"Vessels of Honor"

January 31, 2015

“Vessels of Honor”

Blessings folk!

The Lord has told us to…
- be diligent to present ourselves approved a workman
  • avoid worldly and empty chatter
  • abstain from wickedness
  • stand upon the firm foundation of God

The next verses instruct us to be vessels of honor...

2 Timothy 2:20-21
20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.
21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.


The large house is God’s creation...mankind.

Those of the world...unbelievers...are wood, earthenware...dishonor.

Those who have cleansed themselves through the Lord are not of the world...gold, silver.

If we cleanse ourselves from these things...from wickedness, from dishonor...
If we do so through the blood of the Lord Jesus…
Then, we will be…

  • a vessel of honor
  • sanctified
  • useful to the Master
  • prepared for every good work.

Be a Vessel of Honor in the Kingdom.

"Nevertheless..."

January 30, 2015

“Nevertheless…”

Blessings Folk!

We saw yesterday that we are to avoid worldly, empty chatter.
Today, we look at verse 19, but we must remember the context of “nevertheless”...read again...

2 Timothy 2:16-19
16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,
17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

Know this Truth.
The Firm Foundation of God stands.
It has a seal.
What is the context?
Those who, through worldly, empty chatter, have been led astray from the Truth...and are now leading others astray.

“Nevertheless”? The Lord is saying that regardless of the fact that some will turn away...some will be led astray...the Lord knows those who are His.

Think on that.

The Lord knows those who are His.
He knows the frauds and fakes.
He knows the true believers.
He knows where each of us stands.
Do we know where we stand personally with the Lord?

Then…
Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.
We are to cease sin.
We are to abide in Him and live holy.
This is possible.
Not in the flesh.
But in the Spirit.

Rejoice and stand in the Firm Foundation…

  1. The Lord knows who are His…
  2. True Believers are to abstain from wickedness.



"Avoid Worldly and Empty Chatter..."

January 29, 2015

“Avoid Worldly and Empty Chatter…”

Blessings folk

We have seen that we have been instructed to be diligent in presenting ourselves approved as workmen accurately handling the Word of Truth.

The next verse begins with “but”...and as we have learn…”but” is important...

2 Timothy 2:15-18
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
16 But
avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,
17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.

We are told to avoid worldly and empty chatter.
Why?
It leads to ungodliness...further ungodliness.
It does not edify.
It does not encourage.
It does not exhort.

Such conversation literally spreads like gangrene.

How different would our lives be if we avoided worldly/empty chatter?
Quieter, I suspect.

How different would the Body of Christ be?

Paul gives an example of what occurs with such chatter.
Hymenaeus and Philetus had gone astray from the truth.
In what area?
They said that the resurrection had already taken place.
Apparently this conclusions was reached with the foundation of worldly/empty chatter.
They were upsetting the faith of many.

The fruit of such chatter is serious.

Let us avoid such talk.
Let us speak the Truth of the Lord.

Then, watch what happens.

"Word of Truth"

January 28, 2015

“Word of Truth”

Blessings folk!

A Truth from the Most High via the Spirit through Paul.
A Truth to Timothy.
A Truth to us.
Give close heed and action to it…

2 Timothy 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


We are commanded to be diligent.
Diligent in what?
In presenting ourselves approved to God.
Approved?
Yes.
How?
As a workman...unashamed.
Unashamed? In what arena?
In accurately handling the Word of Truth.

We must handle the Word of Truth - the Word of God, the Bible - accurately.
We must work at it.
We must be diligent.

This is not a command for leaders alone.

All True Believers must know the Word of God.

Are you diligently presenting yourself approved to God?
Are you a workman in the Kingdom?
Are you handling the Word of Truth accurately?
Do you know the Word of Truth?

Seek the Lord.
He will reveal.

"Wrangling..."

January 27, 2015

“Wrangling…”

Blessings Folk!

The Spirit of the Lord through Paul is very practical in instruction and command.

They are preparing Timothy for the soon coming time when Paul will depart.

Read the two-fold instruction.

