Wednesday, August 31, 2011


1 Timothy 4-Part 2
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.   1 Timothy 4:8


Verse 6 in NAS says, In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.

Isn't it easy to forget things? The older I get, the easier it is to forget. That's why I need reminders along the way. I use my calendar, sticky notes, even laying something on my purse so I don't forget it when I go out the door. Then there's no guarantee I will remember. Are you with me?

Here are some things Paul points out to Timothy:
  • Help the brethren remember those things he has been writing about. (The Lord's Supper helps us
           remember what our Lord Jesus has done for us.)
  • Warn belivers of false teachings.
  • Be nourished on the words of faith and good doctrine. Diets are good only if we follow them. Menues help  us prepare nourishing meals for our families. Both are essential for good physical health. If the food  prepared using these guidelines is not eaten, it does no good to have diets and menues. In order for Christians to have spiritual health, they should constantly be feeding on the truths of Scripture.
  "Only by reading the Word, studying it, meditating on it, and mastering its contents can a pastor fulfill his
   mandate," states MacArthur Bible Commentary. This can also be applied to Christians.

 Am I being a good servant of Jesus by reminding you of God's teachings, doctrine, and warning about false teachings? It is my intent to do so.


I don't want to leave out verse 7 where Paul instructs us to refuse profane (worldly) old wives' fables (myths), which are fit only for the uneducated and philosophically unsophisticated. (MacArthur's words, not mine.)
Now, onto verse 8. Got your jogging/walking shoes on? Speaking of exercise, I have been walking 5-10 miles a week now for 6 years. A doctor told me that if I didn't, I would be in a wheelchair (back problems). Of course you know that got my attention as to how serious he was that I develop a regiment of walking for exercise. So I headed his warning and bought a treadmill. I must admit that up to that point in my life, I had only been a spectator and not a participator of exercises.

Exercis. We don't like that word, do we? At least I don't. What does Paul say? Exercise toward godliness.
Godliness is a proper attitude and response toward God. It's a prerequisite from which all effective ministry flows.
Exercise (gumuazo in Greek) is the word from which we get gymnasium. Exercise takes determination and discipline. Godliness comes at a price but it is profitable now and hereafter.
"If Christians put half the effort that goes into bodily exercise and put it into spiritual exercise, we would be much healthier and stronger spiritually, ans well as better off," states Liberty Bible Commentary.

Can anyone deny these teachings as truth? The wise become doers of the Word, right?

Godly character and conduct are far more important than golf trophies and home-run records, though it is possible for a person to have both. Paul challenged Timothy to be as devoted to godliness as an athlete is to his sport.

What are the spiritual exercises I am to be doing? Prayer, meditation, self-examination, fellowship, service, sacrifice, submission to the will of others and God, and witnessing are some. Spiritual exercise isn't easy. We must "labor and suffer reproach" (4:10a). NIV says, "for this we labor and strive." The word translated strive is an athletic word from which we get our English word agonize. It's the picture of an athlete straining and giving his best to win. A Christian who wants to exel must really work at it, by the grace of God and to the glory of God. (Wiersbe)

Bodily exercise only affects the physical body during this earthly life. Spiritual exercise affects eternity. Am I doing both for the glory of God?


Hold to the words of faith and sound doctrine.

Exercise godliness.

Pray, study the Word, serve others, witness, submit to God's will.

Keep walking with Jesus.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Saying Grace

1 Timothy 4-Part 1 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.    1 Timothy 4:4-5


As a child, our family didn't give thanks to God for the meal, say grace or say a blessing, as it is often called. However, when my dad's family got together at holidays, the hostess would call on my Uncle Carl to pray. Perhaps that was because he was a Baptist minister. So I was familiar with the practice. After I got saved, before a meal, I would bow my head and silently say thank you to God for His provisions and gifts. Now my family practices the giving of thanks to God for the food He has provided. What about your family?

Paul addresses the false teachings of false  teachers in the Ephesian church. They forbid marriage and the abstaining from certain foods. Paul rejects any divison of foods into good and evil categories. His reasons are: God's Creation is good and we should eat with thanksgiving what God has created. In verse 5, Paul also says this act of blessing the food made it special or consecrated before God.

Does that mean we can eat anything? 1 Corinthians 10:23 says, Everything is permissible-but not everthing is beneficial.  French fries may be all right to eat, but they make me sick because of my Crohn's disease. Therefore, I should not eat them. However, I can eat baked ones and they don't bother me.

Back in Acts 10, we find Peter being told through a vision, What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.

Meat (broma in Greek) means solid food in genteral and not simply animal meat. The Bible says marriage and meats were created by God and are not to be refused. (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Do I give thanks for all  food, even though my diet is restrictive, and I repeat the same menues often?

Forbidding to marry was a teaching of the first century Essenes. They considered it necessary for preservation  of our human race, but their followers were forbidden to marry. Forced celibacy (and diets) is not scriptural nor does it save nor sanctify. Paul is warning Timothy of this false religion practices.


In chapter 4, Paul distinguishes between false and true teachers. First, he warns about the dangers of the gospel being distorted either by adding to it or taking  something from it.
Here is what Warren Wiersbe has to say:

We can recognize false teachers by the description Paul gave in this paragraph.
* They are energized by Satan. He has his own ministers and doctrines, and seeks to deceive God's
   people and lead them astray (2 Cor. 11:3). Paul warned that false teachers would arise from within the
   church (Acts 20:30).
*They lead people astray. Their goal is to seduce people and get them to depart from the faith. This is the
   word apostasy, and it is defined as "a willful turning away from the truth of the Chrisitan faith." These false
   teachers do not try to build up the church or relate people to the Lord Jesus Christ in a deeper way.
*They are hypocrites. These false teachers preach one thing but practice another. The tell their disciples
   what to do, but they do not do it themselves. Seared means cauterized. Just as a person's flesh can be
   "branded" so that it hecomes hard and without feeling, so a person's conscience can be deadened.
*They deny God's Word. Paul deals with this same false doctrine in his Letter to the Colossians. Those
   who "believe and know the truth" are not impressed with the dos and don'ts of the leagalists.

Am I always watching out for false teachers? Do I know enough of the Bible to refute their false teachings?


Give thanks to God for the food He provides.

Be aware of false teachings and false teachers.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I've Got a Secret

1 Timothy 3-Part 5
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.    1 Timothy 3:16


When I read the definition of mystery, it reminded me of the game show I've Got a Secret that I watched when a kid. Do you remember it? Three people were guests, of which two were imposters, who said their name was so-and-so. A panel asked each one questions relating to "the person's" life. Ultimately, the panel was to guess which person was the true one. At the end, the real so-and-so stood up. I would guess along with them.
Have you guessed what the definition of mystery is? Read on, friend.

Here's what MacArthur Bible Commentary has to say:
This verse contains part of an early church hymn, as its uniformity, rhythm, and parallelism indicate. Its six lines form a concise summary of the turth of the gospel. Mystery is that term used by Paul to indicate truth hidden in the Old Testament age and revealed in the New Testament age. Godliness refers to the turths of salvation and righteousness in Christ, which produce holiness in believers, namely, the manifestation of true and perfect righteousness in Jesus Christ.
"Now comes one of the greatest, most profound statements of scripture. The depts of the truths of verse 15 he calls the mystery of godliness. Mystery (mysterion in Greek) does not mean mysterious but a "secret," now being made known. Godliness is "profitable" (4:8) and "great gain" (6:6). The doctirne which follows will produce this highly treasured godliness. Notice the couplets: flesh and spirit; angels and nations; and world and glory. (Liberty Bible Commentary)

The main truth to which a church should bear witness is the person and work of Jesus Christ. (Wiersbe)

Have you guessed what my secret is yet?


