Category: Pauline epistles–BibleTrekToday

Sharing the faith!

Scripture reading for July 14th: 2nd Chronicles 15-16, 1st Kings 16, Philemon

Key Scriptures: Philemon 3-7 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”

Paul wrote this short letter to a fellow-worker in the Gospel who had a church in his home. He commended Philemon for his love and faith and prayed that his sharing of his faith would result in full knowledge of all the blessings of Christ Jesus. Faith is like a muscle, that when exercised and shared grows stronger. God reveals Himself to us more and more as we possess what we already have. Paul had been comforted by the reports of the ministry of this brother and was filled with joy. Encouragement flows from Paul’s heart to this minister.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord, give me open doors today to share my faith in Jesus Christ with love to those You send. As I share my faith, open my mind to know fully every good thing that is mine in Your kingdom.

2nd Chronicles 15:1-2 “The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”

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Heirs of Eternal Life!

Scripture reading for July 13th:  1st Kings 15, 2nd Chronicles 13-14, Titus 3

Key Scriptures:  Titus 3:3-7  “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” 

We all have a tainted history–sinners enslaved by our flesh and involved in acts of sin and rebellion against God.  Jesus Christ was presented to us through the preaching of the Gospel and by grace we were able to see His goodness and kindness and respond through repentance and faith.  This was all an act of mercy on Christ’s behalf, justifying us who were guilty and making us heirs with Him of eternal life!  Amazing grace brought saving faith.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your amazing grace, goodness and kindness towards me, a rebellious sinner.  I invite the Holy Spirit to continue Your regeneration of my heart, preparing me for eternal life.  Jesus is Lord!

2nd Chronicles 13:12 “Behold, God is with us at our head, and His priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you, O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of you fathers, for you cannot succeed.”

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Amazing Grace!

Scripture reading for July 10th:  1st Kings 13-14, 2nd Chronicles 12, Psalm 47, Titus 2

Key Scriptures:  Titus 2:11-14  “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.”  

Grace from God’s merciful heart appeared to all men in the form of a man, God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  This grace, when received, teaches us to renounce all sins and worldly passion and to live holy lives in expectation of the return of Jesus, our ‘Blessed Hope!’  As we are waiting, we are to be joyfully focused on doing the good works Christ has prepared for us.  This is amazing grace!

Psalm 47:7-8 “For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!  God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Thank You, Lord for Your amazing grace shown to us in Jesus Christ.  I choose to live a holy life, doing the good works  You prepared for me and expecting the ‘Blessed Hope!’

2nd Chronicles 12:6  “Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous.”

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Don’t deny God by your works!

Scripture reading for July 9th:  1st Kings 12, 2nd Chronicles 10-11, Titus 1

Key Scriptures:   Titus 1:15-2:1  “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.  The profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works.  They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good works.  But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” 

Paul instructed Titus, a young minister and another ‘son’ of Paul’s in the faith, about the various parties in the church. The ‘circumcision’ party was causing disruption by teaching false doctrine and causing disruption and division. Paul told Titus to silence them and rebuke them sharply. Their profession of Christ was a lie because their works were denying Jesus. Sound doctrine must be taught which produces good works. Salvation is by faith through grace, not through works of the flesh like circumcision.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for cleansing my conscience and mind and giving me the ability to discern good from evil. Order my works today to bring glory to You alone as I set my heart to seek You and Your will.

2nd Chronicles 11:16 “And those who had set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers.”

1st Kings 12:28 “So the king (Jeroboam) took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “you have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”

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The Lord stood by me!

Scripture reading for July 8th:  Ecclesiastes 10-12, 2nd Timothy 4

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 4:14-18 “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.  Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.  At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.  May it not be charged against them!  But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  So I was rescued from the Lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.” 

Paul warned Timothy by naming a man who had greatly opposed him.  This was not for the purpose of revenge–God must be the only one to repay!  Paul also mentioned being deserted by all his friends when he stood up in court to the charges against him.  He was facing death and asked that this not be held against them by the Lord.  God stood by Paul and strengthened Him.  Paul was fully convinced (confident) God would rescue him and bring him safely into heaven.  

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me to always leave all revenge to You.  I believe You will always stand by me and strengthen me.  You are my hope of safe entry into heaven.  

