Tag: good fight
Scripture reading for July 8th: Ecclesiastes 10-12, 2nd Timothy 4
2nd Timothy 4:5-8 “As for you (Timothy), 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.”
Paul’s earthly life was at its ending. He encouraged Timothy, his son in the faith, to always be about the work of evangelism to which the Lord had called him. This would require sober-minded dedication and focus. Paul had set Timothy an example to follow of faithfulness, even to imprisonment and ultimately to being martyred for Christ. Paul had fought a good fight of faith, patiently and faithfully preaching and teaching God’s Word, and living it out by example. He had run his race to the finish line and awaited the crown of the victor, which the Lord would award him in the Day of Christ. This crown was for all who would fight to the finish and run to win.
2nd Timothy 4:17-18 “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.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for standing by me all the years of my life and for the promise You will bring me safely into Your heavenly kingdom! I am endeavoring to fight the good fight of faith each day and to finish the race You set before me. I claim by faith the crown of righteousness that Paul said was for all who loved Your appearing!
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 evil.”
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.”
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.
Scripture reading for October 1st: 1st Timothy 6
Some people believe that being a Christ-follower means sitting around and waiting for Jesus to come. Others are deterred by chasing money. But Paul encouraged Timothy to fight a good fight of faith. Believers must actively pursue godliness and resist the snares and temptations of the world and Satan. Ministers are to lead in this fight and set the example for others in their care!
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1st Timothy 6:9-10) The pursuit of money and material possessions distracts us from seeking what is really of lasting value. Jesus, Himself, taught that you cannot serve God and money! (Luke 16:13) The love of money leads to other kinds of evil as well. Some use dishonest practices to obtain it. Others turn to gambling, selling drugs, prostitution, or other means that take them away from God and His kingdom and lead only to grief and sorrow.
“But you, man of God, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1st Timothy 6:11-12) As one belonging to God, we must take action with our own choices. We must flee temptations and the love of money, instead, pursuing what leads to deeper faith and lasting endurance. We must fight the good fight of faith and actually lay hold of the promises of God each day! It is a ‘good fight’!
Scripture reading for October 25th: 2nd Timothy 4:1-22
Paul’s closing instructions to Timothy encouraged this young pastor to use a simple strategy of ministry. “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage– with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths.” (2nd Timothy 4:2-4) There is never a season when the Word of God will not be appropriate. The Word is the complete prescription for correcting and encouraging the people of God. It is full of sound doctrine and if patiently taught is able to save and equip people for works of service and prepare them for the coming of the Lord.
However, in the last days, many will not receive sound doctrine. They want to design their own god and make their own spiritual program. People will find teachers that will tickle their ears with things that sound good to them, but are really false doctrines of demons. This teaching will only lead to bondage and death. Timothy was to keep his eyes on the Lord and the Word and fully preach the Word.
Paul, knew that his departure was near. He was ready to meet the Lord. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store 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 longed for His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:7-8) Paul was soon to face the guillotine. He spoke of being poured out like a drink offering! Yet he also knew by faith that his head would wear a crown in glory! His journey through life was a fight of faith. He had finished well and was expecting a reward from his Lord!
Paul’s attitude and final instructions to Timothy model for those who are still in the fight the way to victory. Death brings reward, and is nothing for the Christian to fear. We must continue to preach the Word and live by faith! The best is yet to come!
Scripture reading for December 7th: 1 Timothy 4-6
Do you sometimes feel that you are fighting to keep your focus on the goal of seeing Jesus Christ either when He comes or when you go to be with Him? Do the things of this world compete for your attention and sometimes derail your focus? Timothy, a young pastor, was encouraged to wage a “good fight” by the great Apostle Paul. What does this “good fight” look like today?
In Timothy’s day, as ours, one of the distractions happened to be money and riches. There were those who got caught in the pursuit of riches and wealth and were never content. The love of money became a driving force. As people let the love of money drive them and their choices, they fell into temptation and the trap of the Devil. This opened the door in their lives for ruin and destruction! (1 Timothy 6:6-10) Some had wandered from the faith and brought grief into their lives!
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:11-12
Paul encouraged his young pastoral protege to flee from this trap of the Devil. He was to pursue righteousness and all the qualities of godliness. We get what we pursue and focus on! The question for us is this: where is our focus? What kind of fight are we really involved in? Is it a fight of faith or for money and material things?
The strategy for those who do have money and are rich in the things of this world is to fight the fight of faith by generous giving! (1 Timothy 6:17-19) Timothy was to be faithful to warn them not to put their faith in riches. Riches are very uncertain and can soon vanish or become worthless, particularly when you die. The only way to insure eternal value is to use your riches to win people to the Lord. A firm foundation for the future of life with the Lord will be eternal riches of those won to the Kingdom through generous giving!
“Timothy, guard what has be entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.” 1 Timothy 6:20-21
The war we are in is waged in every-day living. We must always be on guard. Some claim knowledge that is opposed to God’s word. We must know the true word of God and live accordingly to keep from being seduced. Fight the fight of faith in your life today! We win eternally!