I like the old hymns, don't you? Here are the six distinct statements of this old hymn that Paul quotes in verse 16:

1. God was manifest in the flesh.
    The better manuscripts read "He who" instead of "God." In either case, the reference is clearly to Christ,
    who manifested the invisible God to mankind (John 1:1-4, 14:9). Paul refers to the Incarnate Jesus, which
    is God in the flesh. Not only did God manifest Himself in the flesh at His birth, but also during His entire
    earthly ministry (John 14:1-9). This flesh isn't sinful, fallen human nature here, but merely humanness.
    Christ the eternal Son became flesh to provide salvation.
2. He was justified in the Spirit.
    Justified means righteous. Christ was vindicated in the spritit, who empowered Him to do miracles, even
    raising Himself from the dead (Rom. 1:4). The flesh refers to His humanity and Spirit refers to His deity.
3. He was seen of angels.
    There were elect angels associated with the life and ministry of our Lord. Angelos, translated angels,
    means messengers (James 2:25). Christ didn't die for angels, but for lost sinners. Angels witnessed Jesus'
    birth, temptation, Gethsemane, resurrection, and ascension.
4. He was preached unto the Gentiles.
    The Lord gave His church the commission to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. This is the
    Christian's responsibility after Christ performed the work of reconciliation.
5. He was believed on in the world.
    This is the response to the proclamation of Jesus' provision of our salvation.
6. He was received up into glory.
    Christ's Ascension and exaltation showed that the Father was pleased with Him and accepted His work
    fully. One day we will see Him in all of His glory when we behold the King.
[References: MacArthur Bible Commentary, Liberty Bible Commentary, Be Faithful by Wieserbe]

This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough. (The Message)

Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great. (NIV)

Probably by now you have guessed my secret-Jesus Christ is my salvation and Lord. Will you share your secret?


Don't keep Jesus a secret. Share Him.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Comin' Soon

1 Timothy 3-Part 4
I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the househod of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.    1 Tmothy3: 14-15


I was excited when I found out they were coming for a visit last July. It had been 8 months since I had seen my daughter and her family and almost 4 years since her last visit. So when I heard the news of their comin' soon, I was excited. We started making plans for our activities. I must admit that this mom and grandma cried with joy when I finally got to hug all 6 of them.
so you see, I can imagine there would have been some excitement stirring in Paul as he wrote to Timothy, his son in the faith. Probably it was likewise for Timothy when he read the letter.

Paul probably missed the folks at Ephesus. He pastored the church for 3 years. Timothy pastored there for about 1 1/2 years. Paul and Timothy were together serving the Lord on his second and third missionary journeys. Since dates vary, it is hard to tell just exactly when Paul was imprisoned the first time. It sounds like by this verse that he was expecting his release soon. However, we don't know for sure that it did happen.
Paul's travel plans were subject to the will of God.

Liberty Bible Commentary says, "Paul planned to come shortly with his apostolic authority to set things in order there, but the problems could not wait and so he writes his instructions."


The second part of verse 15 expresses the theme of this letter-settling things right in the church. (MacArthur)

According to Warren Wiersbe, in his book Be Faithful, Paul gives three pictures of the church:
1.  The house of God
     God's church is a family, so "household" might be a better translation. When a sinner believes in Jesus
     Christ  as Savior, he immediately is born again into God's family (John 1:11-13). Paul advised young
     Timothy to treat the members of the local church as he would treat the members of his own family
     (1 Tim. 5:1-2). The local church must be fed and nourished on the Word of God. It must be disciplined in
     love, sometimes needing rebuked, but also encouragement.

2. The assembly
    The word church is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which means "assembly." It referred to the
    political assemblies in the Greek cities (Acts 19:29,32) where business was transacted by qualified
    citizens. But it is used about 100 times in the New Testament to refer to local churches, assemblies of
    believers. The church is the assembly of the the living God. He has the right to tell us how it ought to be

3. The pillar and gound of the truth
    This is an architectural image that would mean much to Timothy at Ephesus, for the great temple of Diana
    had 127 gold-plated marble pillars. The word ground suggests a "bulwark" or a "stay." As a pillar, we
    must hold "forth the word of life" so the world can see it (Phil 2:16). The local church puts Jesus Christ on
    display in the lives of faithful members.
    As a bulwark, the church protects the truth and makes sure it does not fall. Sometimes church leaders
    must take a militant stand against sin and apostasy. This does not make them popular, but it does please
    the Lord.

Is my church functioning as a pillar of truth in my city? Is my church functioning as a family, treating each other as brothers and sisters? Is my faith a pillar of faith for my family?


Live like Jesus is comin' soon.

Be a pillar of faith for my family and church.

Keep trusting and serving Jesus.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Faithful Wives

1 Timothy 3-Part 3               
Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.  1 Timothy 3:11


Have you noticed that television shows are portaying unfaithful wives as the norm? What ever happened to the days of "Ozzie and Harriet" and "Father Knows Best"? Is our society saying it's acceptable to be unfaithful to your husband as long as you don't get caught? Is it a game to wives? Is divorce not a sad thing anymore? (Some shows just have the couple as live-ins and not married.)
I'm happy to say my husband and I will celebrate our 39th anniversary soon and we've both been faithful to each other. Any feed back?
Guess I'll step down from my soap box and open the Word.

As I read through chapter 3, Paul first discusses with Timothy the qualifications of a pastor (bishop) and then the qualifications of a deacon in the church. As he describes what character qualities deacons should have, he inserts (verse 11 for us to read) about their wives. Since the men are the leaders of a church, I don't consider Paul is speaking about another leader, which is a woman. These are only two offices to which he addresses Timothy. Personally, I don't think Paul is addressing an office of a "deaconess."  (Some would disagree with me, which is their priviledge.)

The New Living Translation says this: In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.

The New International Version 1984 states: In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

With that established, Paul is describing the wife of a deacon, let's see what he says their character should be:

The King James Version uses the phrase "faithful in all things" to describe a deacon's wife.

"This covers a multitude of areas in practical matters of the church," states Liberty Bible Commentary.

To me, the wife of a pastor or deacon can "make or break" their husband's ministry. If she is a wife who supports her husband, encourages, and helps him, he will be successful. If she doesn't, his ministry will be hindered.  Which am I?

Faithful in all things, faithful in everything-faithful to her marriage and husband, faithful to her Savior, and faithful to her church. Is this a quality Paul is saying the deacon's wife should have?

Faithful means loyal and true, according to Webster's Dictionary.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Colossians 3:23

Am I faithful to the Lord? How faithful am I to daily prayer and Bible study?


There are three other qualities that the wife of a deacon should possess that Paul mentions:
*grave-honorable, worthy of respect (in speech, gesture, and dress)
*sober-temperate, abstaining from wine
*not a slanderer-prone to slander, accusing falsely.

"A man's leadership in the home can be evaluated, in part, by his wife's conduct," said David Guzik.

"All who are related to ministers must double their care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ, lest, if they in any thing walk disorderly, the ministry be blamed. The families of deacons should be examples to other families," stated Mathew Henry's Commentary.

In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul says for the wives to submit unto their own husbands (5:21). In that same letter, he gives several ways a Christian should conduct themselves. Proverbs 31 gives us qualities of a virtuous woman.  It's always good to review.

I think I can say that these are good qualities for any wife to exhibit. Am I? Are you?


