DISCUSSION FORUMS
MAIN MENU
Home
Help
Advanced Search
Recent Posts
Site Statistics
Who's Online
Forum Rules
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
Community
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
Shop
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
Read
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
Connect
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
Graphics
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
Webmasters
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

ChristiansUnite
Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 23, 2017, 05:06:00 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
277868 Posts in 26490 Topics by 3790 Members
Latest Member: Goodwin
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  ChristiansUnite Forums
|-+  Theology
| |-+  General Theology (Moderator: admin)
| | |-+  TODAY IN THE WORD
« previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 433 Go Down Print
Author Topic: TODAY IN THE WORD  (Read 268251 times)
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2006, 02:41:01 PM »

Read: 1 Timothy 6:1-2

[Be] self-controlled and pure . . . so that no one will malign the word of God. - Titus 2:5

TODAY IN THE WORD

In the past five years more companies have turned to “guerrilla” or “viral” marketing strategies. The concept is simple: try to spread excitement about a particular product by having regular people be seen using the product. From beverages to MP3 players to razors, companies have tried to create “buzz” and increase sales through this technique.

Just as these companies try to market their products by those who use them, so too Christianity is “marketed” by those who believe it. A clear and consistent testimony for Christ is persuasive.

Paul's letter to Timothy is full of teaching about the proper conduct for believers: for men (2:Cool, for women (2:9-15), for leaders (3:1-13), and now for slaves (6:1-2). What's ultimately at stake when it comes to how we conduct ourselves as God's people isn't our reputation but God's. A godly life brings credit and glory to Christ; a hypocritical or impure life invites slander upon the name of Christ.

Some have used this passage to justify American slavery. In light of that abuse of this text, it's important to note several points. First, Roman slavery was unlike the terrible practice of American slavery from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. Fifty percent of Roman slaves were freed by the age of thirty. Many slaves were able to own property, and selling oneself into slavery was sometimes a method used to gain Roman citizenship.

Second, the fact that Paul directly addresses slaves would have been shocking in its day. While Roman slaves were rarely treated as badly as many American slaves, they still were marginalized and rarely directly addressed in formal correspondence.

Third, the point that Paul wants to stress in this passage is that our testimony in our relationships can win others to Christ (see 1 Peter 3:1-2). Protecting the name of Jesus Christ means more than even winning personal freedoms.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

As believers, we often must surrender our personal rights when the name of Jesus Christ is at stake. Believers should instead forego their “rights” and choose rather to be wronged and cheated (1 Cor. 6:7). When your rights are under assault, pray through Psalm 37; you may want to memorize verses 5 and 6 to remind you that God does not forget us when we suffer from injustice.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2006, 02:41:47 PM »

Read: 1 Timothy 6:3-10

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is. - Romans 12:2

TODAY IN THE WORD

In 1816, Mary Shelley wrote the novel, Frankenstein, the story of an ambitious young scientist who creates a man in his laboratory. His creation is monstrous and turns into a savage killer. His final words reveal his regret: “Farewell, Walton! Seek happiness in tranquility, and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries.”

Frankenstein reveals what happens to a man with unrestrained ambition and conceit, the same character we see in the false teachers in Ephesus.

Their egotism motivated them to reject sound instruction and godly teaching. Like so many people today, the false teachers decided that the teaching of Christ didn't really suit their desires. It wasn't progressive enough. They could be a little bit more forward-thinking.

Jesus taught that no one could serve both God and money (cf. Matt. 6:24); they taught that godly living was a means to financial success (v. 5). Jesus emphasized that no one could pursue both earthly treasure and eternal treasure; the false teachers insisted that these were complimentary goals. They promoted a bigger bang for your spiritual buck: get Jesus and get rich! They failed to understand the emptiness of selfish ambition, especially compared to the wealth found in “godliness with contentment” (v. 6).

While this false teaching might seem like a slight detour from sound instruction, it was actually a U-turn from faith. The disastrous result: “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10).

This challenges our perspective on Scripture's teachings: do we, like the false teachers in Ephesus, stand above Scripture, judging for ourselves which parts of its teaching we embrace or reject? Or do we allow Scripture to stand above us, submitting fully to all of its teaching?

