Posts Tagged ‘Timothy’


2 Timothy 2:11-13
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

Recently a young man approached me requesting help him find God. This young man sought the God of the Bible because everywhere else he turned, he found no peace. He is at a challenging point in his life where he needs to make critical decisions and try as he might with all his worldly wisdom and guidance, he does not have peace. We agreed to start reading through the gospel of John, a chapter a day and exchanging our thoughts. We started with chapter 1 and to my amazement, the Holy Spirit took over and worked so powerfully in him that this young man, 9 chapters down has accepted Christ as His Lord and Savior, seeks God with his heart and soul daily, loves the Word and seems to have a peace like never before. Was this the faith Paul had that made him so different from us? Was this the reason he was endowed with wisdom far beyond that of most men?

The challenge with the Christian faith is that to many, it is an easy faith. There are no set requirements, no rituals, there is little that one needs to do to be called a Christian and therefore it becomes an easy choice or an easy option to pass. The world looks at us as Christians and find us no different from them, find our goals and aspirations no different from theirs and therefore consider us foolish in our faith. When we are offered a totally new start, a forgiven past and an eternal future in heaven with God and all this at no cost to us, what are we willing to do for it? Would all of that be worth suffering for and would we not want to share this great news with everyone around us so that they may share in this heavenly inheritance not attainable by man? Our choice today is to live in the world like the world and die in the world or be counted worthy to be called Christian and live a faith that is Christ-like. Are you willing to die with Christ to therefore live and reign with Him?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

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2 Timothy 1:8-10, 12
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel… That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

Most people I know including myself aspire to live quite lives that are not tied up in unwanted publicity and strewn with suffering and hurt. Our goal is generally to enjoy lives with those we love, to be good citizens, work less and earn more, live peaceable lives and leave a legacy of goodness for our future generations. Paul was of a different mould and seemed to attract the wrath of those in authority, had a way of getting under their skin with his strong words and boldness, was obstinate about his beliefs and refused to budge on them, had a mob mentality and encouraged others to be like him or so it seems from his letters. Why is there such a diametrical difference between Paul as a man of God and us? What is God’s word to us today?

Paul was a passionate man who lived to share his beliefs, whether as Saul or as Paul. His transformation was brought about by God who chose him for His own purpose and used Paul’s passion to share the gospel instead of rejecting it. To live as a Christ follower is to live as one who opposes the world because the world aspires to glorify the Devil and his ideals whereas Christ lived to serve God and direct the world to Him. To an unbeliever, it might sound like I’ve lost my plot about who is right from wrong but when we examine the life of Jesus through the Bible, we understand the difference between the lie we live and the life we forgo. To the believer in Christ, to live a life that pleases the Devil is to live an unperturbed life where we co-exist with the world but to live for Christ is to accept a life full of challenges because we take a stand against the Devil and for Jesus who destroyed death and gave us life everlasting through His death and resurrection. Are you ashamed to live for Christ?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

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1 Timothy 6:6-7, 10-14
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it… For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 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 you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is there a contradiction in the Bible about wealth? Here God warns us about yearning for money because it is the root of all kinds of evil whereas in other portions of the word, men of God are rewarded with wealth many times more than they ever had because they were faithful or obedient to God like Job, Daniel, Moses, Joseph, David and many others. When the rich young ruler came to Jesus asking how he could enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus asked him to sell all he had, give it to the poor and then to come and follow Him. So is even having wealth bad? What is God’s heart about seeking and storing wealth?

This letter was written by Paul to Timothy as an instruction on pastoring. The role of a pastor is to lead the flock and point them to Jesus. It is not an easy role because some among the flock always try to find wrong in what the pastor does and so the pastor’s life is always under scrutiny both by man and God. In much the same way, followers of Jesus are called to serve God to the world through their lives and pursuing anything that causes the world to stumble is not God pleasing. Jesus could have chosen to have been born in a palace rather than a manger, to have parents who were royalty rather than common peasants, to have ridden a horse rather than a donkey, to have had total submission of the world rather than submit to it and in so doing was a role model to us. We are warned that we can never serve two Gods at once. Jesus instructs us in Mat 6:33 that when we seek His kingdom and his righteousness, all things essential to us will be given by God because God loves us. Let us live to serve the King of Kings who saved us from Satan and clothed us for an eternity with Him rather than seek something that we cannot take with us beyond this physical life.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Matthew 6:25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”

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1 Timothy 5:1-3, 5, 8, 24-25
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need… The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help… 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… The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.

