Scripture reading for July 4th: 1st Kings 10-11, 2nd Chronicles 9, 1st Timothy 6
1st Timothy 6: 6-12 “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 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, . . “
Paul encouraged Timothy to avoid the lure of money and riches as a means of finding meaning in life. This trap is an old one and is chronicled for us in the life of Solomon, whose riches brought him nothing but “vanity” or emptiness. It also turned his attention away from God, along with his many wives and concubines that his riches enabled him to have. True men and women of God will flee from this temptation, the ‘love of money’, and pursue by faith the kingdom of God. It is a ‘good fight’ because it yields eternal riches in God’s presence when Jesus Christ is revealed. We must keep our eyes on the true prize and not get distracted by the shiny objects!
1st Timothy 6:14-16 “. .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!”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I long to see You and to receive my full inheritance! Thank You for the Holy Spirit, Who empowers me to live in godliness and with contentment for the abundance I have been given here on earth. Keep me from ever being distracted by the love of money. May I always be in pursuit of Your righteousness which is by faith through grace. To You be honor and eternal dominion forever and ever!
1st Kings 11:6-8 “So Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.”
Scripture reading for June 29th: 1st Kings 8, Psalm 30, 1st Timothy 3
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 3:14-16 “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.”
Paul was writing to help Timothy understand how to behave in Christ’s “household”, the Church! The Church of Jesus Christ is likened to a building held up by a single pillar–the Truth of God’s Word and Son, Jesus Christ. God revealed the “mystery of godliness” by sending His own Son in human flesh. He vindicated Him by resurrection through the power of the Holy Spirit and the witness of the Spirit on Christ Jesus without limit. His Name is proclaimed among all nations and He is believed on in the world.
1st Kings 8:10 “And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone are the pillar and ground of Truth, the living Word of God. Help me to hold this mystery with worship and awe of Your unsurpassing glory and godliness.
Psalm 30:4 “Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy Name.”
Scripture reading for October 1st: 1 Timothy 6, Psalm 46, Proverbs 11
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 6:6-10 “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 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.”
Paul encouraged his son in the faith to continue to be godly and learn contentment. The pull of our world toward riches and fame is strong. When the desire to become rich in this world replaces the desire to be rich in our relationship with God, nothing but ruin and destruction can follow. We will take no riches of this world into the next. If we lose our soul for earthly gain, we have lost everything.
Faith Confession: I choose to be a godly man and live in contentment with God’s provision for me in this world. I am thankful for daily food and clothing and a place to stay. Lord, deliver me from the trap of seeking earthly riches and fame.
Proverbs 11:4-5 “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.”
Scripture reading for October 8th: Isaiah 32-34, Titus 1
Key Scriptures: Titus 1:7-9 “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy Word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
As Paul wrote to Titus, another of his young understudy’s, he instructed him in the importance of character in those who lead in our Lord’s Church. Godliness, righteousness and faithfulness to God’s Word was a priority. The incarnation of Christ’s holy character in each minister through the filling of the Holy Spirit would give power and grace to be an effective and just leader.
Isaiah 32:1-2 “Behold, a King will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I rejoice in Your righteous and just rule as King of kings. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and empower me for effective leadership. Let the water of life flow in my dry places and shelter me from life’s storms. Amen.
Scripture reading for November 15th: 2nd Peter 1
Key Scriptures for over-comers: 2nd Peter 1:2-4 “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Peter’s last letter begins with a blessing, speaking grace and peace over the believers. This grace and peace comes through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ purchased eternal life and all we need to live a godly life here on earth until Jesus comes. Believers also have the privilege of participating in the divine nature through the indwelling Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life pleasing to God and free from the power of our old nature.
Observations for over-comers: God has provided all we need for living a godly life here on this earth. His Word and faithful promises call us to live in Christ’s power and character through the indwelling Holy Spirit. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water . . .” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
Scripture reading for October 19th: 1st Timothy 4:1-16
“The Spirit clearly says that in the 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 have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1st Timothy 4:1) Paul told Timothy that there would be many false teachers to confront in these last times before Christ’s return. These teachers would be full of demons which would bring doctrines that would cause people to depart from the true Gospel of salvation through faith. These teachers would have their consciences cauterized so that they could not feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
But a minister of Christ would know the truth and teach it. They would have nothing to do with these teaching, rather they would warn the believers to have nothing to do with them and teach the truth instead. Not only that, they were to embody the truth by living in godliness by the power of the Holy Spirit. (1st Timothy 4:8-10) Only the Gospel has the power to bring godliness into our sinful lives through faith in Jesus Christ!
Preaching the Gospel is the life-calling of pastors and teachers. “Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set and example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and teaching.” (1st Timothy 4:11-13) Paul told Timothy to move forward in his calling. For a pastor this involved setting the example for the believers with your own life. His ministry must be matched by his living. If these contradicted each other, his message would be lost!
Timothy was to devote himself to public reading of God’s word! (Romans 10:17) The central focus of all a minister’s preaching and teaching must be the word of God! Myths, jokes, and ‘old wives’ tales’ would not bring the change needed in the hearts of his flock! “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save yourself and your hearers.” (1st Timothy 4:16) As you look for a church family today, evaluate what you are receiving from the pulpit ministry. Is there an example of godliness and strong preaching and teaching of the word? Beware of wolves in pastor’s clothes!