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Our passage today is especially convicting for us in the United States where selfish ambition and striving for financial success is admired and rewarded. Consider today how eager you are to get rich. Have you compromised financial integrity in the workplace? Have you cheated God from generous and cheerful giving of your tithes and offerings? Seek to hold onto your money with an open hand, realizing it is God who gives it to you and expects you to use it in His service for His glory.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2006, 02:42:27 PM »

Read: 1 Timothy 6:11-16

Fight the good fight of the faith. - 1 Timothy 6:12

TODAY IN THE WORD

In 1858, Dudley Tyng was 33 when he preached to a crowd of 5,000 men. “I would rather this right arm were amputated at the trunk that I should come short of my duty to you in delivering God's message,” he told them. Tragically, two weeks later, because of a farm accident, his arm had to be amputated from the shoulder. His last words were, “Stand up for Jesus, father, and tell my brethren of the ministry to stand up for Jesus.” They were the inspiration for the hymn, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”: “Stand up, stand up for Jesus/ Ye soldiers of the cross; / Lift high His royal banner, / It must not suffer loss.”

These words echo the concluding charge to Timothy in this letter. Paul has addressed Timothy as a soldier of Jesus Christ. He wanted him to fight hard, to fight long, and to fight well until the very end. He reminded Timothy that God is watching and God will reward.

The Christian fight begins with flight: “Flee from all this” (v. 11). Timothy needed to flee from the pursuit of money and from anything else that could offend his conscience. He must flee from the temptation to compromise on sound doctrine. It was urgent he run quickly from the allure of self-promotion that had entangled so many other leaders in Ephesus.

Not only did Timothy need to flee from these temptations, he needed to pursue what is good. We see several virtues in this passage. First, righteousness calls us to conform our life to the Scriptures. Second, godliness comes from intimate union with Christ. Next, sound faith is the content of trustworthy belief. Additionally, Timothy should seek to love God and others. He should also desire endurance through trials and opposition, keeping his eyes focused on the future hope and reward in Christ. And finally, Timothy needed to embrace the gentleness that was necessary to correct what was wrong in Ephesus.

These virtues would center his vision and keep him on target in his ministry.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

We're all called to “fight the good fight of the faith.” Sometimes we focus too much on how we get started on the race, the time of our conversion. But what really counts is not how we begin but how we finish the race “at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 14). What an amazing promise of hope we find in Jude 24-25: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority!”
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2006, 02:43:14 PM »

Read: 1 Timothy 6:17-21

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. - 1 Timothy 6:20

TODAY IN THE WORD

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, killed 343 New York City firefighters. As survivors fled down the stairs of the towers, escaping the smoke and flames, the firefighters ran up the stairs to what would be their death. They did their job of seeking to rescue anyone they could help—and it cost them their lives.

Timothy was sent on a rescue mission to the church of Ephesus. False teaching threatened its collapse. His mission was to safeguard what had been entrusted to his care (v. 20). He needed to protect the truths of the faith, the church, and his personal ministry.

First, to protect truth, he had to confront false teaching, some of which included distortions of belief regarding prosperity. Paul reiterates that being a Christian doesn't mean one will automatically prosper financially. The prosperity gospel, which teaches that God always materially blesses all His people, is wrong. The Bible in no way promises wealth to believers. It is equally distorted to teach that having money is sinful. Notice that Paul doesn't insist that the rich Ephesians should give all their money away. He does, however, remind them to seek heavenly treasure by giving generously and using their money to perform good deeds (vv. 18-19).

Second, the mission to protect the church required reminding the believers in Ephesus of the clear teachings of Scripture. How easily our consciences can become seared and our minds become corrupt, as had already happened to some of the elders in Ephesus. They no longer knew right from wrong, placing the Ephesian church in danger.

Finally, Timothy must protect his own personal ministry and the spiritual gifts conferred on him. These must be protected from the negative influences—both ideas and practices—all around him.

“Grace be with you,” Timothy. Paul knew he needed God's miraculous help for the mission!

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

A pastor's job is to remind his congregation to “take hold of the life that is truly life” (v. 19). Our focus on eternity is so easily distracted by the problems and pleasures of today. Reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ is coming back to earth. If you need help keeping your focus on this reality, write this down and review it throughout the day: “So that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28).
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2006, 02:43:54 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 1:1-5

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me. - Acts 20:24

TODAY IN THE WORD

Chaim Potok, author of The Chosen, captures what it means to live well: “Human beings do not live forever. . . . We live less than the time that it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. . . . A blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something.”

