Thursday October 30th, 2014
Note from Jesus
Like Paul is urging Timothy in today's verses to be strong, I want to urge you to be strong!
With Paul's impending martyrdom, he was passing the torch of leadership, mission, and equipping of new leaders to Timothy. To do all that Timothy needed to do, he had to choose to be strong and "empowered by the grace that is in" Me! He needed to soldier on through possible suffering. He needed to be strong and to endure to complete his race and to work hard until he was able to enjoy the harvest of all of his work. He needed to be strong in the simple and clear message of My good news. He needed to be strong and not let the threat of prison, or even death, steal away the truth that nothing can stop My message and the cause for which he lived. He needed to be strong in confronting those who dissipated the strength of My people with their "bickering over words" and "meritless arguments" and "ungodly babbling". Timothy needed to be strong in completing his mission and not being ashamed of My message. He needed to be strong morally and pursue the right things by avoiding immorality and evil in all its forms.
My dear disciple, being strong is not just about your own will power. However, being strong does mean you have chosen to be strong before your strength is tested. It is about a commitment to stay on track with things that matter and not feel like you have to show yourself strong in things that don't matter. So I want you to be strong in the Scriptures. I want you to rely on the Spirit to strengthen you as you make the right choices and do the right things — even when you are not sure you are strong enough to do those things on your own. Choose to be strong and you will find a holy reservoir of strength within you that you didn't know you had! As Paul said to the Thessalonians:
[T]he Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.
(2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 NIV)
Verses to Live
But as for you, my child, be empowered by the grace that is in Jesus, the Anointed One. Whatever you heard me teach before an audience of witnesses, I want you to pass along to trustworthy people who have the ability to teach others too. As a good soldier of Jesus the Anointed, be ready to suffer with me. Remember that soldiers on active duty don't get wrapped up in civilian matters because they want to satisfy those who recruited them. Look at it another way: if someone competes as an athlete, he won't win the race and be crowned with the wreath if he breaks the rules. And the farmer who exhausts himself in the field should be the first to taste his harvest. Think about what I am telling you, and let the Lord give you clarity on all of it.
Remember Jesus the Anointed, raised from the dead, descended from David's royal line. This is the crux of my good news! This is why I suffer and why I am bound and chained like a lawbreaker. But God's word is not in chains! That's why I endure everything for the sake of God's chosen: so that they might experience salvation with lasting, eternal glory through Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King. Here's a statement you can trust:If we died with Him,Remind others about these things that I'm telling you. Warn them before God to stop their useless bickering over words. After all, splitting hairs does no good; it only ruins those forced to listen to their meritless arguments. Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth. Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle. Once these empty voices start to speak, Timothy, they infect and spread; and soon the body is consumed with its cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus fell victim to it, and they walked away from the truth by claiming that the day of resurrection has already arrived. They are clearly disrupting the faith of some who are not well grounded. Regardless of what they do or say, God's foundation is strong and firmly in place, etched with this seal: "The Lord knows the ones who belong to Him," and, "Everyone who invokes the name of the Lord ought to stop doing what they know to be wrong."
we will live with Him.
If we remain with Him,
we will reign alongside Him.
If we deny Him,
we will be denied by Him.
If we are unfaithful,
He remains faithful,
For He is not able to deny Himself.
Look, in the mansions of the rich and powerful you will find everything from silver and gold serving bowls to wooden containers and clay jars; some are used for special occasions — where honor is important — others are used for more mundane tasks. So tell them, if they will clean up their lives and purify themselves from dishonorable teachings that lead people astray, then they can become honorable vessels, consecrated and useful to the Master, made ready for every good work He has in store.
Timothy, run away from youthful desires. Instead, direct your passion to chasing after righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord with pure hearts. Excuse yourself from any conversations that turn into foolish and uninformed debates because you know they only provoke fights. As the Lord's slave, you shouldn't exhaust yourself in bickering; instead, be gentle — no matter who you are dealing with — ready and able to teach, tolerant without resentment, gently instructing those who stand up against you. Besides, the time may come when God grants them a change of heart so that they can arrive at the full knowledge of truth. And if they come to their senses, they can escape the devil's snare and walk freed from his captivity and evil bidding.
(2 Timothy 2:1-26)