2 Timothy 2:14
Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.


Timothy was to remind folk of these things that Paul was teaching.

Timothy was to also charge people with something.
He was to charge them “in the presence of God.”
A serious matter.

The charge?

Do not wrangle about words.
Oh how the Body of Christ needs to hear and do this.
So many wrangle over words, all the while making no attempt to know the Word.
Many is the professing believer who will staunchly and vigorously defend their stance, while refusing to seek the Word for Truth.
Such debate, argue, defend that which they know not.

Paul tells why to avoid such.
It is useless.
It leads to the ruin of the hearers.

Most “teaching/preaching” that I hear tends to err toward the wrangling of words.

Let us rejoice in the Word.
Let us know the Word.
Let us speak the Truth, thereby wrangling not.

"Trustworthy Statement"

January 26, 2015

“Trustworthy Statement”

Blessings folk!

The Spirit, through Paul, now gives us a trustworthy statement.
Give close attention to the Truth.

2 Timothy 2:11-13
11 It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Die with Him. Live with Him.
If we die to the flesh, to the desires of self, we will live in Him.
We will abide Him.
Daily death to self allows the Lord to live in us.

Endure and we will reign with Him.
Endurance to the end is the greatest evidence of true salvation.
The Word speaks about this in several places...to endure, to press on, to be found worthy, to run the course, etc.
True salvation will endure.
False salvation will not.

Deny Him? He will deny us.
Simply put.
If we deny Him, He will deny us.
But, what of…?
The next line helps.

Faithless?
He remains faithful.
What of the times when we fail...when our faith is weak...when our faith is nonexistent…when we sin...when we rebel...when… when...when…?
If we are truly saved…
If we have truly called upon the Lord in repentance…
If we have truly confessed…
Then we are His.
He is faithful.
He cannot deny Himself.
We are such a part of Him...His Body...that He will not deny us/Himself.

Even when we are faithless, He is faithful.

Remember…
Die to Live.
Endure to Reign.
Deny not to be not denied.
Remain Faithful in Him by Him.

"I Endure..."

January 25, 2015

“I Endure…”

Blessings folk!

Paul suffered persecution.
He encourages Timothy to press on in the midst of persecution.
Paul set the example.
What did he do?

2 Timothy 2:10
For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.


Paul endured all things…

  • for the sake of the gospel.
  • for the sake of those who are chosen.

It was Paul’s desire that those who are chosen would obtain salvation which is in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that goes with it.

So should we.

We are called to endure all things…
Not necessarily for ourselves…
For the Kingdom.
For those who are chosen.
Think on that…

Do we do all things for the sake of those who are chosen?

"Remember..."

January 24, 2015

“Remember…”

Blessings folk!

So often we forget the basics.
So often we are distracted by good things.
So often we are deceived by evil masquerading as good.

Paul sought to exhort Timothy on that which is most important to remember…

2 Timothy 2:8-9
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,
9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.

Remember Jesus Christ.
The Foundation.
Jesus = “Yahweh saves/Salvation”
Christ = “Anointed”

Remember the Saving, Anointed One.

Jesus Christ…

  • risen from the dead...He was dead...He is now alive
  • descendant of David
  • according to Paul’s gospel...the true gospel according to what Paul had proclaimed

Paul
  • proclaimed gospel
  • suffered hardship for the gospel...even unto imprisonment as a criminal

But, now this...the Word of God is never imprisoned.

Therefore, primary is to remember Jesus Christ and the basic truths of the Kingdom of God.

This Word...this Truth...is never imprisoned nor will ever die...

"Suffer...Consider..."

January 23, 2015

“Suffer...Consider…”

Blessings folk!

Paul continues to instruct Timothy.
Some hard things.
Read the passage asking the “reporter questions”.
Who?
What?
When?
Where?
Why?
How?
Give heed to the initial command and the three examples that he gives.
Then, note the last instruction.

2 Timothy: 3-7
3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.
6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.