Second Timothy paints an incredible picture of the confidence we can have on the eve of our death when we have lived well. Paul had that kind of confidence. At the time that 2 Timothy was written, Paul was imprisoned for a second time in Rome (1:Cool and was awaiting execution (4:6). Many of his closest friends and ministry partners had deserted him. His prison chamber was cold and dismal (4:13). Despite his bleak circumstances, Paul's joy and hope in Christ were not dimmed as he considered the “promise of life that is in Christ Jesus” (v. 1). Death awaited him, but it was not the end. Life in Christ is a promise for eternity.

So with this joy for the future, Paul began his letter with expressions of thanks, specifically thanking God for Timothy. Paul was obviously comforted by the friendship that he enjoyed with Timothy. He was thankful to know that while others had deserted him, Timothy remained faithful both to Paul and to the ministry. The tears Timothy had shed at their last parting assured Paul of the warmth and loyalty he felt for the apostle.

Yet Paul was not only comforted by Timothy's loyalty but also by his sincere faith (v. 5). When so many around him had shipwrecked their faith, Paul might easily have begun questioning his efforts as an apostle. But Timothy was a “success story,” a reminder that sincere faith could indeed survive, and that Paul's ministry efforts had taken root, been blessed by God, and had in fact borne fruit.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Timothy was an incredible man of God. And notice how much importance Paul places on the influence Timothy's grandmother and mother had over him. They had taught him the Scriptures from infancy.

If you're a parent or grandparent, consider how you can sow the seeds of God's Word in your children. It's never too early to begin! You just might be raising a Timothy for the next generation of the church.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2006, 02:44:35 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 1:6-12

Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed. - 2 Timothy 1:12

TODAY IN THE WORD

An eager young preacher from Zimbabwe declared: “I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit's power. I'm a disciple of His! I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. . . . I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus.”

That young preacher captured the spiritual fortitude that Paul displays in 2 Timothy, the same courage to which he is calling Timothy. And courage is most definitely needed for Christian discipleship, especially when we consider all that Paul suffered. The call to suffer for Christ isn't a call to physical self-abuse, but a reminder of the value of the gospel of Jesus Christ (v. Cool. It's a message worthy to be proclaimed, no matter the cost.

This was the last letter that Paul composed, and he made sure the gospel message was retold. It's ultimately a message all about God. Our God reaches out to sinners like ourselves for two reasons: because of His grace and because of His sovereign purposes (v. 9). His plan of salvation was never “Plan B” after a failed experiment with humanity. It was His plan all along, “from the beginning of time.” It reveals not only His mercy to save but His grace to call. He gives us not just salvation but a call to the “holy life” (v. 9). Salvation is just the beginning of the race, and we still have a great many miles to run. We have the goal of the holy life always set before us: we have before us the dual purposes both of sanctification and of service.

Thank God that we've been given the Holy Spirit, whose resources are courage, power, love, and self-discipline for the Christian life (vv. 6, 7). We are not alone in the race. We serve a faithful God who won't ever fail us, even in our darkest moments (v. 12).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Spiritual maturity isn't a measure of what we know but who we know. It's a measure of the close and intimate relationship that we have with Jesus Christ. Spiritual fruitfulness can never happen apart from connection to Christ. Read John 15 to learn more about the ways you can stay connected to Christ. Commit yourself to creating habits that enhance your union with Christ. Then consider this promise of Jesus: “This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:Cool.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2006, 02:45:40 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 1:13-18

Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you . . . with the help of the Holy Spirit. - 2 Timothy 1:14

TODAY IN THE WORD

John Calvin, Protestant reformer in the sixteenth century, suffered personal loss for the sake of the gospel. While working in Geneva, Switzerland, he opposed many of the prevailing views of the reformers there, resulting in his expulsion from Geneva. Unfortunately, longtime friends and ministry partners became his enemies and accusers.

The pain of betrayal is one of life's deepest wounds. In today's reading, we hear the pain that Paul endured when everyone deserted him (v. 15). Perhaps they deserted him at the time of his trial (4:16). With this pain in his recent past, no wonder Paul takes great joy in Timothy's loyalty (see June 20) and the loyalty of Onesiphorus.