Be faithful to the Lord Jesus, my husband, and the church.

Build them up, not tear them down.

Be a wife who is grave, not a slanderer, sober, and faithful in all things.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


1 Timothy 3-Part 2
For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.  1 Timothy 3:13


Today, I'm delivering back packs to our local schools. Our church collected school supplies to help meet the needs of children in our district. It's a good thing to share with those in need, but do we sometimes take the easy way out and only give things or money? How far am I willing to go in being a doer of the word, to get involved in helping others? Not one person volunteered to help me distrubute the supplies. (I don't mind doing it alone. I will receive the blessing and they will miss out.) Are my eyes and ears open to the needs of others? Do I put a limit on how I meet those needs? Jesus is our example. Am I following Him and doing things as His servant? Things to ponder.

The English word deacon is a transliteration of the Greek word diakonos, which simply means "servant."

According to Thayer's Lexicon, deacon means to minister, supply food and necessities of life; to take care of the the poor and the sick.

Deacons were initially chosen to wait on tables and minister to particular situations in the church (Acts 6:1). They are not to "run the church." They are to relieve the pastor from tasks that would hinder him from giving himself to prayer and ministering the Word (Acts 6:4). (Liberty Bible Commentary)

In our key verse, good degree refers to standing or respect in the church, not a promotion, for that would make the motives wrong.

The NIV says: Those who have served will gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

The Message states: Those who do this servant work will come to be highly respected, a real credit to this Jesus-faith.

Deacons will have great boldness, confidence, and assurance to speak with authority in Christ, in faith in Him.

Even though I am not a deacon, which should only be men, I can still be a servant of Jesus.


Although deacons are not given the authority of pastors, they still must meet certain qualifications. Paul lists them in verses 8-12:
  1. Grave (worthy of respect) 
  2. Not double-tongued (not say one thing and mean another, speech is honest and not hypocritical, not a gossiper)
  3. Not given to much wine (not a drinker of strong drink, abstains for his witnessing sake)
  4. Not greedy of filthy lucre (not loving money, not abuse the office to make money, since they take offerings and distribute to the needy, not pursuing dishonest gain)
  5. Doctrinally sound with a pure conscience (grounded in faith, base decisions and actions on God's Word, his behavior conforms to his beliefs)
  6. Tested and proved (not a new convert, having their life watched and approved, their character is approved)
  7. Godly homes (not divorced and remarried, leader of his family, committed to wife and disciplines children, rules his family well)
  8. Husband of one wife (she must be a Christian, not a gossiper, serious minded, not a slanderer, faithful and trustworthy in all things)
  9. Have a willingness to work (fills the position, not use the office, a servant)
As a Christian, is my character  honoring my Lord as His servant?


Are there habits I need to let go of in order to better serve Christ?

Open the eyes of my heart Lord to see needs of others.

Serve as Christ served.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Follow the Leader

1 Timothy 3-Part 1
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 1 Timothy 3:1


I recall a game we used to play as children during recess. We would line up behind a leader, doing whatever she did and going wherever she went. Whether it was hopping, taking baby steps, giant steps, or running, we all did just as she did. Our actions immitated her actions. So it is with a church-members are to follow qualified leaders as they set the example.

There are two scriptural leaders of the church: the bishop (episkopos in Greek), the pastor or overseer today, and the deacon (diakonos in Greek). The overseer, the pastor or preacher of the gospel, is to live by the gospel (1 Cor.9:14). This is his calling. The deacon serves in the church but does not make his living by this service. It is proper to have standards of conduct for leaders in a local church.  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

"The type of man who belongs in the ministry is one who outwardly pursues it because he is driven by a strong internal desire," states MacArthur Bible Commentary.

A pastor is a shepherd who leads and cares for the flock of God. It was good for a growing believer to aspire the office of bishop, but the best way to achieve it was to develop Christian character and meet the following requirements. Paul gave 16 qualifications for a man to meet if he expected to serve as a pastor.
(Wiersbe, Be Faithful)

Desiring the office of a pastor is a good thing. A man desires a good work, as Paul put it.
Desire means to stretch one's self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something. (Thayer's Lexicon)

God places this desire in a man's heart as He calls him into the ministry. Otherwise, if this is not so, the man will only serve in a selfish realm.


Please don't sit with this list evaluating your pastor with a fine-tooth comb. That is not the purpose of this lesson. If God requires such character of our pastor, doesn't he require the same of the congregation?

Paul gives 16 qualifications or preconditions for a pastor:
  1. Blameless (above reproach, well-thought-of)
  2. Husband of one wife (a man which isn't divorced, he's committed to his wife)
  3. Vigilant (temperate, sober, clear-headed, watchful, cool and collected)
  4. Sober (disciplined, serious about spiritual matters, self-controlled)
  5. Good behavior (orderly, respectable, accessible)
  6. Hospitable (loves people)
  7. Able to teach (knows what he talks about)
  8. Not given to wine (not a drinker of alcohol, drunkenness)
  9. No striker (not violent but acts calmly and gently, not pushy, not quarrelsome, not thin-skinned)
  10. Not greedy for money (not money-hungry)
  11. Patient (gentle, gracious, not hold a grudge)
  12. Not quarrelsome (peacemaker, not troublemaker, reluctant to fight)
  13. Not covetous (loves God and people, not things or money)
  14. Manages his family well (directs, takes care of family, family leader)
  15. Not a novice (not a young Christian, new believer, lest he be puffed up with pride, be mature)
  16. Has a good testimony outside the church (has a good reputation with unsaved in business, outsiders think well of him)
[Resources: NIV, The Message, Be Faithful, by Warren Wiersbe, Liberty Bible Commentary,
                   MacArthur Bible Commentary]

"No pastor ever feels that he is all he ought to be, and his people need to pray for him constantly. It isn't easy to serve as a pastor, but it is much easier if your character is all God wants it to be," states Wiersbe.

Remember, as a plant grows, it matures; so do people; both take time. Also, people make mistakes and hopefully learn from them.


Strive to have good character qualities.

Encourage and pray for my pastor and others in the ministry.

Be a good follower.

If there are problems, take them to the Lord first, praying for the situation and people.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Glamorous Women

1 Timothy 2-Part 7


When you hear or see the phrase "glamorous women," what comes into your mind? I think about fancy hair dos, a beautifully made up face, expensive clothes and jewelry worn by  women who arrive at an awards night, stepping out of a black limousine. Is that the same picture you have?
Paul doesn't use the word "glamorous" in his letter to Timothy and the Ephesian church to describe what is appropriate for women in the church. Shall we see his description?
Please stay with me on this.
First, let's review what Paul has been talking about in 1 Timothy, chapter 2. The main topic is how to act in public worship. Prayer is to be one of the main focuses (of course the Word of God is most important). (verses 1-7) Next, Paul shifts to describe men and women in the church. Godly men should pray everywhere (specifically leading in prayer in worship). We talked about that last time. If you didn't get a chance to read it, the post is called "Praying Men." Please take time to read it.

With all that said, are you ready to delve in?

Vere 15 states, Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Remember, all Scripture is inspired by God. Here's a promise to chew on ladies.
To begin with, the woman's body was designed for childbearing. That's is quite obvious. We have a place in which to carry a child. Along with that, we have an inner craving to be a mother, which is how God designed us. (Not every mother is going to heaven just because she's a mother.) Genesis 3:15 refers to the incarnation of Christ as promised to Eve and the woman who believes in the Lord Jesus only, in order to be saved (from the penalty of sin and hell).

