heart and time to your mom speaks volume. That is demanding work and undoubtedly the enemy wants to attack you in moments of fatigue. Praying with you for renewal and grace.

  2. Lori H

    We moved my dad in with us a year ago this month. At times it can seem like such a burden, but I know this is what the Father wants. I need to continually challenge myself to live the way Jesus would. I pray for a humble and pure heart. Thank you for a lovely post. I look forward to more. ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Juanita Brooks

    I enjoyed your post for today and it definitely has given me something to think about, I will be following your posts this month. You always give me such good teaching! Juanita (Insearchplannerpeace)

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