This, FIRST!

Though he was a giant of the faith, he was a real man, with real emotions, and personality.

As we read his letters, and this his last, we get a glimpse of the man.

And, I think the Apostle Paul must have been a patriotic, sports fan.

He sure uses lots of soldier and sports analogies in his writings. He talks putting on the helmet, breastplate and sword(Eph 6) about running the race (I Cor 9:24), and competing according to the rules (2 Tim 2:5).

I wonder, if he were alive today, if his patriotic sports heart would cause him to love NASCAR. (Just joking. Well, kind of).

As we continue on in Second Timothy, Paul also compares the Christian walk to the hard work of a farmer, and he curiously says the farmer must be the first to partake of the crops (2 Tim 2:6).

Think about this, if the farmer doesn’t first nourish himself, he will not have the strength to produce what will nourish others.

Likewise, ministry leaders, and parents, all of us, no matter what we are doing, we’ve got NOTHING worth giving to anyone else spiritually if we don’t spend time seeking the Lord on our own first!

It is our time with the Lord that will produce in us what others need.

When I was a young widow and single mom, I got in the habit of waking up at 5 a.m. because I knew if I didn’t get up before those two wild little boys, there would be little to no chance that I could spend time in the Word.

Evidently, this noticeably impacted me, because one day, when Ben was very little, he looked at me and said, “Mommy, you gwumpy. You no do your Bible study today?”

So often, when we try to operate in our own strength, we come up short! That’s our flesh nature at work. We all fight that!

I need time in the Word today, and everyday, just as much as I did those twenty something years ago as a single momma.

And I still know this to be true, I’ve seen it in my own life and the lives of others, we will love and serve others better if we first spend time alone with the Lord— that includes our spouses, our kids, and those in our ministries.

If I go in my own strength, if I rely on what seems right to me, rather than taking in daily bread, I have nothing anyone needs and perhaps much of what they don’t!

Oh, but if we seek Jesus first, He can do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or imagine, for our good and His glory! (Eph 3:20-21)



If you’d like to see past writings on Timothy, or sign up to get these devotions via email, check out the blog at I so covet your prayers as I write and study.

2 thoughts on “This, FIRST!

  1. Paul’s use of the armor reminds me of books by Francine Rivers. She writes interesting novels, some with Biblical history, including the garb of warriors and gladiators.
    I so look forward to your blogs. They are a part of my mornings. When I do not take spiritual time daily I feel a part of my day missing.
    Thank you.


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