Paul does not sugar-coat the rigors of ministry. He reminds this young pastor that not only is he a sinner but the people he works with and ministers to are sinners, as well. Not one of us has "arrived;" instead, we walk by faith trusting in the only One who makes us anything. Timothy's challenge is to stay away from sin while preaching the truth of the Scriptures to all who will listen. The Apostle reminds his protege that he must be fully dependent upon the Scriptures which are "inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." Timothy cannot become the man God created him to be if he is not diligent in his private study of the Scriptures and in his professional study of God's Word. Ministry without the Scriptures is impossible while ministry with the Scriptures is a beautiful and fulfilling experience. This is the call that God has placed upon Paul and Timothy, and it is the call that God has placed upon us, as well. We do not have the wisdom, understanding, or practical knowledge of the truth in our flesh. We must choose to surrender to the Spirit each day and spend quality time in the Bible knowing it will prepare us for the rigors ahead and "adequately equip [us] for every good work."

Help me, Lord, to be diligent in my personal and professional study of Your Word. Help me to see people as You see them and to see myself from Your perspective, as well.