Some might imagine Paul the apostle as impervious to the pain of broken relationships, as if only the mission itself mattered. Although Paul was focused on the goal of the proclamation and preservation of the gospel, he clearly felt sorrow at the loss of these friends and coworkers. Timothy had also been called to the mission: “keep the pattern of sound teaching,” and “guard the good deposit.” It's not likely the elders in Ephesus were excited and eager for the rebuke Paul had commanded Timothy to bring (cf. 1 Tim. 1:3). Nevertheless, they stayed focused on their mission despite the blow to their personal likeability within the church.

And though the mission was clear and Paul never wavered from it, the betrayal he suffered stung bitterly. This passage doesn't make clear to what extent Paul became discouraged, but it does indicate his gratitude for his friends like Onesiphorus who had “refreshed” Paul (v. 16). Onesiphorus visited Paul in prison on several occasions, not just bringing him what he might have needed materially but cheering him up. Onesiphorus had traveled the long journey from Ephesus to Rome and searched for Paul. He didn't fear incriminating himself by showing loyalty to an incarcerated criminal, and Paul would never forget his brave and loyal friendship.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

No one can live the Christian life in isolation. Even the apostle Paul relied upon the encouragement and strength he gained from his brothers and sisters in Christ. Are you seeking and finding the fellowship you need to fight the good fight of the faith? Seek to be connected to people in your church beyond worshiping together on Sunday so that you are blessed with sincere friendships like those that Paul shared with Timothy and Onesiphorus.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2006, 02:46:18 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-7

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. - 2 Timothy 2:1

TODAY IN THE WORD

Got milk? About 95 percent of Americans recognize this marketing slogan from the ad campaign touting milk's health benefits. Over 200 celebrities, including many sports heroes, have been featured in ads sporting a milk mustache. Dairy farmers want adults and kids to know that milk makes you strong!

Got grace? That's the secret of spiritual strength found in today's key verse: “Be strong in grace.” Such instruction sounds simple, but these words convey the paradoxical nature of the Christian life—it requires God's grace and human effort. Without question, God's grace is preeminent. We are saved and called by His grace (1:9). If God hadn't first reached out to us, we never would have been able to reach back. But God's work doesn't erase our responsibility to live in Christ. That's the “be strong” part of verse one. Life in grace is both a gift to receive and a command to follow.

Paul explains to Timothy how to be strong in grace by using three different metaphors. First, he tells Timothy to be a strong soldier for Christ (v. 3). Soldiers expect bad food, bad weather, and danger itself. They are ready to suffer, and they expect to sacrifice. We, too, should expect that the Christian life requires sacrifice because we're living not to please ourselves but our commanding officer, Jesus Christ (v. 4).

We must also be strong like the Greek Olympian who “competes according to the rules” (v. 5). Historically, in the ancient Greek Olympic games, in order to participate in the games, these athletes had to complete a ten-month training period and sign an oath that they had done so. We need an athlete's endurance and stamina for the race set before us (cf. Heb. 12:1). When we feel like quitting, we can remember our eternal rewards and continue to the finish.

Finally, pastors specifically should be like the hardworking farmer (v. 6). The farmer is able to enjoy produce from his fields. As pastors work hard, they deserve a share of their labors.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Have you been surprised by hardship and suffering in your life? Have you often been angry at God for allowing it? Ask God for the strength of the soldier. Do you feel exhausted by the race you're running in the Christian life? Do you feel like slowing down or quitting? Ask God for the stamina of the athlete. Are you serving Christ faithfully and wondering when you'll see the harvest? Ask God for the faithfulness of the farmer.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2006, 02:46:56 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 2:8-19

Present yourself to God as one approved . . . who correctly handles the word of truth. - 2 Timothy 2:15

TODAY IN THE WORD

Learning in ancient cultures frequently relied on memorization. People would pay close attention to the stories as they were verbally recounted, committing large portions to memory. Few people had access to personal copies of Scripture and had to listen closely to public readings. Many of the New Testament books circulated as letters that would be read aloud in the churches.

The ability to remember was vital for absorbing information, and God's people must remember the gospel if they are to have any hope of pleasing God in ministry. Because the gospel is a historical truth, not one subject to change, church leaders must preserve the revealed truth of Jesus Christ. And not only that, they must “remind” the church to remember the gospel. Paul's short poem in verses 11 through 13 provides an easy method of remembering the essence of the gospel.

First, the gospel begins with death. The death of Jesus Christ made it possible that we, too, die to sin's power over us. And when we identify with Christ in His death, the power and reward of His resurrection are also ours (cf. Rom. 6:1-10).