In the days when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy advising him on how to be a better pastor the elderly, the children, the youth and the widows were treated with less respect than adult men. Widows were the outcast in society and people lived only considering themselves and their desires, not those of their families and people around them. Times have changed and people regardless of age, sex or situation in life are now considered equal in most parts of the progressive world. In these days, what is the need for God to remind us of something as basic as this? Do we not love and respect everyone around us and give charity to organizations that support the poor, homeless, suffering, etc? Is there more that we need to do? We do not have the time, resources or energy to do more than we already are, right?

What Paul suggested to Timothy was a culture change and showed the heart of God. The Church is less an organization and more the representation of God’s love. It is not a corporate body or a physical structure, rather it is a group of sinful and helpless people brought together by the love of God, saved by the grace of God, for the purpose of giving God the glory and supporting and upholding each other in the process. The church is not a body that represents the world and it’s sinfulness but is a representation of God and his forgiving nature and is an oasis of hope to the world. Do we consider anyone less deserving of our love and if so, is that what God would desire of us? Are there any in our families who need caring and we have failed to notice because we are caught up in the busy-ness of our lives? Are we living outwardly as christians but inwardly lost and therefore trashing our testimony of God’s grace in our lives? Lets take the plank out of our eyes before we point at the dirt in others lives.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Proverbs 10:9 He who walks in integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out.

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1 Timothy 4:1-5, 7-8
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer… Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

I find it hard to believe that this passage was written close to 2,000 years ago and is so pertinent today. It is as though it was written just a few years back looking at its present relevancy. The whole message of the Bible is completely relevant today as it was since time began because it is the word of God. As I was praying just moments ago, the one thought that stuck in my mind was that the greatest solution to all of mankind was love. Not human, broken, selfish, immoral, ill-meaning, crude, biased, despicable love but God’s love. We the people of this world are so lost in our own selves and our desires that we can never see eye to eye with each other and only love that is not from within us but from above can bind us together. If that is the case, why are we being warned of people misleading us in following this God of love?

As I continue this journey with Christ, I realize that often times I am trying to be bigger than God and in that there is no blessing but only condemnation. I sometimes worry if people follow me rather than Christ because I’m the bearer of the word and so I’m considered wise. The truth is that without Christ, there is no me and no word and no love and so I pray that Jesus is the one glorified and not us as humans. In the same way, in ministry people grow in knowledge and understanding of God and fall away because of weak Christian foundations and find temporary glory in the eyes of fellow men and therefore pursue that regardless of where it leads them. There are many who are lost and seeking and yearn to have someone to see and follow and therefore are led astray and there are few that find the truth of Jesus and follow Him all the days of their lives and bless many. The Bible is God’s word and our guide to life and therefore lets use it to guide us in this journey till we are face to face with our Lord and Maker. Lets train ourselves to be godly for that is what the Lord wills for us in His word.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.

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1 Timothy 3:15-16
If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:
He appeared in a body,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.

Earlier in the chapter, Paul explains to Timothy what pre-qualifications one needs in order to be made an overseer or deacon in the Church. An overseer also referred to as an elder are people who should be peacemakers, prayer warriors, teachers, leaders by example, and decision makers. Deacons are generally more like servant-leaders helping out with non-teaching roles whereas elders can be described as teaching-leaders. When we look at the pre-requisites, very few people in every Church fit that role and might be willing to perform that role. Obviously the role involves serving the body of Christ and therefore there is much at stake. The draw of power and prestige should not be the earmarks of the role but instead the focus should be on whom God calls and how the chosen are able to serve with servant-hearts. What then is the mystery of godliness?

As we look at the 6 lines that explain it, we understand it as:

1. Appearing in body: Jesus Christ was fully man and yet fully God

2. Vindicated by the Spirit: After his condemnation to death, the power of God raised Him from the dead

3. Seen by angels: The angels were at the open tomb and told the women about Jesus’ resurrection

4. Preached among the nations: To Paul, a Jew who was taught that Gentiles (Non-Jews) were not chosen, it was significant to Him that God came to die for sinners regardless of their culture or heritage

5. Believed on in the world: Two thousand years later, Christ is still preached and lives in the lives and hearts of millions today

6. Taken up in Glory: Christ’s resurrection

Those who seek to take up office in the Church need to be mindful most importantly that they are called to serve Jesus Christ and his bride, the Church, which is the people in the body among them. This calling is a fulfillment of how God wants His body to be led and instructed and served and those called into it His servants.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

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1 Timothy 1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Today we start Paul’s letter to Timothy and this is a pastoral epistle or a letter of instruction to a Church leader. You and I may not be Church leaders but as we serve Christ to the world, we may have opportunities to teach or discipline other Christians and so this book is vital to our understanding. To you, the statement above might sound repetitive and I don’t blame you for thinking that way. It seems like this message is written all over the Bible but what purpose does God have in mentioning it to us today? Is it that we need to be reminded of what Christ did for us or because He wants us to look back at the cross of calvary?