What is the instruction?
Suffer hardship…

With Who?
… me/Paul…

How?
Three examples

As a good soldier of Christ Jesus

  • no active service soldier is entangles with the affairs of everyday life
  • please the one who enlisted

As an athlete
  • compete
  • compete according to the rules

As a farmer
  • hard-working
  • ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops

What is the last instruction?
Consider what I say…

What is the conclusion...the exhortation?
The Lord will give you understanding.

Press on in suffering.
Be prepared for it, in the Lord.
Consider the examples given...the soldier...the athlete...the farmer.

It is the Lord who gives understanding.
Seek Him.

"Be Strong..."

January 22, 2015

“Be Strong…”

Blessings folk!

Paul continues to give his last instructions to Timothy.
They apply to us also.

2 Timothy 2:1-2
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.


So, in light of all Paul has stated to this point…
My son...Paul considered Timothy to be his son.
They were close.
Paul was passing the “spiritual baton”.

Note the instructions.

Be Strong.
Have you ever considered this.
That we are to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
We are to be strong in grace...that which is unmerited, undeserved, unearned.
Our strength literally lies in the grace of the Lord.

Entrust the Things You Have Heard.
Paul desired that Timothy would take the things that he had heard and learned from him and entrust them to men.
Not just any men.
Faithful men.
Men who can/will teach others.
These things were heard in the presence of man witnesses.
They were verified as true.

We see some of how the Body is to grow and mature in the Lord.
Oh that we would do things as prescribed in the Word.

May we be strong in the grace of the Lord.
May we learn the truths of the Word.
May we entrust these to the faithful who will teach others.

"Lord Grant Mercy..."

January 21, 2015

“Lord Grant Mercy…”

Blessings folk!

In his writing to churches and individuals, Paul often let them know what was happening with him personally.

Remember, Paul is led by the Spirit in his writing.
The Spirit of God “left” this information for us.
In his writings Paul provides great detail about situation, circumstance, successes, failures, struggles, concerns and the like.

He does so without petulance.
He does not complain.
He does not whine.
He is not crying out “oh, woe is me”.
He is simply letting folk know...often for prayer, for intercession.

We as a Body would do well to pay attention to such.
We need to live in like manner, trusting one another.
Sadly, most believers live lives of concealment before one another.

Note what he shares with Timothy.

2 Timothy 1:15-18
15 You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains;
17 but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me—
18 the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.


Paul had people turn away from him.
Apparently, people who had been with him, now turned away.
He says “all who are in Asia”.
We do not know who “all” is, but he does name Phygelus and hermogenes.
Certainly this was troublesome to Paul.
Certainly it hurt personally.

Yet, he pressed on.

Paul then asks the Lord to grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus
Why?

Onisephorus…

  • refreshed Paul
  • was not ashamed of Paul’s chains
  • eagerly sought for Paul in Rome and found him
  • rendered services at Ephesus

Paul desired the Lord’s mercy upon the house of Onesiphorus. Now.

Paul desired the Lord’s mercy to be granted upon Onesiphorus himself “on that day”.
On that day?

Yep...it is everywhere.

On the “Day of the Lord” and all that is entailed with the Lord’s Parousia.

May the same mercy be upon us.

"Retain...Guard..."

January 20, 2015

“Retain...Guard…”

Blessings folk!

Paul gives direct commandments and instructions to Timothy.
Not only for him.
For us also.
Read and heed.

2 Timothy 1:13-14
13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.


Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me.
Do we know the “sound words”?
The Word of the Lord.
How much do you know?
Do we speak sound words?
Do we encourage others to speak the sound words we speak?

In the faith…
In the love which are in Christ Jesus…
We are to retain the standard of sound words.

Guard the treasure that has been entrusted to us.
Guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

What is the treasure?
The Power and Presence of the Lord…
Salvation...
The sound Words of the Lord…

Retain them.
Guard them.

"...For I Know..."

January 19, 2015

“...For I Know…”

Blessings folk!

Paul knew that he was appointed…
  • a preacher
  • an apostle
  • a teacher
...of the gospel and testimony of the Lord Jesus.