Next, the gospel is a call to endure. If we're truly saved, we'll make it to the finish line. People like Hymenaeus and Philetus, by “wandering away from the truth,” forfeited an incredible reward (cf. Phil. 3:14).

Then, the gospel is a call to confession. Faith isn't a private matter of the heart but a public proclamation of allegiance. If we disown Christ and disavow His ownership over our lives, thus despising His grace, we have nothing to expect but fierce judgment (Heb. 6:4-6).

Finally, the gospel is a reminder of God's faithfulness. When we lapse into sin for a season, even cowardly refusing to name Christ as our Lord for a moment, we, like Peter, can expect Him to remain faithful even in the face of our faithlessness. This is the solid foundation of the gospel.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Our remembrance of the gospel is vital for our spiritual health. Do you abuse God's grace by allowing patterns of sin in your life? Remember that confessing Christ means turning from wickedness. Meditate on and memorize Romans 6:1-2. On the other hand, maybe you constantly doubt your salvation, worrying that every personal misstep might mean a loss of God's grace. Take courage that once you're in God's family, He will never disown you (v. 13). Memorize John 1:12.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2006, 02:47:31 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 2:20-26
We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10
TODAY IN THE WORD
According to a French existentialist Albert Camus, life is completely absurd. We have no real purpose because there is no life beyond our days on earth, which themselves are filled with meaningless suffering. The only meaning to be found is heroically enduring the absurdity of it all and finding joy in the hollow emptiness of life.

No wonder people despair when they embrace such bleak world views! Today's verse describes one of the Christian's purposes, that of usefulness. God made us to do good works. He calls not just pastors but every Christian to take part in doing good for Christ and in Christ's name. In our text, Paul instructs Timothy how to be useful to God in his ministry, words that also benefit us.

First, to be useful to God, one must continually strive for purity in all areas of life, public and private. Usefulness to God depends upon our willingness to be consecrated—to be “made holy” or set apart from lesser desires and pursuits (v. 21). This includes obviously battling sin in our lives, but even as we've seen in the previous chapter, it also includes setting oneself apart from things that would distract and dilute our passion for God (cf. 2:4). In avoiding everything that compromises personal holiness, we can be “prepared to do any good work.” By living obedient lives, we are then in a constant state of readiness to be used by God (cf. John 15:10).

Specifically, Paul commands Timothy to avoid compromising his character even in ways that seem insignificant. He (and we) should not be quarrelsome. Quarrels, especially wrangling over words, have more to do with parading one's own understanding then actually resolving a difference of opinion. When disagreement and opposition erupt, the Lord's servant must be gentle and meek, always praying that God would grant a repentant change of heart (v. 25). This demonstrates true humility, without which no one is useful to God.
TODAY ALONG THE WAY
Are you “prepared to do any good work” for the Lord? What keeps you from serving Him? If it's fear, remember how Paul encouraged Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7. If it's feeling too busy or too overwhelmed, remember Paul's exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:4. If areas of personal sin keep you from serving God, ask God to grant you true repentance to turn from that sin and be cleansed by Him.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2006, 02:48:08 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . . . Love your neighbor as yourself. - Matthew 22:37, 39

TODAY IN THE WORD

In Matthew 22, the Herodians and Sadducees had failed to trick Jesus. Then the Pharisees—the most devout adherents to the Law—decided to test Jesus with the perfect question: they would demand that He choose among all the commandments of God and pick one above the others. It was foolproof—no matter what He chose, they could argue that He was neglecting another of the 613 commands that they followed scrupulously.

Jesus was not tricked. Rather than engage in a discussion of the particulars in the law, He went right to the essence of God's truth: Do we love God first and most? If we do, we will naturally obey the second greatest command, to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:34-40).

Today's passage diagnoses a spiritual cancer that happens when our love for God and our love for others become corrupted by a love for self and for pleasure. When “what feels good” takes precedence over our loyalty to God and His commands, we spiral spiritually. We start to love money more than God. We begin to cherish our opinions more than God's. We're soon following the moment rather than the good.While our spiritual devotion decays, the outward forms of religion are still intact (v. 5). We may scarcely notice how far from our first love we've really wandered.This affects our relationships. They are quickly strained and even ruined by our self-centered ways and our arrogant attitudes. Our family relationships and friendships crumble under the demands of the all-important “me.”