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14  “The end of the matter; all has been heard.  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or bad.”  

 

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Fully Equipped!

Scripture reading for July 7th:  Ecclesiastes 7-9, Psalm 46, 2nd Timothy 3

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 3:12-17 “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 

Persecution and suffering are part of the package for those who follow Jesus Christ.  Evil and evil people will increase as time goes on to its culmination at the return of Jesus Christ.  God’s workers must continue in the faith and sound preaching of Scripture.  God has “breathed” His Word to equip us for every good work and for correction and training of the next generation of workers.  It is full of God’s Spirit and Life, completely equipping each person for the work God has prepared.

Psalm 46:11  “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You that You are with me and have ‘breathed’ out Your holy Word and equipped me for every good work.  May the evil people hear Your Word and be converted in these last days where evil increases.

Ecclesiastes 9:12  “For man does not know his time.  Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.”  

 

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The unashamed worker!

Scripture reading for July 6th:  Ecclesiastes 4-6, Psalm 125, 2nd Timothy 2

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 2:15-19  “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.  But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.  Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened.  They are upsetting the faith of some.  But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal:  “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of the Lord depart from iniquity.””

Paul encourages the younger minister, his son in the faith, to do his best to handle the Word of God rightly.  This also included living it out in his everyday life as evidenced by the instruction to stay away from irreverent babble.  Paul cited two bad examples by name, Hymenaeus and Philetus, as what to avoid.  Paul’s warning included a reference to God’s intimate knowledge of His own servants and His clear instructions to live a holy life.

Psalm 125:1  “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me by the Holy Spirit to rightly handle Your unchanging Word and to apply it to my life each day.  I will be a good example with Your help!

Ecclesiastes 5:10 “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”  

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A Holy Calling!

Scripture reading for July 3rd:  Ecclesiastes 1-3, Psalm 45, 2nd Timothy 1

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 1:8-12  “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the Gospel by the power of God, Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do.  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.”  

Paul encouraged Timothy, who had a problem with timidity, not to be ashamed of his testimony of Jesus Christ or of Paul, in jail because of his testimony.  God had called them both to a holy calling:  to preach and testify of Jesus Christ and also to suffer because of that.  This calling was rooted in eternity.  Paul was not ashamed because he knew Jesus Christ and was convinced of Jesus’ power to keep him safe for eternity and to watch over the gospel message and bring fruit.

Psalm 45:6  “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.  The scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; . .”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, I love and trust You and Your ability to keep me through the suffering that may come as a result of my testimony and preaching of Your Gospel.  Give me boldness and courage to fulfill my holy calling.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it.  God has done it, so that people fear before Him.”  

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The good fight!

Scripture reading for July 2nd: 1st Kings 10-11, 2nd Chronicles 9, 1st Timothy 6

Key Scriptures:  1st Timothy 6:9-13  “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things.  Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  

Paul warned Timothy about one of the traps of the devil:  the love of money.  Jesus had taught that a disciple couldn’t serve two masters.  The love of money was idolatry and had taken many away from the faith and caused much ruin and destruction.  The man of God must flee from this trap and pursue God and His righteous character.  He must lay hold of eternal life by living a sold-out and set-apart life .

1st Kings 11:4 “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, I submit to You alone as Lord and will pursue and take hold of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ and His Word.  Keep me safe from snares that will turn my heart away from You. 

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Do not be partial with Elders!

Scripture reading for July 1st:  1st Kings 9, 2nd Chronicles 8, 1st Timothy 5

Key Scriptures:  1st Timothy 5:17-21 “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.  For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”  Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.  As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.  In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.”

Paul gave some simple instructions to Timothy concerning the treatment of elders in the Church.  First, elders that ruled well were to be given ‘double honor’.  Teaching and preaching were to be held in esteem and those laboring honorably were to receive proper compensation.  However, if there was sin involing an elder, there must be two or three witness before considering the charge.  If found true, public rebuke was required if there was no repentance.  Both of these ‘rules’ were to be kept without partiality.  All heaven is watching!

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord, thank You for clear instructions for elders in Your Church.  I have sought to keep these instructions without partiality.  Help me to continue in sound teaching and preaching to honor You alone!

2nd Chronicles 8:15 “And they did not turn aside from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites concerning any matter and concerning the treasuries.”   

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