Devotional

You Have Power
Paul wrote the words in today’s verse to Timothy, a young man with a big responsibility as pastor of the church in Ephesus. God has not called Christians to be fearful, cowering doormats waiting to let the world step on our faith and wipe its feet on our principles. With the God of the universe in our hearts, we have a spirit of power, love and self-discipline.

People in leadership need God’s help. Wherever we lead, God promises power — boldness to speak the truth. We don’t have this power in order to lord it over others but to empower them, to give them boldness in their faith. God promises love, a fruit of the Spirit. We have power to speak the truth, but love for our listeners tempers that power so it does not become prideful. God also promises self-discipline, or self-control, which gives us a cool head and a sound perspective in the hazards of leadership.

God has given us a great gift — power — instead of fear or timidity. How will you exercise this gift?

God’s Promise to Me
*When I place you in a position of leadership, I will be with you.

*I can give you a spirit of power, love and self-discipline in order to lead effectively.

My Prayer to God
Leadership is a big responsibility, Lord. No leader can please everyone, and every leader eventually needs to take a stand on important issues. I pray that I will be strong in faith and able to stand on my principles. Give me power and boldness without pride.

Devotional

God Gives You the Capacity to Be Gentle
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he told his followers, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). And later in his ministry he characterized himself as “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Many Bible versions use the word meek for the word translated as “gentle” in Matthew 5:5. Our culture often thinks of meek as weak and spineless. Gentle, however, gives a sense of tempered strength. When Jesus angrily cleared the temple, he stayed focused on his goal, and his anger was directed appropriately. Gentleness can be strong when it needs to be.

God promises to bless those who are gentle and humble. That’s just the opposite of what we see in the world. Often those who succeed are wealthy, harsh and willing to step on anyone to get ahead. But in God’s economy those who are gentle will receive everything — the “earth” refers to the future inheritance of God’s kingdom.

When we ask for the fruit of gentleness in our lives, we are praying for an attitude of humility that, while strong, is considerate toward others. As we see in the example of Jesus, gentleness can be tough, disciplined and powerful.

God’s Promise to Me
*My Spirit grows the fruit of gentleness in your life.

*Great blessings are in store for those who are strong in their faith and gentle in their relationships with others.

My Prayer to God
Lord, thank you for dealing with your people gently, even though you are at the same time sovereign, supreme, holy and just. I want to be a person of principle, a person of strong faith, who stands firm for you, and yet a person with powerful gentleness.