"Woman's true fulfillment is in her devotion to that for which she was created, the bearing and rearing of children...[This] is a loftier work for her even than being a leader in the church," a statement from Studies in Timothy, Convention Press.

Look back at verse 15 again. Paul says I'll be saved.
According to MacArthur Bible Commentary, a  better translation is "will be preserved." The Greek word can also mean
-to rescue,
-to preserve safe and unharmed,
-to heal.

He's not saying the way for us to be eternally saved is to have babies. Paul's talking about us raising a generation of godly children, leading the human race out of sin into godliness in Christ. After all, it was a woman who led humans into sin, wasn't it?

Did you read that 2-letter word if? If what, Paul?
If I continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control, then I'll help lead humans, by way of my children, to believe in Jesus and hearts will be changed as a result.
Wow! Do we have an important task or what, ladies? Only God knows what kind of good influence my life and yours will have on  future generations to come. (After all,  preachers, missionaries, Christian singers have a mother and grandmothers.)
Is that what a glamorous woman is like in God's eyes? Am I continuing to live in faith, love, holiness with self-control? I can be glamorous without all that expensive jewelry, clothes, car, hair-do, and make-up. The Lord Jesus is my source, not money. I see that I spend too much time and money on my appearance and not enough on my inner beauty. Are you with me?


Now, what are some instructions Paul gives to us women so we will honor God while fulfilling His role for us in the church? Are you hanging onto your hat?

Jeremiah 9:20, NLT, tells us Listen, you women, to the words of the Lord; open your ears to what He has to say.

I think this Scripture can apply to us (me) today. Yes, Lord, I'm listening. Teach me Your instructions and help me apply it for Your glory.

Verses 9-12 say, In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

The Message says verses 9-10 in this way: And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fasions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

While attending a public worship service, I am to:
1. dress modestly, arrange myself in modest apparel.
    The Greek word for adorn means "to arrange," "to put in order," or "to make ready." A woman is to
    arrange herself appropriately for the worship service, which includes wearing decent clothing which
    reflects a properly adorned, chaste heart.
    Modest means "decent and orderly." A woman's clothing should be decent, orderly, and in good taste.
    Shamefacedness means "modesty, the avoidance of extremes." Don't go beyond the bounds of decent
    and proper.
    Sobriety comes from a Greek word that means "having a sound mind and good sense." It describes an
    inner self-control. Christian women should major on the inner person, holy character, that only Christ can
    (Ephesus was a wealthy commercial city, and some women there competed against each other for
    attention and popularity. Expensive hairdos arrayed with costly jewelry were an accepted way to get to
    the top socially. They wove gold, pearls, or other jewelry into braided hair to call attenetion to themselves
    and their wealth or beauty. The same was true of costly clothing. )

    Before leaving the house, I look in the morror, checking to see if "the girls are showing," even when bending over, and if my "behind" is revealed , with a too tight or too short clothing. Is what I'm wearing going to  draw attention to me, away  from God's Word and His worship? If so, I need to change.

The worship service is not a fashion show. Paul urges the women to produce good works instead of devoting attention to their physical appearance.

2. have a spirit of learning and to avoid an attempt at dominating men. Our learning is to be done in silence
    and with all subjection (verse 11).We are spiritually equal with men (Gal.3:28), but we have different roles
    in the church. Older women are to teach the younger women and children (Titus 2:3-5). Also, I am to
    respect authority. The God-given order of Christian men being the spiritual leaders in the church is to be
    Silence, found in verse 11, is best translated "peaceable." Some women abused their newfound freedom
    in Christ and created disturbances in the services by interrupting in the Ephesian services. (In 1 Cor.14,
    Paul mentions similarly silence of women in reference to speaking in tongues.)
3. have good works. A godly character and Christian service should be my aim. 1 Timothy 6:6 states
    that godliness with contentment is great gain.

Where is my focus? Is it on my appearance and wardrobe, or on my righteous behavior? Are the women in my church following what Paul has taught us? If not, am I willing to teach them?

I noticed that Paul didn't mention women praying in church. He talks about in 1 Corinthians 11.


What do I need to let go of in order to be this kind of woman Paul described?

How is my faith, love, holiness with self-control? Does it need imporvement?

Is my appearance honoring my Savior or distracting from Him?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Praying Men

1 Timothy 2-Part 6
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
1 Timothy 2:8


Since I am not a man, is it ok to pass over today's lesson? No, of course not. Ladies, we are surrounded by men and they need our support concerning this subject of prayer, which Paul addresses in verse 8. Remember, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God for instruction. (See 2 Tim. 3:16)
Paul deals with issues concerning the place and performance of men and women in the church. He tells how they should behave in the house of God. Paul gives instructions regarding public worship for both men and women. So we've answered some of the  5 w's and how questions:

1. Who-Paul speaks of men first, then the women.
2. What-Of course, the subject is praying in public and behavior in the house of God.
3. When-The time is during public worship.
4. Where-Paul mentions praying everywhere.
5. Why-The reason he gives these instructions is so the Epehsians will have an effective prayers.
6. How-This is the main emphasis, I think, that verse 8 covers. How are the men to pray in church? Let's slip
             back into Paul's time, between A.D. 62-67, when he was released from his first and second Roman

Shepherd's Notes says this:
In the early church, the place of worship was usually the home of some believer. By implication, the men were to do the public praying. A common Jewish posture in prayer was evidently widely adopted by early Christians. While they stood, they looked upward toward heaven, lifting their arms with the palms turned upward. This may have symbolized the expectation of receiving God's blessings in answer to their petitions. Of course, no specific posture in prayer is sacred. Various postures are found in Scripture.
Paul's primary point in this passaged, however, is not the posture of prayer but the attitude which the men were to bring to prayer. They were to pray "without anger or disputing." [emphasis mine]

The Greek word for men used in verse 8 is aner. It is not the same word for women or mankind (anthropos).

Liberty Bible Commentary explains it this way:

Men should pray, not just the ladies' missionary circles or prayer groups. Some take this specifically to mean public prayer in a church and believe it indicates men should do the public praying. The emphasis, however, is that men should pray every where as opposed to infrequently or not at all. Paul stresses the "holy" or "unpolluted" (hands) and not the posture of "lifting up" hands, though there is nothing wrong with the raising of hands in prayer. Men who expect to get prayers answered must be men of God, godly men, or God won't hear them (Isa. 5:1; Ps. 66:18). Toward others, there must be no wrath, even against the evil rulers of the day. Toward God there must be faith without doubting (Matt. 13:58; 21:22).


Personally, I think it should be the godly men who lead in prayers, everywhere, whether in church or somewhere else. If such a man is available in a group, he should voice the prayer. This isn't to say that women shouldn't pray in public, but as a second choice. She is to be a follower, a learner, in subjection in the context of the church assembly. We'll get into that more in the next lesson, where Paul addresses the women's role.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary goes a little deeper:

The Greek word for holy means "unpolluted" or "unstained by evil." Hands symbolize the activities of life; thus, "holy hands" represent a holy life. Theis basis of effective prayer is a righteous life (James 5:16). Wrath and righteousness are mutually exclusive (James 1:20). A better translation for doubting is "dissension," and refers to a hesitant reluctance to be committed to prayer. "Effectual, fervent" prayer is effective (James 5:16). The two refer to one's inner attitude.

So the man who is praying should do so in faith, without doubting. Also, he shoud not be angry, have wrath in his heart, or open disagreements with others. Christians can disagree without being disagreeable. ( Wiersbe)

As a woman, do I support and encourage men, including my husband, to lead in prayer?