So are we as True Believers.
The Lord has appointments and works for each of us.
Works that were determined before the foundation of the earth.

The next verse begins with “for this reason” (by the way, you will note that varied translations punctuate the passage in different ways...some have one sentence, some several, etc. Reading different translations reveals nuances).

For what reason?

2 Timothy 1:12
12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.


Paul is suffering.
Imprisonment.
Torture.
Persecution.
Beatings.

Have you ever wondered why it is that the one that God called to take the gospel to the Gentiles spent a large amount of time in prison?
Unable to travel.

Could it be so that he would write some letters?
Nearly half of the New Testament.

Without doubt, it was for the praise and glory of God.

Paul knew this.

Therefore, he was not ashamed.
He knew Who he believed in.
He was convinced.
Convinced of what?
That the Lord Jesus would bring forth all that He promised in that Day.
Paul had entrusted to the Lord faith...hope...trust...etc.

He knew that the Lord would be found faithful.
In this he rested.

Do we?

"But Now..."

January 18, 2015

“But Now…”

Blessings folk!

We continue the Spirit and Paul’s sentence exhorting Timothy...and us.

2 Timothy 1:8-11
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
10 
but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.


The testimony of the Lord…
The gospel...according to the power of God…
We are saved…
We are called with a holy calling…
Not according to our works…
But according to His own purpose…
According to the grace He granted in Christ Jesus from all eternity…

From all eternity?
Yep.
The Lord knew before He spoke anything into existence all that would occur, all that could occur.

“But now…”
Revelation has occurred.
Salvation has been provided.
By the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus.

Look at what Jesus did…

  • abolished death
  • brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Paul was appointed a preacher, an apostle, a teacher.

The Lord has an appointment for each believer.
Are we living in it?

Looking at all that He has done for us, why not?
“We...the self”… is in the way.
Die to self.
Live in Him and His appointment.


"According to His Own Purpose..."

January 17, 2015

“According to His Own Purpose…”

Blessings folk!

The Holy Spirit, through Paul, was encouraging and exhorting Timothy, and us.

Yesterday we saw that we are not to be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord.
Nor, are we to be ashamed of the suffering that might come due to the testimony.

Read the passage again.
What has God done for True Believers?

2 Timothy 1:8-11
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.


God has…

  • saved us
  • called us with a holy calling. This is every believer. Not just “special ones”.
- We are not saved/called according to our works, according to our abilities.
- But, according to His own purpose.
    • According to His own purpose
    • According to grace which He has granted us
      • granted in Christ Jesus for all eternity.

It is the Lord who saves us.
It is the Lord who calls us.
It is the Lord who has a specific purpose for each of us.
It is the Lord who grants grace in Christ Jesus for all eternity to fulfill His purpose.

These are profound, foundational truths which we must know.
We must walk in them.
Not in the strategies and understandings of man.
But in the calling and grace of God.

Live the purpose the Lord has for you...

"Do Not Be Ashamed..."

January 16, 2015

“Do Not Be Ashamed…”

Blessings folk!

Paul is reminding, encouraging and exhorting Timothy.

It is now time of the usual “Pauline run-on sentence”...LOL

Read the sentence.

We will consider it a bite at a time.

2 Timothy 1:8-11
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.

“Therefore”...again, considering the context of what had been said earlier in the letter.

Paul encouraged Timothy to not be ashamed.
To not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord.
To not be ashamed of Paul...the Lord’s prisoner.
Through testifying of the Lord, Paul was arrested. Paul was a prisoner.
Literally, the prisoner of the Lord.

Then, Paul exhorted Timothy to join with him in suffering for the gospel.
According to the power of God.
Suffering may be/will be a part of the testimony of the gospel.
According to the power of God.

We often think that the power of God will prevent suffering/bad things/etc.
This is man’s perspective...and is incorrect.

Let us rest in gospel according to the power of God.

"For This Reason I Remind You..."

January 15, 2015

“For This Reason I Remind You…”

Blessings folk!

The next verse begins with “for this reason…”
What reason?

