Monthly Archives: October 2010

2 Kings 13; 2 Timothy 3; Hosea 5; Hosea 6; Psalm 119:145-176

It’s often said that the last words someone might speak are the most important things that need to be said.  Here we come to the end of 2 Timothy with some of the final words that Paul has chosen to communicate to his pupil Timothy.  I can’t help but think that Paul held these lessons in high regard and they’re precepts that of which he wanted to ensure Timothy could live out and carry on.

2 Timothy 3 points to one of the concepts that Paul had lived his entire life.  It’s speaks not only to what God has chosen to communicate but maybe more so out of Paul’s firsthand experience.  He’s ensuring that Timothy thoroughly understands the path chosen by a true man of God.  He speaks of a life not surrounded by roses and puppy dogs, but instead of a world bent on taking the feet out from under him.  He embraces the reality that there is a lifestyle that ignores the truth bestowed upon those who believe.  He acknowledges that we must choose the path not offered by the world and instead find foundation in truth.

Paul came from a life of persecuting others and chose a life of persecution.  Few in the scriptures were persecuted as strongly as Paul for what he believed in, but Paul was able to supernaturally utilized those persecutions to preach Jesus to the world. 

“Now you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings……I endured, and out of them the Lord rescued me!”  v. 10 & 11

He is pronouncing…”please look at my life!”.  Not because he raises his ministry up in pride…but because of the obvious work of Christ for rescuing him through it and from it.  He’s pronouncing…”please look at my life…and see Christ!”

He then goes and boldly makes two promises if you choose to follow Christ…

1)    You will be persecuted!

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  v. 12

He makes no mistake in telling us that this journey we are choosing will be difficult and will come with it those who desire to see you fall and fail.

2)    With Christ, the persecution can be overcome!

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is Christ Jesus.”  v. 14 & 15

God provides us the tools and the power to stand up against and endure persecution.  If we choose to follow the teaching we have been given and stand true…those who stand against us will have no power.

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These are the final words of Paul to Timothy…and words I think we all need to heed.  When I get beat up, discouraged, and persecuted…I can know that I have a God that stands to hold me up and strengthens me to endure.

~ chefdave11

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2 Kings 12; 2 Timothy 2; Hosea 3,4; Psalm 119:121-144

I heard something on the radio the other day and I remember purposefully storing it in my brain to mull over, pull out, examine. The preacher said “Christianity isn’t true because it works. Christianity works because it is true.” As an engineer, I smile at that. How often has science changed its tune time and time again throughout history as some new discovery is made, or some new experiment shows anecdotal evidence of something being true, only to be refuted months, years, or decades later? We can be so led astray by things that SEEM to be true. I think it’s good for all of us to get shaken about once in awhile and realize that something we were CERTAIN to be true really isn’t. It helps us from being too arrogant, as arrogance is of no use to God.

But what about my faith in God and Jesus as my savior? Is it possible that it gets shaken about from time to time? I wish I could say no. While I truly believe that deep deep down where often only God can see, that faith stands strong. But on the outside? Well…. not so much. If I’m honest I sometimes just don’t feel like Christianity works so well. But God is faithful, and He usually shows up pretty quick to reassure me. And every time that happens my faith gets stronger.

I should start a list somewhere of things I want to ask God when I see him face to face. If I did, I think every other entry would be a derivative of this “God, why did you do it this way??? Why did you allow sin to enter the perfect world you created? Why do you still allow it to run wild in this world, causing pain and sorrow for us? Not just because of other people’s sins that affect us, but our own?” Until then, I find strength to move on, always searching, trying my best to understand what I’m supposed to be doing. Lord, as the psalmist cried, “give me understanding that I may live!”.

True knowledge will help me escape the trap of the devil….

2 Timothy 2:

25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

He wants to lead me to green pastures….

Hosea 4:

16 The Israelites are stubborn,
like a stubborn heifer.
How then can the LORD pasture them
like lambs in a meadow?

Lord, give me understanding, that I may live!

Psalm 119:

142 Your righteousness is everlasting
and your law is true.
143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands are my delight.
144 Your statutes are forever right;
give me understanding that I may live.

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2Kings 10,11; 2Tim. 1; Hos. 2; Ps.119:97-120

Coffee drinking and spending early hours sampling commentary on 2 Timothy 1. Remarking on the role of a grandmother and mother’s faith–its influence on Timothy. A God-given Spirit of love, power and self-discipline.  The gift of the Gospel and Paul’s suffering from embracing it. He was not ashamed of his faith or message–he saw himself as herald, apostle and teacher.

Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1:14 (NIV)

Reflecting on this scripture to guard the deposit entrusted in me: I cannot guard something if I am weak. Strength comes from training; and in this case, training involves spending time with God in his Word, in prayer, and in putting his love to work in my life by following him. God gives me the Holy Spirit to live in me for self-discipline, power (to do this) and love. What grace!