As I walk with the Lord, I meet people of different backgrounds who are saved by Jesus and I also meet people who are seeking a savior. In each person, I find real meaning and purpose and I can see how God can use them for His glory but when I look at myself, I wonder if I was just lucky. Paul’s statement helped me understand again the purpose of my life. I might never have thought it possible until that day when I sat at the foot of Jesus and asked Him to be my Lord and Savior. I saw my life as pointless and sin filled and I knew I deserved no mercy but He in His gracious nature accepted me, cleaned me up and now looks at me as His own. I was once the worst of sinners and today I am a new creation and the world around me can see that even though I once was lost, I am now found and live on His grace alone. I pray you find freedom in Christ that this world can never give you, no matter what.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Mark 2:17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

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2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for [that day will not come] until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Recently I watched the movie 2012 and like all big blockbusters, this one kept me entertained. There has been a lot of talk about this movie and the predictions that were the foundation of it. The Mayans claimed 2012 was the year and so did many people from centuries ago and several people live today trying to prove its validity. In today’s passage, Paul reminds us that Jesus will not return until the rebellion of man is complete to a point where Satan through humankind will crown himself over God and will be worshipped. What are we therefore expected to do and is it time yet?

We were reminded in 1 Thessalonians 5 that the Lord will come like a thief in the night when no one expects him to. This could be now or a 1,000 years from now and only God the Father knows when. Jesus said in Matthew 24:43-44 that if we knew when He was coming, wouldn’t we be all prepared just before He came but until then live like we wanted to in sin? Therefore His return would be at a time we do not expect and so we have to always be prepared. Then what about the signs Paul spoke about? As we look around our world, it seems like Satan is getting more control whether in terms of a one world governance, unified currency, separating religion form state, from school and from daily lives, etc. We do not know when the time will come but we do know that it will be sudden and so we are reminded to be on alert always, to live our lives to the fullest for Jesus Christ who saved us from destruction, to serve those around us His love and to be beacons of light in this dark world. Are you living the life worthy of His name or are you looking for the signs to start?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Matthew 24:43-44 If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

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1 Thessalonians 3:4-8
In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.

When we take a stand for Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we go against the grain of this world and against Satan who is like a roaring lion, waiting to devour people (1 Peter 5:8). Paul reminds us of the reality of persecution but that is not the point of God’s message to us today. When Paul, Timothy and Silas were being persecuted, they were concerned that the Thessalonians would start to lose their faith and drift away from God. The fact that sincere followers of Christ were not blessed but rather were being attacked constantly would cause anyone who believed in Christ to doubt if their faith was rightly placed. Is this what you have experienced or witness in other believers? What is God’s response to this?

As you can note from Timothy’s feedback to Paul, the Thessalonians were not discouraged but instead full of faith and love. They had good memories of them and were longing to see them again. That was only possible because their faith was correctly placed. When we fully understand God’s calling in our lives and are willing to follow Jesus, we know that we will be persecuted just as He was for our faith in Him. Therefore when we suffer or see other christians suffer, we know that it is our responsibility to pray for them and our Lord and Savior is in complete control. When I think of suffering, I praise God because through suffering, our faith is strengthened and our desire for God is intensified. Lets not be shaken and tossed like the people of this world because our God is bigger than the little storms in our lives and our lives are secured by Christ’s resurrection.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

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Acts 18:1b, 4-6, 9-11
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth… Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles”… One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

For a long while, I imagined Paul to be a strong and courageous man for his ability to speak out against what was not right and stand up for the gospel. In today’s passage, we see another side of Paul; we see fear and frustration in a man devoted to the cause. So much so that God had to reassure him in a vision. Paul in his ministry traveled significantly with one goal in mind – to serve Jesus to the world and now he seems lost. What happened to Paul? Had he lost his drive and passion? Was it the strength of the opposition or the lack of support in his ministry? What is the Lord speaking to us this morning?

Like many, we tend to put our faith in things we can see and touch and so in Paul, we drew confidence from his powerful ministry and life because he is a person we can relate to. However, we are reminded again that Paul is not the role model we need to follow but Christ. Paul, like you and me, is a servant of God and lived to glorify God, not himself. We need to be focussed on Jesus and draw strength and direction from Him. As human as Paul was, he could only see opposition and hardened hearts but God sees the big picture and directed him to continue to serve. We need to ask God to show us the way to serve him and we need to give it our all. The reason should not be self glory but God’s glory and our eyes need to fixed on Jesus throughout.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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