All in for Christ
2 Timothy 2:1-21
Verses for Today:
Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. 5 And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. 6 And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. 7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. 8 Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. 9 And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. 10 So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen. (2 Timothy 2:1-10)
I have unsaved family and friends, we all do, and I see how good their life seems. I’ve had moments where the struggle is real and prayed, “God I’m a good servant and my life is yours. But I don’t know how much longer I can hold onto what I have. I look around and see what others have or the goodness within their life and they live a complete life of sin.” Then God sends one of His people and they come along side me and provide the encouragement and reminder of the importance of Christ calling in my life.
This is the same struggle Timothy had with the world and the spiritual battle around him. Throughout Timothy’s struggle Paul sends him encouragement and reminds him that he is in a spiritual battle and not to give up. Timothy must continue to be a good soldier for Jesus Christ and to endure the suffering. Paul was a mentor to Timothy and God used Paul to give Timothy the right words at the right time. This provided Timothy strength in times of need.
Verses 11-13 say, “If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we will deny him, he will deny us. If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.”
We need to remember that we are in a battle against Satan. The moment we signed up to live our life for Christ, there has been a target on our back. Satan is going to put doubt, envy, and worldly desires within our lives. If we forget that were in a spiritual battle, we have already lost. If you look at the word Christian; you should see it as Christ I’m in. ALL IN! The issue with people is that we need to be reminded more than instructed. This is when Christ sent my friend to give me the encouragement, just like Paul did for Timothy. No matter our circumstances, Christ will not deny who he is. Since we are good soldiers, we won’t let allow Satan to win his battle. Christ went ALL IN for us and now we’re ALL IN for Him.
Christians For Generations
Pastor Joshua Humpa
2 Timothy 1:1-18
Verse of the Day:
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. (2 Timothy 1:5)
I think it’s incredibly fun to observe the small mannerisms that carry from one generation to the next. Whether it’s the way family members walk, say certain things, or manners of expression. Isn’t it pretty amazing that God designed us to copy the way our family members do things subconsciously, all as part of our way of understanding the world? I notice in my sisters that they walk the same exact way as my mom! My brothers phrase sentences the same way as my dad. My mannerism is a wonky one - my grandpa, my dad, and I all sniff the same. I know, weird. Believe it or not, we have a unique way that we Humpa men sound when we sniff.
We get some insight into the family history of Paul’s missionary protégé, Timothy, in today’s reading. Timothy was a third generation Christian that was part of a family known for having a commendable faith. His mother Eunice and grandma Lois were ladies that were known for trusting God and we can assume he’s a Christian because of them.
Whether you have a family history of born again believers or are the first in your lineage to accept Christ, we all have family that will follow us whether it’s a cousin, nephew, son, or daughter. What kind of legacy will you be leaving for your future fam? How grounded in their faith will they be because of your faith? Each person needs to own their own faith, but the way we live and the standards we set for our family does leave a legacy. As you go about your day, take time to consider the choices you’re making and how in two generations your life will direct your future generations. Lois and Eunice should be proud. Their faith produced a world changer for Jesus. Hopefully you can be proud of your family’s faith as well.
Show them first!
Pastor Armin Colón
1 Timothy 5:1-25
Verse of the day:
Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. (1 Timothy 5:1-2 NLT)
One evening as my dad and I were walking through a parking lot we found a green bag with a lot of money and a bank deposit ticket in it. My dad called the person and explained that he found his bag. The person was extremely grateful and offered my dad a reward. My dad politely declined. After everything was said and done, my dad explained to me why he returned the money. I still remember that conversation and, now, I recognize how it shaped my worldview.
You see, we live in an era of permissible disrespect. Now, it is “normal” to belittle or mistreat those that don’t behave or think like we do. Even worse, it is “acceptable” to look out for your best interest, even at the expense of the wellbeing of others. So, are these the values we want our children to embrace? NO. Then, how can we teach them the godly way to treat others?
In 1 Timothy 5:1-2, we learn how to treat those who are older and younger than us, whether male or female. We are called to respect our elders as if they were our parents. We must not forget the patience, deference, and respect we owe to our elders, especially if we know something they don’t. We’re also called to treat those our age and younger with understanding, forgiving them when they repent, and seeking what’s best for them. In addition, we are instructed to treat people of the opposite sex “with all purity.” We must be cautious when relating to people our age of the opposite sex lest we open ourselves up to sexual temptation, whether from them or our own lusts.
What values do we want our children to embrace? Are we treating others in a godly way according to 1 Timothy 5:1-2? Are we taking the time to explain to our children why we behave the way we do? We teach our children by modeling behavior first and then by our words.
Be the Best Spouse Possible…
Pastor Jon Brooks
I’ve heard it said that the only thing worse than being miserable and single is to be miserable and married! We should pay attention when Solomon talks about marriage; he had 700 wives after all and apparently Solomon had difficulty keeping them all happy. The king lived in a beautiful palace but the thought occurred to him more than once that he would be better off living alone in the attic or on the corner of the roof. Better to deal with the cold and howling wind than to endure a contentious and disrespectful woman. To be fair to the ladies, this absolutely works both ways.
What is a quarrelsome spouse? It is one who nags and cannot allow a matter to rest. It is the person who can’t stop offering their opinions, can never submit to the other out of love, can’t stop questioning what the other does and cannot stop correcting irrelevant details when their spouse speaks. If I’m describing you…stop it! Really.
In Genesis 2:18 God says "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet for him." God created marriage that we might help each other. To husbands I would say this: there is no other person your wife should receive more love, affirmation and support from than you. If someone else is showing her more love than you then you’re in big trouble. To wives I would say this: there is no other person your husband should receive more encouragement and respect from than you. If other people respect your husband more than you do then you’ve lost his heart.