Paul reminded Timothy of the sincere faith they both had...now…

2 Timothy 1:6-7
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.


Paul had encouraged Timothy by reminding him of the faith in momma and grandma.

Now, Paul exhorts Timothy to do something.

Fan into flame the gift of God.

Interesting.

What is the “gift of God” that is referenced?
We learn some things…

  • Timothy had the capability to fan it into flame...which means…
  • The gift was there...even if in ember form…
  • It can be fanned into flame...intensified…
  • It can be “unfanned”...quenched?...yet not doused
  • The gift came through the laying on of Paul’s hands

We are not told specifically what the gift is.

I suspect it has to do with receiving the power of the Holy Spirit and the giftedness of the Spirit. In Timothy’s case specifically related to proclaiming the gospel message and teaching. The Lord used Paul to release such through Timothy.

But, note what else is said in the same sentence.

Paul tells Timothy that God has given us a spirit of…
  • power
  • love
  • self-control
...not fear.

This tells us some about Timothy...he was experiencing fear...he was withdrawn in spirit. Paul was telling him to walk not in fear, to fan into flame what the Lord provided.

We will learn more about Timothy as we progress through the letter.

We also see that we as True Believers have not a spirit of fear, but rather we have power, we have love, we have self-control.

The Spirit provides all three.
We simply need to appropriate what is provided...abide in the Lord...walk in obedience.
The Lord will do as He desires in each of us.

Today:
  • fear not
  • fan into flame the giftedness the Lord is releasing
  • live in the power of God
  • love
  • manifest self-control



"Sincere Faith..."

January 14, 2015

“Sincere Faith…”

Blessings folk!

Our faith has an impact.
On our lives today.
On our lives in the future.
On others now.
On others in the future.

Biblical faith is a curious thing to define.
It is having trust in God.
It is a decision as to where we place our trust.
At times it appears to be a quantifiable power...literally a force.

Faith changes lives.

Look at what the Spirit led Paul to share with Timothy.
A Word of encouragement.
A Word that provide a foundation for an exhortation.

2 Timothy 1:5
5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.


Timothy had a sincere faith.
Paul was reminded of it...he remembered and reflected upon the faith of Timothy.

This same faith dwelt first in Timothy’s grandmother, Louis, and in his mother Eunice.

Now, it dwells in Timothy.

Realize that the true, sincere faith we have has an impact on the generations that follow.
They are observing.
They are learning from us.
They are seeing the truth and reality of true faith.
They also see the inconsistencies of fraudulent faith.

Stand firm in the faith.
It is a foundation laid for the generations.


"Paul to Timothy..."

January 13, 2015

“Paul to Timothy…”

Blessings folk!

Paul was at the end of his life.
He knew it...as we will see later.
He wanted to impart some truths to his protege...to pass the baton.
The Spirit led.
Paul wrote.

There is much for us to learn and glean from this letter - 2 Timothy.
It speaks to today

2 Timothy 1:1-4
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.

Paul, as was his habit, declares who he is in the Lord…

  • an apostle of the Lord Jesus
  • an apostle by the will of God
  • an apostle according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus.

True believers are…
  • of Christ Jesus
  • in Christ Jesus

Paul speak blessings over Timothy…
  • grace
  • mercy
  • peace
All from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul…
- served God with a clear conscience...especially interesting considering the things he has done. The Lord forgave. Paul lived in the forgiveness.
  • thanked God. Especially for Timothy.
  • remembered Timothy in prayer night and day
  • remembered Timothy’s tears...their last departure was emotional
  • longed to see Timothy
  • considered Timothy his beloved child
  • knew that seeing Timothy would fill him with joy.

This is the introduction to a powerful Word.

Do we love OneAnother in like fashion?
Would we have this attitude when facing imminent death?

Wait ‘til you see the rest...

"Sincere Faith"

January 12, 2015

“Sincere Faith”

Blessings folk!

As you have likely heard, Andre Crouch, one of the major vessels used by the Lord in worship this past century, moved to glory and became one of the great cloud of witnesses this past week.