Support and encourage godly men to pray everywhere.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who am I?

327.  "Who am I?"                               August 18, 2011

1 Timothy 2-Part 5
Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.    1 Timothy 2:7


Who am I? Various people know me as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, teacher, and a pastor's wife. Most importantly, I want to be known as a Christian, representing my Savior Jesus Christ.
Who are you known as?

Paul is a messenger of God, called and ordained to take the gospel to lost sinners.
He identifies himself as:
* a preacher- The Greek word derives from the verb that means, "to herald," "to proclaim," or "to speak
                       publicly." Paul was a public herald proclaiming the gospel of Christ.
*an apostle-It is one sent with a special commission.
*a teacher-He was a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth (verity). He was encouraging the Ephesians to
                   pray for the Gentiles to be saved.
[Resource: MacArthur Blble Commentary]

Am I sharing the good news of Jesus with others as I should? Am I teaching the truth?


In this verse, Paul said, I speak the truth and lie not.
We know Paul's message was true-Jesus died on a cross for our sins and rose from the dead, and is interceeding for us at the right hand of God.
"Through Paul, God reached out to the pagan world which his fellow Jews had excluded from the covenant
 community," states Shepherd's Notes.


Teach and share the truth about Jesus.

Be obedient to His will for my life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No Down Payment

1 Timothy 2-Part 4
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.   1 Timothy 2:6


Sometimes when a person is buying a house or land, they give money ahead of time as a down payment. This shows that they are serious in making the purchase and will continue to make the payments on the loan.  When I think about Jesus' death on the cross as a ransom for me, He didn't make a down payment, nor a partial payment; it was paid in full.
"He paid for man's sins in full, not just a down payment," states Liberty Bible Commentary. It wasn't up to a certain day that my sins were washed away, the slate wiped clean. When I ask, He forgives all my sins.
It isn't for only certain sins that Jesus died nor for only a certain number of sins and after that I'm on my own. No, He paid for ALL of my sins.

Yesterday, we discussed verse 5, which tells us there is only one God and one Mediator, the man Christ Jesus. Keep in mind Paul is talking about prayer in chapter 2. Jesus has made the provisions for us so our prayers are heard by the heavenly Father. He interceeds for us.


Calvary was no accident nor was it a failure because Christ died on the cross. Jesus said in John 10:17-18 says, Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Friends, He didn't have to endure the cross. It was because of His love for us that He did. He did it voluntarily, too. His Father didn't make Him do it. Such love!

Paul tells us in verse 6 that Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all. What does that mean?

Shepherd's Notes states this about the meaning of ransom:
This word is made up of two words, one of which has the primary meaning of freeing slaves and prisoners. The second word means "on behalf of" or "instead of." It suggests substitution. In the world of slaves and prisoners, money is paid and a slave is freed. The owner of the slave is satisfied with the payment.

Well then, a ransom was the price paid to free a slave. Jesus said that He came "to give His life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28). The death of Christ was sufficient for the sins of the whole world and for those who trust Him as Savior. Not all will be ransomed, though they have been provided for.

"Because His substitionary death was sufficient in meeting God's requirements and to cover the guilt of all the sins that will ever be committed, God can clearly offer it to all. Yet, only the elect will respond and be saved, according to His eternal purpose (John 17:12)" according to MacArthur Bible Commentary.

Christ was obedient in testifying the gospel to others. It was in due time (Gal. 4:4-6). He did His part and its our responsibility to share the good news, which is our part. Am I obedient, also? Do I pray for the lost that I know?


Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin hath left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Pray for the lost.

Give my life to Him.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Only One

1 Timothy 2-Part 3
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
  1 Timothy 2:5


There's only one Roger and I got him. This is what I have said about my husband of 38 years. Oh, it's a good thing, not a put down. In his younger years, he would play jokes and pranks on our family. Rarely did an April Fools Day pass without him pulling something on one of us. I guess you could say, "He's the spice of my life."
One time he called up my mother and said in a disguised voice,"Your horse is in my garden." She answered, "I don't have a horse." He said, "I don't have a garden." Other men are named "Roger" but none are like the one I have. Truly, there's only one Roger like him. We can say the same thing about us. Even though we may have look-alikes in the world, or even a twin, personality wise, there is only one of us.

The same is true about our God. There is only one God. This is a foundational truth that Paul states.

In Mary Kassian's book, Knowing God By Name, she says this:
Names are identifying marks that distinguish one thing from another. God's names reveal His identity. They define His character, His relationships, and His purpose. Here are a few:
YAHWEH-LORD (Jehovah, Self-Existent One)
ELOHIM-God (Mighty, Strong, Prominent, One)
RISHON VA-ACHARON-The First and The Last

To Moses, He revealed Himself as "I AM that I AM;"  (YHWH SHR YHWH) which means to exist, to be, was, is, will be.

Thayer's Lexican defines God as an object of worship; a deity; the supreme Divinity.

There are several verses in which He says that He is the only God:
Is. 43:10;  Is.44:6-8, 21-22;  Is. 46:9-10;  Deut 4:35,39;  Deut.6:4; 1 Cor. 8:6

Do I believe in the only one God? Yes, definitely. How about you?


Our verse says that there is only one mediator between God and men. Who is it? The man Christ Jesus is our mediator. What's a mediator?

A mediator is one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or to form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant; Christ is called a mediator since He imposed by His death and restored the harmony tetween God and man which human sin had broken. (Thayer's Lexicon)

My sins seperated me from God. (My righteousness is as filthy rags. Is. 64:6) No works could I have done to make peace with Him nor meet His standards. Sin must be paid for with a blood sacrifice. Jesus Christ paid that price so I did not have to die paying for my sins. He met the standards which God required-perfect without sin.
Jesus Christ is the only mediator who can restore peace between God and sinners. See Hebrews 9:15 and 12:24. The Old Testament sacrifices could only cover sin, not take it away. Christ's sacrifice takes away our sins, the shedding of His blood, is the New Testament Covenant.
Jesus was God in the form of a man. That is the simplest way I can explain it. He is seperate, yet one with God. Like a yoke and egg white are seperat parts of an egg, so are Jesus and God. 

"Only the perfect God-Man could bring God and man together," says John MacArthur.

I needed a mediator, a go-between, if you will, so my Savior serves as one for me. Praise to Jesus!

Liberty Bible Commentary says:
In Paul's day the Gnostics had a vast system of mediators made up of angels but God declares, not so. The Virgin Mary, Joseph Smith, nor anyone else is such a mediator. He (Jesus) is the Mediator for prayer as well. See Hebrews 10:19-23. Jesus is my high priest who interceeds to God when I pray.

Is Jesus Christ your mediator as He is mine? It is through His name, and only His name,  that  we can pray
to God and He hears us.


I believe that there is only one God.

Rejoice that Jesus Christ's blood covers my sins and that He is my mediator so God hears my prayers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What is Acceptable?

1 Timothy 2-Part 2
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. 1 Timothy 2:3


Girls don't spit, even if daddy does; don't talk with your mouth full; use your fork; don't throw things in the house; close the door, don't let it slam; it's bedtime; do your homework; low-cut tops, high-riding shorts and skirts will not be worn in this family; go change your clothes; don't use that tone of voice with me; respect your elders. Need I go on? There's a neverending list, isn't there? It's our job as parents and grandparents to teach our offspring what is acceptable and unacceptable. "Anything goes" has been the philosophy of the world for quite some time. Therefore, as Christians, we have to teach our children and grandchildren what is acceptable and not acceptable in all areas of life. If we neglect this responsibility, they will go the way of the world and not live for Jesus.

