NOV 20 / Sunday – Read 2 Timothy 4:9-22
Overview: God stands by our side, gives us strength, and rescues us from difficulties. Are we aware? Are we thankful?
21 / Mon – When opposition comes | Read 2 Timothy 4:14-15 / Matthew 5:10-11
In this final section of the second letter to Timothy, Paul revealed that someone they both knew had done Paul great harm. How do you react when someone treats you badly? Strike out in anger? Plot revenge? Paul left the situation in God’s hands but he did caution Timothy to beware of this man. Was it their misdeeds that caused Alexander to oppose them? Check out v. 15b. Is someone in your life giving you a hard time because you stand firm for righteousness? How do you handle it?
22 / Tue – Unexpected response | Read 2 Timothy 4:16 / Luke 23:33-34 / Acts 7:59-60
At Paul’s first hearing, no one came to his defense. Why didn’t Paul hold it against them? Was he following the example of Jesus who asked His Father to forgive those who crucified him and what he witnessed as he saw Stephen being stoned? Maybe you aren’t being physically threatened but maybe there are friends who did not support or defend you where you were falsely accused. Will you have the grace to forgive as these godly men did?
23 / Wed – Unexpected results | Read 2 Timothy 4:17 / Philippians 1:12-14
God’s will for Paul was that he preach the gospel of Jesus wherever God sent him and in whatever situation he found himself. He proclaimed Jesus in the synagogue, the marketplace, on Mars Hill in Athens where all the world’s philosophies were debated. At times the message was well-received. Other times he was chased out of town. Now he was captive in the heart of the Roman Empire, a dangerous, anti-Christian society. Where did his strength come from? What was the end result?
24 / Thu – Thanksgiving | Read 1st Timothy 1:12-17
It is interesting to think about what Paul’s thanksgiving prayer might be like. Before meeting Jesus, Paul was a highly educated and fervently religious man. He was zealous in defending God’s holy reputation, even to the point of putting to death those who followed the Jesus he considered a blasphemer. Years later, he sees himself differently. Read his thanksgiving prayer and reflect back on your life, what has God done that you are most thankful for?
25 / Fri – Growing gratitude | Read Philippians 1:29 / 1 Peter 1:6-7
Thanksgiving is over. Can you keep the gratitude going? Someone has described ascending levels of gratitude. In the beginning, you give thanks for the blessings God has given you. The next level is gratitude for the ways God has saved you, protected you, given you strength and helped you get through difficult times. The third and most challenging level is being grateful for the honor of suffering for Christ as Paul did. To what level will you grow in your gratitude?
26 / Sat – Post Thanksgiving | Read Philippians 3:7-9
The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, the official start of the Christmas shopping season. The focus shifts rather quickly from Thursday’s thanks for what I have been given to today’s shopping list of here is what I want next. What keeps you grounded when being tempted to believe happiness will come from getting or giving the perfect gift? What will you do this year to look for joy in all the important places?