Category: Pauline epistles–BibleTrekToday

Reward from the Lord!

Scripture reading for January 15th: 2nd Timothy 4

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 4:5-8, 22 “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.” . . . .”The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.”

Paul’s final words to his son in ministry calls him to a reminder of the eternal reward that will come on the Day of Christ when at the Judgment Seat of Christ we will all be rewarded for the deeds done in the body. Paul knew his race was at the end here on earth. He was soon to be beheaded–poured out as a ‘drink offering’! He had maintained his faith and fought a good fight to stay true to Jesus Christ, suffering for the Gospel but anticipating the reward! This reward would also be for Timothy and all others who faithfully followed and endured! God is with us and His grace will bring us through to reward! We will cast our crowns at Christ’s feet!

Daniel 12:18 “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the promise of reward from You for faithfulness and endurance through the trials here on earth. Help me to maintain my testimony and finish the good fight in Your grace filled with Your Holy Spirit.

1st Corinthians 3:13-15 “. . .each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”

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Profit from Scripture!

Scripture reading for January 14th: 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.”

Paul reminded Timothy over and over that those following Jesus and applying God’s Word to their lives would not be universally loved and accepted. The world was full of evil and people under evil’s influence and deception. This would increase as the world population increased but should not affect how believers lived. They must hold on firmly to the basic truths of Scripture. God breathed out the Scriptures and through them man can become wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Scripture is profitable for reproof–addressing wrong-doing and sin, for correction–changing course, and for illumination of our path through this increasingly evil world. God’s Word will equip believers for every good work and brings eternal profit!

Psalm 119:14-15 In the way of Your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for enduring suffering and teaching Your followers that suffering would come to them in an increasingly evil world. I will study Your Word and faithfully remind my brothers and sisters how profitable it is to become equipped and complete. Help me to rejoice when persecutions come.

Luke 6:22-23 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.”

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A workman approved!

Scripture reading for January 13th: 2nd Timothy 2
Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 2:8-10;14-15 “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my Gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the Word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” . . .”Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 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.”

Paul’s reminder to Timothy continues as he wrote to him from prison in Rome and would soon suffer martyrdom. He calls to his remembrance Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, son of David, Son of God. Paul had unashamedly preached Jesus Christ and was now suffering and bound by chains. But Paul reminded Timothy not to be ashamed of his imprisonment or to fear his own. The Word of God was not chained and was producing the fruit of salvation and eternal glory in those who would receive. Paul encouraged Timothy to preach clearly the Word of God to his hearers and to continually present himself to God as His workman. God’s grace would enable him to rightly preach the whole truth and not be ashamed at Christ’s appearing. He wanted Timothy to hear “Well done, faithful servant!”

Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy. He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I will endure suffering for the sake of sharing the Seed of Your Word bringing salvation and eternal glory to those lost and in darkness. Keep my mind and heart focused on You alone! May the “unchained” Word go forth from me turning many to You!

Daniel 12:3 “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

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Fanning the flame!

Scripture reading for January 12th: 2nd Timothy 1

Key Scriptures: 2nd Timothy 1:6-10 “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, for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in the 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 world 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, . . .”

In his last letter before leaving this world, Paul affectionately addressed his son in the faith, Timothy with a reminder. Timothy had come from a line of people who were marked by their faith in God. Timothy also had come to faith and had been ordained by Paul through the laying on of his hands and had received the gift of the Holy Spirit and a holy calling to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit enabled Timothy to be bold and powerful in loving God and sharing God’s love with a hurting and sometimes hateful world. Paul reminded him of this Gift and encouraged him to fan the flames of God’s passionate love and power through the exercise of this Gift. Suffering would result, but life and immortality would flow for Timothy and those who received the Gospel message and God’s purpose would be fulfilled.

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, Thank You for the Gift of Your Holy Spirit to give me boldness, power, and passionate love for You and for Your people. I want to fan into flames the Gift You have provided and that is in me. Give me more grace and power to live a holy life and reach the lost!

Leviticus 19:18 “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

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Holding fast to Life Eternal

Scripture reading for January 11th: 1st Timothy 6

Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 6:12-16 “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. I charge you in the presence of God, Who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, Who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will display at the proper time–He Who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Who alone has immortality, Who dwells in unapproachable light, Whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”

Paul ends his letter to Timothy where it began in the first chapter. He encouraged Timothy to hold fast to eternal life by living by faith. He encouraged him to live a holy life in expectation of Jesus’ promised return and ended with worship of the King of kings and Lord of lords! Honor and eternal dominion are found in Him alone! He dwells in unapproachable light and is without beginning or end! What a blessed Lord we serve!

Leviticus 11:44 “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy for I am holy.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, crucified for my sins, buried in a tomb, raised on the third day to eternal glory at God’s right hand. I praise and worship You as King and Lord! Give me grace to hold fast to eternal Life and enjoy eternal pleasure with You!

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

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Elders and the Church

Scripture reading for January 8th: 1st Timothy 5

Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 5:17-22 “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 prejudicing, doing nothing from partiality. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.”