What is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior? Paul tells us in the previous verses, 1-2 of this chapter.
 He mentions here:
*Live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
*Pray for all sorts of men (people) and their salvation-Jews, Gentiles, Heathens, rich and poor, young and
  old, male and female, religious and pagans.
*Pray for those in government offices.
*Make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for everyone

These are good and acceptable to God. Now, the question is, "Am I doing it?" Do I pray for our national leaders, my state leaders, and local leaders as they make decisions concerning what is acceptable and unaceptable in our society? I admit that I lack in this area.
Am I teaching that the Word and prayer is an important part of the Christian life? Do I have a grateful heart and joyful lifestyle? Am I loving my neighbors?


Verse 4 reads: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

That God desires (wants) the salvation of all people does not guarantee that all will be saved. God will not override the reluctance or opposition of individuals bent upon pursuing their own way in defiance of God.
(Shepherd's Notes)

God does not want people to sin. He hates sin with all His being (Ps. 5:4; 45:7); thus, He hates its consequences-eternal wickedness in hell. He chose only the elect out of the world (John 17:6) and passed over the rest, leaving them to the consequences of their sin, unbelief, and rejection of Christ (Rom.1:18-32). Ultimatelly, God's choices are determined by His sovereign, eternal purpose, not His desires.
(MacArthur Bible Commentary)

Liberty Bible Commentary has this to say:
God certainly doesn't want anyone in hell (2 Peter 3:9). But no one will ever go to hell who ought not be there! He doesn't say He "wishes to save all men" for men could then say, "Why doesn't He save all of them?" What truth they have known, the unsaved have rejected (Rom.1:19-23) or God would have given them more truth (John 7:17).

Because we don't know who will be saved, we need to continue to pray for them and to witness to them.
Am I helping the lost find the Truth?


Pray more.

Let go of my sinful ways and live for Jesus.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hurry-Up Prayers

1 Timothy 2-Part 1
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.     1 Timothy 2:1-2


We live in a fast-paced era with drive-throughs, cell phones, internet, microwaves; you name it. We have all kinds of gagets to speed up processes so we may get onto what we enjoy doing most. Have we become a hurry up and wait society or what?  I rush through a meal, using a microwave or a drive-through, in order to make an appointment on time. I want to find out information instantly so I use the internet. (However, my slow dial-up internet conection on this county road tries my patience and I do something else while waiting for the connections.) When I want to talk to someone, it is "now." If they're not available, I use facebook, email, or text a message. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Then these questions come to me, after reading these verses: Do I hurry through a prayer so I can get onto something else? Do I try to hurry up God into answering my prayers?  Where is most of my time spent? Is it prayer and Bible study or tv? Ouch! What are we teaching our children and grandchildren? Do I take time to listen to god speak His will to me, or do I drop off my requests and go on my way? Guilty, Lord.

Why does Paul charge Timothy to lead his church in public prayers? Why pray for kings, public leaders, government authorities, and all men? The false teachers have caused the Ephesians to stray from Paul's teachings. They are leaning toward the ways of the Pharisees, pleasing men and not God. So believers should lead a quiet and peaceable life, which is with all godliness and honesty. What does that mean nowadays? How?

Quiet refers to the absence of external disturbances; peaceable refers to the absence of internal disturbances. (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
Godliness is reverence, respect, piety towards God. (Thayer's Lexicon)
Other versions of the Bible use the words "dignity, serious, noble" in place of honesty.

Jesus gave us a model, example of how we should pray found in Matthew 6:5-13. Please read it now.

In Kay Arthur's workbook, Lord Teach Me to Pray, she gives us topics to use while praying:
  • worship
  • allegiance
  • submission
  • petition & provision
  • confession & forgiveness
  • watchfulness & deliverance
  • worship
Prayer comes full circle, beginning and ending with the worship of God. These cattegories correspond with each verse of Jesus' prayer. It's a way of covering every topic as I pray. Although, I don't have to use all topics every time I pray. Have you memorized this part of scripture? I challenge you to learn it, if you haven't already. By the way, I've just recently begun sister Kay's book. It is a great if you're hungry to learn how to pray Jesus' way.
If there's one thing I've learned in the last year, it's been that prayer is NOT a hurry-up thing. So find your quiet closet, shut the door, and invite Jesus to join you in conversation. There is nothing like it, dear one. When we come to the garden alone, He's there waiting on us.

Do I desire a quiet and peaceable life? Sure, and you probably do also. Do I pray for godliness and honesty? I hadn't thought about it before now. But I do pray for each of you, my friend.


Look back at verse 1: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.

Prayers should include more than asking for needs, right? Let's keep in mind that Paul explains how to behave in the house of God, in public worship. First, there is prayer in the church. How many times do we pray during a worship service, whether out loud or privately?

Prayers (proseuche in Greek) is the common word for talking to God, and should include worship and praise. Intercessions has the idea of coming to God in boldness and confidence (Heb.10:19), not in behalf of others, like the English word means. Giving of thanks is not a phrase to be tacked on the end of our prayer, but it should be for specific things (1 Thess. 5:18). ( Liberty Bible Commentary)

For whom are we to pray? Paul tells us to pray for all men (people) and their salvation in verse 4. Pray for kings, those in authority. It's the Christian's duty. (I think this includes our government leaders from the national to local levels.) How often do I pray for God's guidance in their decisions?
This was the era of terrible persecution by the Roman emperors such as Nero. And we think we have it rough in our time.


What do I need to let go of so I will spend more time praying?

Make an allotment of time in my daily schedule for prayer, making it a top priority.

Enter the throne room wearing the robe of righteousness, which is bloodstained that Jesus provides.

Pray for our government leaders, for the lost, for revival in our churches and nation. Pray for each other.

Lord Jesus, You are holy and our precious Redeemer.
Please bless each person who is walking with me through 1 Timothy.
You know their needs, so may Your Will be done in every circumstance of their life.
Will you shower them with Your love and blessings overflowing each day.
May this study be encouraging to them as they continue their Christian walk. May it not just be words on a blog, but may it be led by Your Holy Spirit.
May others find Truth and the love of Jesus here.
Thank You for Your Words.
How wonderful You are to us, sweet Savior.
In Your Name I pray.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Shipwrecked Faith

Timothy 1-Part 11 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.    1 Timothy 1:19


Shepherd's Notes, I, II Timothy, Titus has some good comments concerning verses 18-20:
Paul is about to instruct Timothy regarding the situation in Ephesus. He prefaces his instruction with three reminders-two positive and one negative.
1. Timothy will find strength for fighting the good fight by remembering the prophecies made at the time he
     was set apart for Christian ministry.
2. Two characteristics that will contribute to Timothy's strength as God's man in Ephesus are faith and a good
3. Paul reminds Timothy of what happens when Christians jettison faith and a good conscience. Hymenaeus
    and Alexander were "wreckers of faith" in Ephesus. As a result, Paul delivered them to Satan to teach
    them not to blaspheme.

Timothy was at the church at Ephesis by divine appointment; God had chosen and sent him. It was this fact that could give him assurance in difficult day. If you are God's servant, called by the Spirit, obeying His will, then you can "stay with it" and finish the work. These assurances enabled Timothy to war the good warfare.

What was the only way Timothy was going to succeed? It was by holding fast to "faith and a good conscience." It's not enough to say we have faith, but we must daily practice faith in our lives.