This was the terribly sad state of some of the teaching elders in Ephesus. They had opposed the true message of the gospel, taught what was false, and misled many, including some particularly vulnerable women in the congregations. Timothy's one hope was that their false teaching and foolishness wouldn't slip under the radar for much longer (v. 9).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Loving God might be simple, but it's far from easy. We're confronted daily with desires which compete for God's place in our hearts. Loving God begins first with grace (cf. 1 John 4:19). If your passion for God has cooled, ask Him to fan into flame a zealous affection for Christ. While we can't necessarily make ourselves love God, we can certainly do that which enhances love for God: disciplines like corporate worship, private Scripture reading and prayer, as well as service.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2006, 02:48:45 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-15

Continue in what you have learned . . . because you know those from who you learned it. - 2 Timothy 3:14

TODAY IN THE WORD

Scientific discoveries are usually first published in journals, and political developments are heralded in press conferences and public speeches. But in March 1989, scientists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced their discovery of cold fusion at a press conference. It meant a possible alternative energy source for the planet, and of course the scientific community was abuzz with the news. But the excitement died down when their results were later investigated and found unsubstantiated.

How should the gospel be proclaimed? The content of a message often determines how it is mediated, and a life-changing message is communicated best by the lives it has changed.

Though we might read books and hear sermons by pastors and teachers we're not likely to meet, our most memorable and lasting influences will be those people with whom we've shared both truth and life. This was certainly true of Paul and Timothy. This passage today focuses on a call for Timothy to continue and persevere in what he believes and the ministry he discharges. Paul stresses the worthiness of continuing in the faith based upon the solid examples he has to follow.

Paul begins with himself (v. 10). He reminded Timothy of the spiritual strength and endurance he himself had shown despite all the persecutions he had endured. Paul suffered more than the details he mentions here; he seems to emphasize those events that Timothy himself might have observed. Unlike the false teachers whose gospel resembled more a message of self-promotion, Paul had demonstrated faith that suffered but didn't surrender.

Timothy also had the example of his faithful grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice, who had been teaching him the Scriptures since the time of his infancy (v. 15). Timothy owed a lot to these three who had influenced his faith and ministry.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

As you think about the people who have most influenced you in your spiritual journey, what qualities about their lives were particularly compelling? Spend some time reflecting on who it is that has most encouraged your faith, and if possible contact them by phone or by letter, expressing your gratefulness. Thank God in prayer for their faithful contribution to your life, and ask Him to help you to be that kind of influence in someone else's life.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2006, 02:49:28 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 3:15-4:5

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season. - 2 Timothy 4:2

TODAY IN THE WORD

Haddon Robinson, in his book, Biblical Preaching, bemoans the dismal state of preaching in the modern church. “When [ministers] fail to preach the Scriptures, they abandon their authority. . . That is why most modern preaching evokes little more than a wide yawn. God is not in it.”

Preaching the Word of God is a difficult task because it always confronts sinful human beings. Left to our own sin, we'd prefer self-help books and the power of positive thinking rather than correction and rebuke. We don't want to hear what we're doing wrong. Apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, we'll spit out the healthy meat of sound doctrine and instead munch on the marshmallows of false teaching (vv. 3, 4).

For God to do His work of sanctifying the human heart, He must use the chisel of the Scriptures, the most effective tool available to the pastor and church leader (v. 17). Because of the power and sufficiency and wisdom of the Bible—because they originate with God Himself (v. 16)—we must be faithful in our proclamation of the Word.

The Word has the power to instruct in what is good and identify what is false. The Word has the power to change not only our thinking but also our behaving. The Word strengthens us when we're weak, corrects us when we're wrong, and challenges us to change.

Preachers offer a far inferior substitute when their sermons originate from personal biography, moralizing thoughts, or human wisdom rather than from a solid footing in the Scriptures. Their digression from the Bible is sin, and it puts their congregation at risk.

It may be easier to preach for the applause of many, but a minister has to “keep his head,” refusing to be swayed by the desires of “itching ears,” relying on God's power for the difficult work of correction, and praying for the passion to communicate God's Word in its power and glory.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

This passage gives us some helpful guidelines for evaluating a church. When making a decision to join a local church, listen to whether the pastor is faithful to open the Scriptures week after week and pour forth God's truth instead of offer sermons that are collections of pithy quotes and personal stories. Seek other opportunities to receive good teaching in the church through group Bible studies or Sunday school classes.
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2006, 02:50:09 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 4:6-8

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy 4:7

TODAY IN THE WORD

Woody Allen, a famous comedian and filmmaker, once mused about his own death, “I'm not afraid of death. I just don't want to be there when it happens.” Apart from hope in Jesus Christ, death is our greatest enemy. It would make perfect sense that we would want to avoid it!