If you are not married please be very careful in the selection of your mate. Pay attention if the person you’re pursuing has unending arguments with family and friends and ‘every boss they’ve ever worked for is an idiot’ because they could be the spouse that Solomon is warning about in this proverb. If you’re married allow God today to shape you into the helper your spouse needs; it will make the attic less appealing.
The Great Mystery (in 36 words or less)
Pastor Dan Wootton
The apostle Paul wrote more books of the Bible than any other person, and in those books, he delves deeply into some complicated subject matter. Paul gives us the framework for church leadership, church discipline, the operation of the gifts of the Spirit and a veritable apologetics course on faith, grace, love, and the second coming of Christ.
What I’m saying is . . . Paul’s writing can be a little . . . deep. He doesn’t shy away from complexity. He does, however, discipline his writing by clearly communicating priority. One example of this is in I Corinthians 13:13. “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” Paul takes a complex discussion and clearly defines what should rise to the top.
This same practice is what Paul is doing in I Timothy 3. He zooms into the topic of church leadership, and then he zooms out to the “great mystery of our faith.” Whether we’re speaking to believers or unbelievers, we need to discipline our speech with ‘zoom out’ moments. We can get lost in the details—details about who’s bringing coffee to the Saturday morning Bible study, which worship band is our favorite, and whether Craig Groeschel would take Steven Furtick in a street fight.
And that’s what we’ll do today. Let’s zoom out to the great mystery of our faith.
“Christ was revealed in a human body
and vindicated by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels
and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world
and taken to heaven in glory.” (I Timothy 3:16b)
Get It In Writing
Pastor Tom Murray
“Get it in writing” is a top piece of wisdom for anyone entering a negotiation. The purpose is so everyone has a record of what was agreed upon.
There is a weight and permanence when what is spoken is put in writing.
God said, "Write down for the record everything I have said to you, Jeremiah” (Jeremiah 30:2 NLT).
God wanted His people to have a reliable record about their restoration and hope for the future.
Mike Shields, a missionary evangelist to Latin America, was our guest speaker last Sunday for the beginning of World Impact Week.
Mike also shared with our Sunday morning group that meets between the 8am and 10:30am worship services. He spoke about the value and importance of leading yourself well so that you can be an effective leader to others.
He gave three simple ways to be more effective each day. Read the Bible. Pray. Show up.
Mike told us that he writes a letter to Jesus everyday. He showed us notebooks filled with handwritten notes. Some entries are just a few sentences. Others take up multiple pages.
The value of writing the personal letter each day is that it solidifies what God speaks to Mike through his personal devotions.
Writing down thoughts and reflections pushes back against the tendency to quickly forget everything we just read in God’s Word.
I have also found great value in keeping a notebook alongside my Bible. I jot down verses that the Holy Spirit highlights in my daily reading. I put in writing what God speaks to me during that one-on-one time.
Let me encourage you to grab a notebook or book with blank pages. Put it in writing.
1 Timothy 1:1-20
Verse of the Day:
“When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those who’s teaching is contrary to the truth. Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.” (1 Timothy 1:3-4)
We’ve all been in those conversations about something that was either too confusing to understand, or too personal for someone else to be interesting enough to care about. When that happens to me, I often find myself becoming biased against a topic simply because the constant discussion about it annoys me. I may not actually know anything about it, but I already have a negative opinion because the way I was introduced to it was such a negative experience.
In these verses, Paul brings up two major topics of conversations for the people of Ephesus at the time, which were causing people to lose sight of the truth. The myths he talks about, refers to traditions not found in scripture that were being added to their faith. They were becoming as important as scripture, and dominating peoples’ conversations. The pedigrees reference the idea of a familial tie to a Jewish forefather. If someone had that, they would use that as a way to be holier than the average person, simply because they were born into that family.
Both of these examples Paul speaks against were becoming more important and talked about by some of the Christians in Ephesus than the Good News. While we might not be bragging about our heritage as a way to make us more righteous today, we do have other pitfalls in conversations that can become the center of our focus. It would break my heart for someone to get a negative view of Christianity, because they saw arguments about nonessential details that gave a bad impression. We have to be careful about how we portray our faith, because the truth, love, and grace of Jesus is too important to be overshadowed by our own thoughts and ideas.
Do you have that favorite restaurant that no matter how many times you go there you over eat? You over eat to the point that you feel like you’re in a food coma. My wife enjoys going to Texas Road House. The blessing in the basket of their home made rolls gets me every time. The warm roll with the cinnamon butter or we ask for actual butter and we smother it all over it. We’re not content with just being satisfied. We over indulge with what is given to us. Oh it’s free, so just ask for more. There was one time, my wife and I argued over who was going to drive home, because we ate so much it made us sick.
Here in this reading, we read straight forward that over eating will make you sick. Over doing anything has its consequences. The bible tells us to be content with what we have. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6 ESV)
So why don’t we listen? Why do we keep going back for more? If we truly find our contentment in Christ we need not to keep going back to the well of sin. Gluttony is a sin. We can’t pick and choose what we want to follow as believers. We need to listen to our bodies when it comes to eating. When it comes to anything that we do in excessiveness. If we would rely on the word of God, it tells us the Bread of Life is the spiritual food needed by man. Just as physically man needs to eat in order to live, the bread of life gives nourishment for the soul. Without the bread of life man cannot live spiritually. Unless one eats from the bread of live he faces eternal death. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:34 NET)
So Brother and Sister in Christ, I’m pleading you to say NO to the extra basket of bread. No to the third basket of chips. Enjoying life in Christ is to listen to what He says and be content in what he has given to us. That always will make for an easier ride home!
Smile At Your New Reflection
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12