The magazine editor H.L.Mencken defined conscience as "the inner voice which warns us that somebody may be looking."  A person with a good conscience will do the will of God in spite of who is watching or what people may say, don't you think?

David Guzik said, "Faith and a good conscience are essential when battling for the Lord; they protect against the spiritual attacks of doubt and condemnation. If we don't battle with these two tools, it's like going unarmed against the enemy!"

Here's some spiritual inventory: how's my conscience? Is it a good conscience? Is it a clear conscience? Is it a bad conscience? Is it cluttered with sin?


What is shipwrecked faith? I have never been shipwrecked, per say. Have you? The closest I've been was the time my family went on a  camp-out. We went fishing on a river below the dam. By the end of the day, the water was down. That was due to the gates on the dam being closed and no water entered our stream. We had to get out of the boat and pull it back to our campsite. If we hadn't, we would have been stranded, which is the definiton Webster's Dictionary gave for shipwreck.

So what is stranded faith?
"Those who reject what Jesus and the apostles taught are headed for ruin (shipwreck)," stated David Guzik.

Professed Christians who "make shipwreck" of their faith do so by sinning against their consciences. Bad doctrine usually starts with bad conduct, and ususally with secret sin.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary tells us more:
A good conscience serves as the rudder that steers the believer through the rocks and reefs of sin and error. The false teachers ignored their consciences and the truth, and as a result, suffered shipwreck of the Christian faith, which implies severe spiritual catastrophe. This does not imply loss of salvation of a true believer, but likely indicateds the tragic loss that comes to the apostate.

These two men that Paul named, deliberately rejected their good consciences in order to defend their ungoldly lives. We don't know exactly what they did, but Paul considered it blasphemy.

Many times a shipwreck begins with unconfessed small sins, as we call them.


Fight the good fight of faith with a good conscience.

Prevent my faith from being shipwrecked by confessing my sins and staying in the Truth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Will I?

1 Timothy 1-Part 10 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen
1 Timothy 1:17


After finishing this lesson, I did some soul searching. I need to from time to time. How about you? Only God is listening.
Can I ever praise God too much? Can I have too much of a gratetful heart? Do I go overboard singing His praises? Do I give thanks to Jesus throughout the day? Does my life please Him? Am I honoring my Savior in all I do? Do I give Him the glory when I do anything? Do I listen to the Holy Spirit? Do I obey His commands and leading? Maybe these questions should begin with will I...

Will I praise God today? Will I let my heart be full of gratitude? Will I sing songs of praise to my Savior all day long? Will I say thank You for each of His provisions? Will I give Him honor, first place in my thoughts, words, actions, and deeds? Will I give the glory to Jesus?
Will I ?

Paul couldn't think of how bad he was, how great the salvation of God was, and how great the love of God was, without simply breaking into spontaneous praise. (Can I do any less?) This outburst of praise shows that Paul both knew God and that he loved God.

What are the characteristics of God that Paul mentions?
  1. God is the King eternal. He rules and reigns with complete power and glory. He is ruler of the universe and eternity. He is without days, or end of life, or change of time. Daniel 7:9 calls Him "the Ancient of days."  Deuteronomy 33:27a states, "The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms."
  2. God is immortal. He existed before anything else existed. Only He has immortality, for He cannot die. He is the Creator of all things. He is immuned from decay and corruption. Isaiah 40:28 says, "Hast thou not known? Has thou not heard, that the everlasting God the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding."
  3. God is invisible. Our mortal eyes can't behold Him, but our soul can. He dwells in the light to which no man can apporach, whom no man has seen nor can see. Believers can view the splendid glory of God residing in the person of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6, John 1:14).
  4. God alone is wise. He is God and we are not. We think our plans and insights are so important, but only God really knows and understands all things. We can't completely figure out God, nor know all His secrets. 
 [Resources: Matthew Henry's Commentary, David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible, Shepherd's

I tell you one think, it is amazing that this eternal, immortal, invisible, and all wise God would love me, save me, never leave me, converse with me, and give me an eternal home with Him. Now that's amazing love!
Amazing love, how can it be, that You my King should die for me?


Knowing all this about God, Paul couldn't stop praising Him. Paul gives honor and glory to his King. How often is He to be praised? For ever and ever.

Is it my joy to honor my God in all I do?

David wrote may pslams of praise to his Lord.  I encourage you to read Psalm 136 because His mercy endures forever. I wonder if we could write our own,  praising Him for all He has done throughout our life.
I certainly could.


Praise my God for who He is and thank Him for all He has done for me and my family. Rejoice in what He is going to do. Let's sing praises to our King Jesus today, friends, throughout our nation and world.

Glory and honor to God forever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


1 Timothy 1-Part 9
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
1 Timothy 1:16 KJV
 And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.  (NAS)


Did you catch the phrase Paul used, "yet I found mercy?"  Yes, I too have found God's mercy. Have you?

According to Thayer's Lexicon, mercy means to succor (help) the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched; to experience mercy, specifically of God granting even to the unworthy favor, benefits, opportunities, and particularly salvation by Christ.

I understand mercy is not getting what we deserve. Of course, as a sinner, I deserve punishment for my sins and eternal Hell. Yet it is God's mercy that I found. I praise Him for it!  He gives me unworthy favors, life and breath, food; He gives me benefits as His child, blessings, answered prayers, and His unfailing love; He gives me opportunities to try again after failure, and to serve Him; He picks me up when I fall down; He especially gave me salvation. Now that's MERCY.
God demonstrated His perfect patience toward me, too. The first time He spoke to my heart offering salvation, I rejected Him. I was in junior high, attending VBS with my friends and was too proud to admit my need. I didn't know what my friends would think of me. (Of course they would have rejoiced, but I didn't know that at the time.) A couple of years later, I found His mercy.
So much we take for granted, huh?


Throughout the years, I have sewn my own clothes, mostly dresses. In order to do that, I found a pattern made the way I wanted my dress to look. Then I placed it on top of the material I chose, and cut out around the pattern. Following the directions, I sewed the pieces together. Doesn't God do that in our life, putting the pieces together?

"Why does God save sinners like Paul and like us? One great reason is so the longsuffering God shows to us would be a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him. So that others can see what God can do with us!" David Guzik said.

Is my life a pattern for others to follow? Paul's life was changed when he met Jesus. Is mine?


Always seek God's mercy and thank Him for it.

Make my life a pattern for others to follow as I keep Christ first.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why am I Here?

1 Timothy 1-Part 8
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.       1 Timothy 1:15


Doesn't  it ususally happen during the teenage years, questioning "Why am I here?" I think I was an adult, though, whenever I began contemplating the answer. There were other questions: What do I want to be? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future?

Have you ever read Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life ? He says, "The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It's far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose. Focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life's purpose. Job 12:10 (TEV) says, 'It is God who directs the lives of his creatures; everyone's life is in his power.'
It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end. (Romans 8:6) You were made by God and for God-and until you understand that, life will never make sense."

I encourage you to get this book and read further on the subject.

What was the main purpose for Christ's coming? It wasn't to teach, heal, be an example, but to save sinners.
(Liberty Bible Commentary)

"Jesus came to save sinners, not those living under the illusion of their own righteousness; it is the 'sick' who need a 'physican' (Mark 2:17)," stated David Guzik.

Such good news. I was a sinner in need of a salvation. Now I'm still a sinner, but in need of grace and mercy from my Savior.

Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Yes, the good news is Jesus came to save you and me.  Do you know HIm today as your Savior?