Paul's words from today's passage stand in stark contrast to this secular view of death. In these last months of Paul's life, as he sits alone in his cold prison cell, he isn't tallying all of the mistakes made and opportunities lost. Instead he's facing his death with a sense of satisfaction with the life he's lived and the anticipation of what is to come. Paul embraces his death because it is not final. Death is not the last chapter of existence but merely a “departure” (v. 6).

“I have fought the good fight.” Paul has suffered tremendously as a solider in the ranks of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 11:23-29). He had been persecuted and thrown out of cities where he later returned courageously to continue the work of proclaiming the gospel. He had not feared for his life. He had not quit because of adversity. He had marched resolutely towards this prison cell where he then awaited execution.

“I have finished the race.” God had given Paul a tremendous task, a mission he learned as early as his conversion (cf. Acts 9:15-16). He was to preach the good news to the Gentiles, and he had faithfully done this (cf. Acts. 20:24).

“I have kept the faith.” Though teachers in Ephesus had shipwrecked their faith, and members of the circumcision party had abandoned the gospel of grace (cf. Gal. 1:6-7), though there was great temptation to dilute the revelation he'd received, Paul remained faithful. He preached salvation in and through Christ alone until the very end of his days.

There is no pride to be found here, only the joy of knowing it's been worth it all.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

Praying Scripture can transform our spiritual lives. Take these three phrases of our key verse and begin to use them in your prayers. “Lord, help me to fight the good fight and to have courage for what you call me to do. Lord, help me to finish the race. Strengthen me as I feel weary and weak. Lord, I want to keep the faith. Help me to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, staying faithful to Him and His Word all of my life.”
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Soldier4Christ
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 58572


One Nation Under God


View Profile
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2006, 02:50:47 PM »

Read: 2 Timothy 4:9-22

When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? - Luke 18:8

TODAY IN THE WORD

Characterization is a powerful tool in literature. In children's literature, characters are easily identified as either “good” or “bad,” hero or villain. But as literature becomes more complex, so do the characters. Not only does the plot engage us, but also the story's characters.

We started our study of 1 and 2 Timothy with a look at its two main characters, the apostle Paul and Timothy. Both men are extraordinary examples of courage and faith. Even in these last moments of his life, Paul is unswerving in his devotion to Christ and the gospel. Timothy has held fast despite his difficult task in Ephesus.

But now we have a look at a few more characters in the broader story of Paul's life and ministry; some of these people were heroic, some not. Even if we don't have the ministry callings of Paul or Timothy, we might find someone in this list with whom we identify.

Demas, unfortunately, became a deserter. He once stood steadfast by Paul's side and was commended for his hard work (Philemon 24, Col. 4:14). But now he's chosen to desert Paul because “he loved this world” (v. 9). Personal comforts beckoned, and he decided that the sacrifice to stay in Rome with Paul as one accused and condemned to die was too great.

Alexander the metalworker was even worse. Demas may have deserted Paul but he apparently did not abandon his faith. But Alexander deliberately tried and succeeded in harming Paul and his ministry. He wasn't so much a personal enemy of Paul as an opponent of the gospel, a sin far more severe (v. 15).

John Mark, on the other hand, had made an incredible turnaround. Earlier he traveled with Paul but then abandoned him suddenly (Acts 13:5, 13; Acts 15:36-40). Now it appears that John Mark had been restored to fellowship and ministry, proving himself “helpful” (v. 11).

Finally, we see some familiar names of those who had been faithful from the start: Luke, Priscilla and Aquila, and Titus.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

If someone were writing a letter that described your spiritual life, which of these characters would you resemble? Perhaps like John Mark you've been restored to profitable ministry. Maybe like Priscilla and Aquila you have continued in a life of faithful service. If your life resembles Demas or Alexander, know that you can repent and return to Christ. Satan seeks to devour people and destroy their testimonies (1 Peter 5:18). We pray for God's protection over our lives, that we would “fight the good fight of the faith.”
Logged

Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 433 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | ChristiansUnite.com Site Map | Statement of Beliefs



Copyright © 1999-2016 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media