Father, I joyfully embrace you and the message of the Gospel. Thank you for empowering me to be disciplined and to love through the Holy Spirit. Why do I rely so often on my own (weak) power when I have access to grace? When I think of the legacy I leave, the children under my care and influence, I am grateful for Paul’s words of herald, apostle, teacher. Help me to see myself as these as well, to mentor those around me for your glory. I want to draw closer to you. I pray that I continue to strengthen my walk with you by seeking you daily in your Word, in prayer and in action.

Courtney (66books365)

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2Kings 9; 1Timothy 6; Hosea 1; Psalm119:73-96

You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all  the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel. 2Kings 9:7

When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, take to yourself and adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord. Hosea 1:2

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which your were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1Timothy 6:11-12

How thankful I am that I am called to pursue gentleness, righteousness, love.   But how shameful am I that I dare grumble and whine or when my faith wanes and I don’t feel very loving toward my neighbor or my endurance is lacking.

Who am I to complain when I am called to love my neighbor?  Would I prefer being asked to destroy instead of love?

I am asked to be equally yoked in marriage, not to commit adultery, submit to my husband, raise my children in God’s word and fight the good fight of faith.  Can you imagine if called to purposely go out and find a man who would cheat  on me and leave me in the end?  And then go find him, bring him home, forgive him and love him.

Then I consider that is what God did for me and continues to do for me even when I grumble.

When I lie down tonight I will thank God for His unfailing love as it is indeed my comfort just as He promised.  I will praise Him for His compassion for me.  I will pray that  He increases my endurance so that  my faith does not wane while fighting the good fight of faith and to change my heart so that I will no longer whine or grumble when asked to use my gifts of love and gentleness for His glory, but that I would be thankful and delight in His law.

Cindi (rustiqueart)

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2 Kings 8, 1 Timothy 5, Daniel 12, Psalm 119:49-72

Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. Daniel 12:10

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

Teach me knowledge and good judgment for believing your commands. Psalm 119:66

God used family problems this week  to refine and purify my actions.  Initially I fixated on my sister’s culpability. After all she did curse at me. Certainly I was above reproach. (Ha!) Then the Scriptures opened my eyes to how my own behavior contributed to the situation.

In constantly trying to rescue her from her problems we as a family had robbed her of the ability to cope on her own. In turn I had denied myself the opportunity of receiving assistance from her.

The best One to judge everything is the One who is in control. Had we inquired of God  first perhaps things would not be so out of control now. Yet I praise Him for showing me that there are better ways to handle challenges than the way we have always done.

Father, You put me in frustrating situations time after time to help me grow. Thank you for teaching me how to respond to others to create more healthy balanced relationships. Thank you for your mercies new every morning.

yicareggie

 

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2 Kings 7; 1 Timothy 4; Daniel 11; Psalm 119:25-48

Truth is God’s signature.

God speaks truth. He who is against God, is against truth. And will not escape.

“Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, “If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” But he said, “You shall see it with your own eyes; but you shall not eat of it.”

So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel according to the word of the Lord. Now the king had appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate, so that he died, as the man of God had said…for the people trampled him in the gate and he died.”
2 Kings 7:1-2, 16-17, 20

“Now the Spirit clearly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared…”
1Timothy 4:1-2

“and the King shall do as he wills. he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper until the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done. He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god for he shall magnify himself above all.”

Yet he shall come to his end, with no one to help him.”

Daniel 11:36,37,45

He who loves God, loves truth. And will be blessed.

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
1 Timothy 4:16

“I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts…
for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.”
Psalm 119:44-45, 47

Lord, help us to be careful to reject lies and love Truth.
Help us to love Your word, making it our delight.

amy in peru

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2 Kings 6; 1 Timothy 3; Daniel 10; Psalm 119:1-24

Sometimes I’ve gotten really good advice. Sometimes I’ve gotten really terrible advice. Sometimes I’ve ignored all advice and gone with my gut … or worse: my heart. Sometimes I’ve fished for advice until I heard what I wanted to hear, and heard it enough times to ensure I was right. Sometimes I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. Sometimes things worked out the way I wanted. Sometimes it was weeks, months or years later that I realized regret for the choice of following advice (or my gut or my heart). Sometimes, still, those choices haunt.

I think of people who have offered advice over the years: people who don’t want to rock the boat, people who love to watch other people rocking the boat, a therapist, compassionate people, angry people, people who love people, people who don’t always like people, selfish people, generous people, people with no kids, people with kids, people with grandkids, shy people, outgoing people, people who love God, and people who don’t love God.

Sometimes even people with the best intentions, who love me, who are compassionate and generous and love God can still give advice that doesn’t line up with God’s word. And whether it’s a friend, a book, a counselor, a therapist, a Christian (or not), every opinion is flavored by experience, personal preferences or training. I need to think hard before I lock arms and go skipping down a path (thought system, belief or philosophy) and see if it aligns itself with God’s truth.

Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. Psalm 119:24

Lord, I pray that I would seek you and your will first.

Courtney (66books365)

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