Re: Verse reading–2 Timothy 1:6-14; 2:1-15 (day three)
“He 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.”  John Ortberg writes:
Somebody once asked Dallas Willard if he believed in total depravity.
“I believe in sufficient depravity,” he responded immediately.
What’s that?
“I believe that every human being is sufficiently depraved that when we get to heaven, no one will be able to say, ‘I merited this.’”
Depravity is the denial of our finiteness.  We claim to be self-validating, unaccountable to anyone.  We say, “I am who I am”—a crude counterfeit of the great I AM.  Ask yourself: Would you want to be at the mercy of a god like you?  Be honest.  Then get to know Christ.  You’ll see the God you’re really at the mercy of.

Not Ashamed

Re: Verse reading–2 Timothy 1:6-14; 2:1-15 (day two)
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. vs. 12

Imprisoned and alone, Paul’s words to Timothy show the fervor of his commitment to Christ. How often when discussing faith have your heard the words ‘it’s a private matter’? Yes, each person has to account for themselves and is responsible to the Lord, but we are not to be ashamed to give account of our faith in Christ Jesus. Paul’s imprisonment only emboldened his resolve to share the Good News and to encourage others to do the same. We are not in prison or in bondage, let us therefore share boldly with others.

Neither poverty or riches

Re: Verse reading–1 Timothy 6:3-19 (day seven) 
“Some people, eager for money, have wandered away from faith.”v 10.

Vitally important subject today,  serious blind spot in this present generation.  Followers of Christ must value godliness OVER gain,  must see the temptation inherent in the attempt to use godliness AS A MEANS of gain. (see v 5)  As we prepare for worship this morning, please reflect on these thoughts.  “Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, lest I be full and deny Thee. . .lest I be in want and steal and profane thy name.”Proverbs 30:8.  “God may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined him to the point that he no longer needs it to be happy.  The man who is elated by success and cast down by failure is still a carnal man.”–A. W. Tozer.

See you in worship in a few hours.  You are loved!

Zero-sum game

Re: Verse reading–1 Timothy 6:3-19 (day five)
“For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.”–v 7.

A popular phrase. Describes a limited resource situation.  “More for me will mean less for you.”  And vice versa.  At the end of the game, gains and losses always equal zero.  Life is like that.  Over time, all that we have accumulated will be surrendered back.  Early gains will exactly equal later losses.  Old Joke. . . rich man dies.  Q-“How much did he leave?”  A-“All”.  The only exception to this rule is the soul.  A relationship with God, deeds done in service to Him, these go with us out of this present age into the next.  These are the “treasures” that Jesus encouraged us to send ahead.–Matthew 6:19.   “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”Mark 8:36.  It doesn’t!  Apart from Christ and a walk of faith, life is a zero-sum game.


Re: Verse reading–1 Timothy 6:3-19 (day five) 

11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

Do you get tired of constantly being reminded or repeatedly urged and encouraged about things you already believe or understand?  Most of the time my response is a dismissing “I Know, I Know!!”  Paul reminds Timothy of “trustworthy sayings”.  He urges remembering doctrinal truths.  Over and over, he calls for Timothy to teach these same things to believers in Ephesus.  Why?  Paul knows the human heart.  He knows that the human heart is wired to pursue.  It’s just often we pursue the wrong things.  Sometimes we pursue the right things but for wrong reasons.  So, maybe if we frequently made (sang) honest confessions and earnest pleas, the Spirit would give our hearts needed “course corrections”.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it                                                                                                    Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above




In Pursuit

Re: Verse reading–1 Timothy 6:3-19 (day four)  It is not enough to just avoid the temptations of life…we have to fill our lives with good to keep the void in our character from backfilling.  Verse 11 says, “But flee from these things you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”  Pursue…it is a relentless pursuit that doesn’t give up, a determined, unrelenting vocation.  Our goal is to overtake and conquer these character qualities.  Paul is encouraging Timothy to spend his life focused on the truth of a right relationship with God.  Time spent in pursuit of riches is misguided and lost time.  We are chasing after a mirage.  Focus on God…do good, be rich in good works, and be generous and ready to share.  These qualities form a foundation that is stable and strong…you will find true life…not a drifting ghost of deception from the father of lies.

Godliness and Gain

Re: Verse reading–1 Timothy 6:3-19 (day two)
…who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. vs. 5

It’s a despicable thought, isn’t it? That someone would seek to profit from being Godly. But how far are we from this? Have you ever heard someone use their religious affiliation to gain some kind of upper hand? It is not uncommon, particularly in politics, for someone to use their connection to the church to somehow relate to the “faith” community. I’ve been a part of interviews where people describe themselves as “good” Christians, but other than their statement there is no evidence of God’s work in their life.

Godliness should be our unspoken calling card, our life’s purpose and how we comport ourselves in everything. If we have to “sell” our godliness, then perhaps we aren’t understanding our calling. Our pursuit of a Godly life should be a pursuit of righteousness, faith, love, gentleness (vs. 11). We should live a life that radiates these characteristics of Christ and dedicate ourselves to his service.

Fight or flight?

Re: Verse reading–1 Timothy 6:3-19 (day one)
“But you, man of God, FLEE from all this. . .FIGHT the good fight of faith.”v 11-12.

It is not an easy answer, no “one size fits all” wisdom.  Sometimes we flee, and sometimes we fight.  Paul is warning Timothy (and us) about controversies and quarrels that divide a church.  He warns also about a love for money that is “a root of all kinds of evil.”–v 10.  Run from these temptations!  Don’t get close and hope to avoid falling in.  Flee!  Sometimes the opposite is required.  When challenged with unbelief or untruth, fight!  (Note Paul’s reference to Christ as He courageously stood before Pilate–v 13.   Sometimes He avoided unnecessary conflict, other times He met it head on.)  Only the Spirit can make this choice in each situation.  For today, let us reflect on this lesson; sometimes we flee, and sometimes we stand and fight.  Lord, help us to know when and how to obey these commandments.