Tag: God’s work
Scripture reading for October 7th: Titus 1
Key Scriptures for over-comers: Titus 1:6-9 “An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
Every organization needs sound leadership. The Church of Jesus Christ is no different and Paul instructed Titus about choosing sound leaders that could be entrusted with God’s word and work. First, the elder-leader must be above reproach in the community and family that he leads. He must be the husband of ‘one’ wife! He should have taught his children to believe and instilled God’s word in their lives. His personal habits and character will be known by those living near him and he must have a good reputation–not doing things that are destructive and doing good to his family and others. He must have a good grasp of God’s word and sound doctrine.
Observations for over-comers: Information and application of God’s word go hand-in-hand with an over-coming life. Believers should strive for a blameless reputation. “I will be careful to lead a blameless life–when will You come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” (Psalm 101:2-3)
Scripture reading for June 18th: Acts 12:1-23
The church experienced times of peace, but also went through times of conflict. The church could grow in times of peace but did not stop growing because of conflict! God is able to use even the wickedness and wrath of man to bring Him praise and nothing will stop Him from accomplishing His program of winning the lost from the whole world!
King Herod began to persecute the church and arrested James, the brother of John and had him put to death. He also seized Peter during the Jewish celebration of unleavened bread following Passover. He wanted to gain some political capital with the Jews. The church began fervent prayer for Peter, who was imprisoned by being chained to guards in a locked cell.
In the night, Peter was awakened by an angel. He was told to get up and dress. As he obeyed, the chains fell off his wrists and he followed the angel out of the prison past the sleeping guards and having locked doors swing open before them. (Acts 12:9-10) Peter went to Mary’s house and knocked on the door. The disciples were there praying and a slave girl answered the door. When she heard Peter’s voice, she ran and told everyone but they thought she was crazy! Peter kept knocking and they finally let him in to tell his amazing story!
Why James died at the hands of Herod and why Peter was spared is not answered by God’s word. We do know that after James’ death, when Peter was seized, the church began to pray fervently. (Acts 12:5) God heard and answered! Prayer moves the hand of God and can open closed doors.
Herod seemed oblivious to what God was doing. He questioned the soldiers guarding Peter and then had them put to death for allowing Peter to escape. God was not mocked, however. Herod was sitting on his throne sometime later giving an address and the people were worshiping him as a god. Herod was soaking in the worship instead of giving praise to God. An angel of the Lord struck him down and he was eaten by worms. (Acts 12:21-23)
Through all of this persecution and spiritual conflict, the word of God increased and continued to spread. (Acts 12:24) Conflict purifies and unites the true church for prayer and ministry. Be prepared for the battles that are coming!
Scripture reading for October 16th: 1st Timothy 1:1-20
Paul’s letter to Timothy, his son in the faith was written to instruct a young pastor in leadership in the church. Timothy was a pastor of the church at Ephesus. There were false teachers and other issues in the church and Timothy was a young man who evidently struggled in leadership. Paul’s experience and ability to teach shine through this first of his ‘pastoral’ epistles.
Some of the false teachers were trying to teach the law. They were evidently coming out of a Jewish background and thought that adding the law would be logical to please God. “We also know that the law is not for the righteous, but for the lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers–and for whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which is entrusted to me.”
The Gospel declares a person righteous by faith in Jesus Christ, not by any works on our part. When the law is added to faith, the Gospel is made of no consequence. The only purpose that the law can serve is to reveal sin in sinners. It is like a mirror that shows sin, but cannot remedy or erase sin. Paul’s list of the types of sinners who need the law would have included many in Ephesus.
But Paul also told Timothy that sin had permeated his own life as well. Paul was once a blasphemer and violent man who was a respected teacher of the law! But God showed him mercy because of his ignorance of faith. “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 unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1st Timothy 1:15-17) God’s grace was available to all, even the worst of sinners! This amazing God was the King of Kings and deserves worship for who He is!