Paul gave instructions to the Church concerning the care and discipline of their elders. Elders were charged with teaching and preaching God’s Word and prayer. Those who labored–worked hard and consistently–were to be taken care of financially from the offerings brought in. If there was any charge of sin in an elder’s life, it must be brought by two or three witnesses and all facts established. The offender was to be publicly rebuked if they persisted in sin. Those who repented would humbly ask for forgiveness and mercy. These things were to be done without respect for persons or any partiality. A warning was given to be careful in ordaining elders or laying hands on them prematurely. Careful inquiry and purity of life must be ascertained before setting them in leadership.

Deuteronomy 19:15 “A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for clearly giving care to elders through instructions to Your people. Thank you for financial care and spiritual care and discipline. Help Your Church to do these things without partiality or prejudice.

Matthew 10:9-10 “Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.”

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Godly character shines

Scripture reading for January 6th: 1st Timothy 3

Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 3:1-7 “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

Becoming an effective spiritual leader is an inside job. As Paul shares the qualification for overseers and deacons with Timothy, we note the many character traits, good and bad, that he lists. The positive traits come from time spent in God’s presence and humbly inviting the Holy Spirit to transform our weak and sinful nature to become like our Lord. It comes from applying God’s Truth to our lives in repentance and faith to crucify the negative traits. This brings stability in the home and family and is noticed in the behavior of the wife and children by those in the church and outside. Ability to manage the family and finances shows good leadership. Humility is most prized in that it keeps us close to Jesus and dependent on Him to avoid Satan’s snares.

Psalm 24:3-4 “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for calling me into spiritual leadership and shaping me inside by Your Word and Holy Spirit. Help me daily to maintain a clean conscience flow of Your love and to walk true to my calling pleasing You alone!

Genesis 6:8-9 “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. And these are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.”

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Prayer and godly living!

Scripture reading for January 5th: 1st Timothy 2

Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 2:1-6 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For their is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, Who gave His life as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

Prayer and godly living go hand in hand. Paul taught Timothy and us that all types of prayers and thanksgiving for all people, and especially political and spiritual leaders, would yield great benefits. Those under authority who pray for those in authority help to set the atmosphere of their own lives and the community, state or nation of which they reside. God is pleased with the faith exhibited through prayers. Jesus Christ is seated at God’s right Hand to intercede for us in agreement with our prayers and He alone gave His life and blood to ransom all men. This testimony stands true and must be shared with all men before Christ Jesus returns!

Psalm 32:6 “Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to You at a time when You may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe You are the One and only mediator between God and man. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit to enable me to pray effectively and give continual thanksgiving for all men and those in authority. I want a quiet and godly life, sharing the Gospel, and pleasing my Savior!

Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

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Christ’s overflowing grace!

Scripture reading for January 4th: 1st Timothy 1

Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 1:5, 12-14 “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. . . I thank Him Who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service, through formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

Paul’s letter to Timothy, a young pastor who Paul considered his “son” in the faith, was written to encourage Timothy to preach God’s Word and live it out as an example to those he ministered to. Paul testified of his own call and appointment to ministry by Jesus Christ, in spite of his egregious lifestyle of a blasphemer and persecutor of God’s people. Paul had been ignorant and had acted in unbelief and when he repented, Jesus gave him overflowing grace and new faith and a river of His love for the lost. No one is too hardened that God’s grace cannot save and bring needed transformation. Paul had a clear conscience and a pure heart through faith in Jesus Christ!

Psalm 51:1 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You for calling me to salvation and to preach Your Word. This was in spite of my own sinful and selfish lifestyle. Help me to maintain a clear conscience and pure heart as I learn to fulfill Your calling and raise up others to serve You.

Matthew 4:19-20 “And He said to them, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”

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Bible Trek 2021 begins!

Scripture reading for January 1st: 1st Timothy 1, Luke 19

Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 1:15-17 “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

We begin this new year with a declaration by the Apostle Paul of the mission of Jesus Christ: to save sinners. We also hear afresh and anew Paul’s confession of his great sinfulness and need of Christ’s mercy. Paul praised Jesus’ perfect patience with his own sinfulness and how now, in his saved and transformed life, he was to become an example to all sinners of Christ’s patience and mercy. All Paul could do was worship and give all honor and glory to God and Jesus Christ! We begin our year declaring these truths for our own lives. We are sinners saved by Christ’s great mercy! Christ’s mission and now ours is to declare Christ’s saving mercy for sinners through the Gospel and through our own transformed lives. We declare Christ Jesus and God the Father as eternally worthy of our praise! We declare this to be a year of worship and salvation!

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the King Eternal and the only God my Savior! Thank you for showing mercy to me, a foremost sinner and blasphemer. Help me to declare Your mission of mercy through my daily walk, words and service in 2021. I will do all as daily worship to the King Eternal!

Luke 19:9-10 “And Jesus said to him (Zacchaeus the tax collector), “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

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