As the story goes, Andre’s grandmother laid hands upon him when he was a child (aged 9-10 or so). She asked for him to receive the gift, specifically of playing the piano. Did she know what she was releasing through the Lord? Andre, immediately began to play the piano.

He played.
He sang.
He wrote.
He did many, many things. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andra%C3%A9_Crouch

But, I’m drawn to the faithfulness of his grandmother...of his street-preaching parents.

Think on this.
We really do not know how the Lord will use our daily faithfulness in the future.
What is it that you may today...especially related to children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren...that will impact the world and the Kingdom of God in the future?

May we be as Andre’s family.
May we be as Timothy’s.

2 Timothy 1:5
5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.


Paul, in encouraging, exhorting and “passing the baton” to Timothy, reminded him of the faith of his family and of his (Paul’s) certainty that true faith dwelt in Timothy.

May we live this way.
Sincere faith manifested day-to-day.
Sincere faith impacting the following generations.
This is true legacy.

"Love Incorruptible"

January 11, 2015

“Love Incorruptible”

Blessings folk!

So often we give little heed to the closing portions of the epistles, especially as related to greetings, etc.

Yet, there is much to be gleaned.

What does the Spirit say to you here…

Ephesians 6:23-24
23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.


Note to whom Paul was speaking.
To the brothers.
To all who love our Lord Jesus Christ
...not just an acknowledgment. A love incorruptible.

Paul spoke some things over the brothers/all.
These things are from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

He spoke “peace”.
He spoke “love with faith”.
He spoke “grace be with...”.

Why do we not speak in this manner today?

Perhaps we should.

Let us release peace, love with faith, and grace to all who love.
May we do so in word and in deed.

...to the praise of the glory of His grace...

"Encourage Your Hearts..."

January 10, 2015

“Encourage Your Hearts…”

Blessings folk!

In closing his letter to the Body at Ephesus, Paul gave them some more insight into what was happening with him.

Ephesians 6:21-22
21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything.
22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.


Paul sent Tychicus to do a couple of things…

  • to deliver the letter
  • and to tell them everything

Tychicus was a beloved brother.
He was a faithful minister in the Lord.

Paul wanted them to know everything.
Everything related to how he was.
Everything related to what he was doing.
For what purpose?
We saw a few verses before that Paul asked them to pray for him.
They would now have more insight into his life.
This would help in praying.

We should do likewise.
Pray for one another.
Be open with one another.
Not gossip.
Not mauldlin whining related to life.

The Body needs openness.
The Body needs the support of one another.

Tychicus was sent for the purpose of communicating how Paul and his group were.
Plus one other thing.

Tychicus was to encourage their hearts.
What he told them of Paul would be encouraging.
It would result in exhortation.

Think on that.
Paul was experiencing challenging, difficult times.
Tychicus would speak the truth in a manner that would result in encouragement.
What satan intended for evil, God would use for good.

He still does…

May we be beloved and faithful in the Lord.


"Pray On My Behalf..."

January 9, 2015

“Pray On My Behalf…”

Blessings folk!

Let us look at the full sentence.
Often in Paul’s writing in the epistles the sentences are long. In examining them folk often miss the large, overall picture.

Ephesians 6:18-20
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


We as believers have been instructed/commanded to pray/petition at all time in the Spirit.
To be on the alert will all perseverance and petition for all the saints.

Paul then request that they pray for him.
He was always bold and forthright in requesting prayer for his circumstances.
He was always clear, without whining and complaining, about what had happened to him.
Look at what he requested.

  • For them to pray on his behalf
  • He was specific in that which they are to pray...that utterance/words would be given to him to speak the gospel
  • that boldness would be given to him to speak the mystery of the gospel

Paul was literally imprisoned.
Bound in chains.
Yet, his desire was not to procure his release…though certainly he wanted such.
His desire was to speak the words of the gospel in boldness, whether free or in prison.

He realized that the chains did not change the calling of ambassador - one who represents.

We should live likewise.

Boldly proclaiming the mystery of the gospel regardless of where we are.

Do so.

"Pray At All Times..."

