*The following is a written reflection of 1 & 2 Timothy by Claire Papp, a CLDI summer intern.

God has moved me many ways through this exercise of reading and meditating upon His word, many of which may not be revealed until later.  What kept surfacing in my mind was the depth of God’s grace.  His grace is boundless, and while there is nothing we can do to earn it, it should elicit a great response from us.  If we are truly a reflection of Christ to the world, then we should try to extend a fraction of the grace to others that He extends to all of us.  During the CLDI summer internship, approaching a conflict with peace and grace was not only encouraged, but necessary.  There were many times it would have been easier to get frustrated and short-tempered, but the only helpful response was to be understanding.  God has been revealing to me that this should be the response to not only every conversation I have, but to every situation I observe as well.  2 Timothy 2:22 reads, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” This directly speaks to my sinfulness because it is so easy to get sucked into something petty, even if I think it is for the right reasons, but instead of having a desire to further God’s name, I just want to be right. 
God is also showing me that the same grace I try to extend to others I have neglected to extend to my family.  The people that I care about most are the ones I have the hardest time being Christ-like toward. 2 Timothy 1:9 continues to reveal what we discussed last week—that the heart of God is to promote His name—but how His will is for our good, and shows how those two truths are intertwined.  “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace.  This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 
During my reflection time I prayed that God would transform me into a joyful servant and make me more humble by changing my spirit to one of grace and patience rather than that of self-righteousness.  During this time of meditation I was also deeply encouraged by 1 Timothy 1:16-17 with the reminder that God would choose to use us for His glory despite our sin, “but for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His immense patience as an example for those who would believe in Him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

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