Week 34 Saturday

Count On It

Today’s scripture selection: First Timothy 4-6

Key verses: First Timothy 4:9-10

     We all need something we can count on.

We need to have a secure foundation; something upon which we can boldly and confidently stake our claim.

For some, that is a belief in a particular political party.

For others, it is a belief in a particular philosophy about life.

For still others, it is a belief in a religion.

For the apostle Paul it was this:

“This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all…and especially those who believe.”

Paul counted on God.

For him, God was not a religious concept; a theoretical idea.  God was a powerful, living, acting, loving, divine entity – full of holy compassion.  And Paul’s God was not just one god among many – but the one true God.

It was a startling idea in the apostle’s world of many gods and many philosophies.

It’s still a startling idea today.

Place your faith, not in a religious concept or an ethic or a mystical vision or an intellectual theory.  Place your faith in the same living, loving, powerful, holy, praiseworthy God Paul found in Jesus Christ – and you will have something secure indeed.

Count on it.  Count on Him.

Prayer: Almighty God, Loving God, Holy Spirit, I stake my life – eternally – on You.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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