January 8, 2015

“Pray At All Times…”

Blessings folk!

We have seen that we are to put on the armor of God.
We have seen the things that the armor provides.

What next?

Ephesians 6:18
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,


We are to pray at all times.
Yes.
All times.
Every breath, every thought, every deed is a prayer unto the Most High.
This changes how we view prayer.
Prayer is far more than “assuming the position” and saying a few words.
Prayer is walking in constant communion with the Lord.
We are empowered to do so through the Spirit.
Therefore, we are to pray in the Spirit.
Led by the Spirit.

Notice that we are to pray and petition/supplicate.
Petition for all the saints.

This is an active, ongoing, without-ceasing lifestyle.

We are to pray and be on the alert.
Alert for what?
Strategies of the evil one.
Things which would distract.
Things which would dissuade.
The leading of the Lord.

We are to pray/petition with all perseverance.
Pressing in.
Not just a “passing thought of a prayer”, but focus, persevering petition.

Let us do so.

"Sword..."

January 7, 2015

“Sword…”

Blessings folk!

Standing firm in…
Truth
Righteousness
Readiness given by the Gospel of Peace
Salvation

Truly, the Lord has not left us abandoned.
He has equipped and empowered His Body for the work and service of the Kingdom.
He has given us everything we need.
We simply need to appropriate, through obedience, that which He has granted to each one of us.

But, wait there is more! (Why do I feel like an infomercial?) LOL

Ephesians 6:17
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,


The Sword of the Spirit.
The Word of God.

They are one and the same.

The Lord has graciously granted us His Word.
The Word is the Sword which the Spirit will use.

If we know the Word.
If we allow the Spirit.

The sad reality is that most True Believers do not know the Word of God...the written Word.
They know about it.
They know denominational interpretations, distinctive, emphasis.
They know what someone has told them.
They know what they think they know...

But, rare is the person that seeks to know and discover the Truth of the Word of God themselves.

Therefore, rare is the person that is properly equipped with the Sword of the Spirit.

Be not that person.
Learn the Word.
Know the Word.
By doing so, you will Know The Word...the Lord Himself.

Read 2 Timothy today...we did yesterday in the kickoff to the local Bible studies.
If local, join us. We are studying Acts.

If distant, join us online...we are studying Luke.
Info here… https://www.facebook.com/groups/1500997036801743/

"Helmet..."

January 6, 2015

“Helmet…”

Blessings folk!

True Believers stand in the Truth, Righteousness and Readiness given by the gospel of Peace.

There is more…

Ephesians 6:17
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,


A helmet protects the head and all that it entails...the brain, eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, etc.
The head is likely the most important portion of the body to protect.
What is the helmet in the Ephesians 6 picture?

Salvation.

It is salvation that covers.
It is salvation that protects.
Only the salvation of the Lord.

Think on that.
Too often we neglect the wonder of what the Lord has done in salvation.
Our very thoughts are protected through the salvation of the Lord...if we allow Him...if we abide.

Determine today to do so.

May every thought be guarded by the salvation of the blood of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and
we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,


"Faith"

January 5, 2015

“Faith”

Blessings folk!

Not through “resolutions”.
Not through “promises”.
Rather through the Word and Truth of the Most High.
This is how a True Believer lives.

A True Believer stands firm.
We stand firm equipped with the Armor of God.
We do so by:
  • fastening on the Belt of Truth
  • putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness
  • putting on the readiness given by the Gospel of Peace

There is more to the Armor…

Ephesians 6:16
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;


The Shield of Faith.
A shield can be defensive and offensive in use.
Here, we see that it defends us from the fiery darts of the evil one.
It is Faith that enables us to resist the strategies that the evil one throws against us.
It is Faith that enables us to stand firm against evil.
Faith does not keep the evil one from attacking.
Faith does extinguish the attack.

Did you notice “when” the shield of faith is to be used.
In all circumstances.
Again, all.

Faith is the shield of protection for the True Believer.
Take it up!

One last thing.
“Faith” in what?
In the Most High.
In nothing else.
Definitely not in what we can do.
Faith in the Lord alone.

"Put On Readiness..."

January 4, 2015

“Put On Readiness…”

Blessings folk!

Are you standing firm?
Have you put on Truth?
Have you put on Righteousness?

Look at what is next to “put on”.
Think on this.
What does it mean?
Ask the Lord.

Ephesians 6:14-15
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having
put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.


We are to put on “readiness”.
What does this mean?

The context helps.
We are to put “readiness” on our feet...as shoes.
This gives us a hint.
We are to be ready in season and out of season.
Readiness protect our feet.
Readiness will enable us to be able to “go”.

Note from where the readiness came.
The Gospel.

We learn something about the Gospel.

It is the Gospel of Peace.
The Gospel brings Peace.
The Gospel bring readiness.
Readiness prepares us to go where the Gospel leads.
The Gospel of Peace prepares us with readiness for whatever we face.
Even if “peace” is not involved.
In the midst of the most difficult times, the Gospel is Peace.

Live in it.
Rejoice in the Peace.

One last thought...

If you have not Peace, you have not the True Gospel.

"Breastplate of Righteousness"

January 3, 2015

“Breastplate of Righteousness”

Blessings folk!

Are you walking in the Armor of God?
Do you fasten on daily the belt of Truth?

The next point…

Ephesians 6:14-20
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,


Many a sermon and teaching have covered the importance of functioning represented here. Going into such is beyond the parameters of our time together. But do note...

The belt holds everything on...up...together.
Truth does this.

Righteousness is the breastplate.
The breastplate protects the “vital” organs...heart, lungs, etc.
Righteousness does so for us.
Putting on Righteousness...living Holy as the Lord has called and empowered us to do… will protect the vital functioning of the Body.
The functioning of the individual.
The functioning of the Body of Christ composed of individual parts.

We “put on” Righteousness.
We can choose to walk in righteousness/holiness or do reject it.

If we reject, we are neglecting a important part of the Armor of God.
The part that protects the vital.
The part that reflects the very Presence of God.

Stand firm in His Truth...in His Righteousness.

"Belt of Truth"

January 2, 2015

“Belt of Truth”

Blessings folk!

Let us take small bites to reflect upon.

We have seen that we are to stand firm.

Now, remember.
This is a Word for True Believers.
These instructions do not apply to those who are not true believers, those who are of the world...even if they are religious and active in the organizations of man.

Ephesians 6:14
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth,...


We are told to fasten...to put on...the belt of Truth.
We as Believers must know the Truth.

We must know the Lord, the Truth.
Not just know about Him.
Not just know of Him.
Not just know…

But we must know Him.
To know Him and be known by Him.
Through the written Word…
Through the Spirit…
Through the Body…
Through creation...

We must know the Word of Truth. His Word.

Many will agree, but view pursue.
Few pursue knowing the Lord and the glory and wonder that is entailed.
Few pursue the Truth of His Word.

If we do not know The Truth, then we are missing a portion of the armor of God.

Determine to fasten on The Truth.
Learn His Word.
Know Him, The Truth/The Word.



"This Is How We Stand..."

January 1, 2015

“This Is How We Stand…”

Blessed, blessed New Year!

Let us begin the new year with the understanding that the Lord has equipped and empowered us to live in His victory, in His power...in His Presence. To stand firm.

True Believers are to put on the Armor of God…
Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Gospel of Peace
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Spirit

Now, give close attention to the instructions...

Ephesians 6:14-20
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having
put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances
take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and t
ake the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
18 
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.


We are called to:

Stand firm in the Lord.
Fasten on the belt of Truth.
Put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Put on the gospel of Peace.
Take up the shield of Faith, by which we can extinguish the evil, flaming darts.
Take the helmet of salvation.
Take the sword of the Spirit.
Pray at all times in the Spirit.
Keep alert.
Persevere.
Make supplication for all the saints.

These are the things which we should resolve to do this year.

Stand firm.
Put on.
Take up.
Keep alert.
Having done all to stand...Stand!