In verse 15, Paul is saying that he is the chief  of all sinners. He isn't expressing super-pious humility. He genuinely felt his sins made him more accountable before God than others. (David Guzik)

The word sinners means  not free from sin. (Thayer's Lexicon) That includes me.

Aren't we all equally sinners? No; "All men are truly sinners, but all men are not equally sinners. They are all in the mire; but they have not all sunk to an equal depth in it, " clarified Charles Spurgeon.

Paul felt-rightly so-his sins were worse because he was responsible for the death, imprisonment, and suffering of Christians, whom he persecuted before his life was changed by Jesus. (Acts 8:3, 9:1-2; 1 Cor.15:9)

There are worse kinds of sin; sins that harm God's people are especially grievous in God's eyes. Are you guilty, now or in the past, of harming God's people?

"God remembers jests and scoffs leveled at his little ones, and he bids those who indulge in them to take heed. You had better offend a king than one of the Lord's little ones," stated Spurgeon.

For some people, it is not easy to admit that they are a sinner in need of a Savior. That's when they need our prayers and witnessing.


Find my purpose in life through God and His Word.

Daily admit that I'm a sinner.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Swimming in God's Grace

1 Timothy 1-Part 7
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy1:14


A few weeks ago I turned the radio on just in time to catch an interview with a teen called Bethany Hamilton.
Who's that? Like me, you probably would  recognize her story instead of her name. She is the girl who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds, through determination and faith, to become a champion again. There is now a movie, Soul Surfer, a book, and even a kit with Bible study guides using her story. The Lord has blessed Bethany through this tragedy, making her a witness for Him. Such grace! You might say she's swimming in Go's grace. Our God is so good! I'm wanting to see the movie. It's for all ages, but will especially have an impact on teens, I think. As Paul experienced God's grace, so many others have also. I certainly have. Let's swim a little deeper into this verse.
What are the gifts of God's grace? Faith and love are God's gifts to us who have received His gracious gift of salvation.
First, this amazing grace was abundant, yet not just abundant, but exceeding abundant.
"Regardless of what a man was before he was saved, 'where sin abounded, grace did much more abound,'  says Romans 5:20. Paul appreciated the grace which became the main theme of his ministry," states Liberty Bible Commentary.

Grace (charis in Greek and pronounced khar'-ece), refers to graceousness. It is pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offences, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ. (Thayer's Lexicon)

The two words exceeding and abundant had the same reference and meaning, "to be exceedingly abundant." In the Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, the Greek word was huperpleonazo, which means to superabound.
Paul used the Greek prefix huper- (meaning an exceeding abundant amount) often in his letters: superincrease of faith (2 Thess. 1:3), super-abounding power (Eph. 1:19), superconqueror (Rom. 8:37). We speak of" hyperactive" children and "hypersensitive" people. (Wiersbe's Be Faithful)

Where would I be without God's grace, which is exceeding abundant? I hate to think. Isn't it super? (Remember when that expression was a popular as saying cool, awesome?)
It's by grace that we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9) because God is rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4) and grace (Eph. 2:7).

I remember the song that says, "Grace, grace, God's grace. Grace that that will pardon and cleanse within. Grace, grace, God's grace. Grace that is greater than all our sin."

The grace of God turned the persecutor into a preacher, and the murderer into a minister and missionary!

The second thing Paul mentioned is faith. Who gives us faith to believe in our Lord Jesus? God does it.
The third word Paul used was love. I think God's grace, faith, and love are all exceedingly abundant. Don't you?


Shall we jump back to verse 13? I can't skip over it. Paul describes how he used to be.
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (v.13)

In the light of the law, Paul saw who he really was:
  • a blasphemer-speaks evil of and slanders God (overt attacks against Christ); denied the diety of Jesus Christ and forced others to deny it,
  • a persecutor-used physical power to try to destroy the church (1 Cor.15:9),
  • injurious-violent aggressor, who mad murderous threat, consented to Stephen's stoning (Acts 8:1-4).
What was I like before knowing Jesus? Well, I wasn't as bad as Paul- a murderer. However, the sin of pride kept me thinking I was just as good as my church going friends, but in reality, I was lost and in need of a Savior. Paul didn't understand the truth about Jesus and tried to protect his religion (a Jew and Pharisee). Then he saw the LIGHT on the road to Damascus, fell to the ground, and heard Jesus speak from heaven.. The holiness of Jesus brought him to his knees of repentance.
God not only entrusted the gospel to Paul, but He also enabled Paul to minister it. Not only did Paul become a minister, but he was also an example (1Tim. 1:16). Yet, he said in referring to himself, that he was the chief of sinners. Isn't Paul proof that the grace of God can change any sinner? Even me and you?
Have you become a new creature in Christ?


Be thankful for God's exceeding abundant grace.

Remember who I was, and from where that grace brought me.

It's God's grace.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Floating on Cloud Nine

1 Timothy 1-Part 6
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;  1 Timothy 1:12


Yesterday, on the drive home from the doctor's office,  in crawling, terrible traffic, I was singing praises and giving thanks to Christ Jesus my Lord, floating on cloud nine. You may ask why. For a year and a half I was in pain in my gut. The doctors I used didn't find the problem and treat it, so I went to a new one, a gastroenterologist. During this process, I found out that I have Crohn's disease. (My calculations tell me its been with me for 40 years.) It effects the digestive system, causing many complications, and can result in cancer. (My mother inlaw died of colon cancer, so I was scared.)
Meanwhile, my new doctor ran tests and gave me medicine. I got on the internet and researched diets. It was a whole new world. My diarrhea stopped when I elimated milk products in my diet (lactose intolerant). The pain stopped after using three new medicines (enduring terrible side effects). Overall, I began feeling better, stronger. Then I had to stop taking two of the medicines.  I admit that I was apprehensive, wondering how long before the process was repeated and  eventually I had to give myself a weekly shot. Friend, it hasn't happened.
My specialist was amazed. He said that what  my x-rays and scope test, I should be in pain, with bloody diarrhea. It isn't happening. Hallelujah!!! Praise to the Lamb of God!!!  Now you can  understand  my singing His praises in the car as I drove home. ( I even let a few cars get in front of me in line.) I give thanks to my Lord daily for my life He has given me. Thank you Lord for answering my prayer of finding what was wrong with my body.

How about you? Has God blessed you lately? Are you giving Him thanks and praise? Will you share your story with us?


In verse 12, Paul begins by thanking his Lord for:
  • enabling him,
  • counting him faithful, and
  • putting him into the ministry.
According to Thayer's Lexicon, in the Greek:
thank means to be thankful to one; thanks for benefits, services, favors;
enabled means to make strong, endue with strength, strengthen;
counted is to consider, deem, account, think;
faithful is of persons who show themselfes faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands,
             or the discharge of official duties;
putting is to appoint one's use, to make one one's service;
ministry refers to those who by the command of God proclaim and promote religion among men; of the
              apostles and its administration.

Paul wasn't arrogant, was he? He didn't take his privilege for granted. He was always thanking the Lord for something. What an example for me. How often do I thank God for giving me strength to do ordinary things around the house and extraordinary things in His work? Do I thankHim for my eys to see, my ears to hear, my tongue to taste, my hands to work, and my feet to move? Or do I grumble because of a task needing to be done? Guilty.
Paul knew his "strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 19:9). Being faithful is requiere of stewards with a trust (1 Cor. 4:1-2). No man takes this honor of ministry for Jesus to himself (Heb.4:5). Paul didn't "handle the Word of God deceitfully" (2 Cor. 4:2), as he did the legalizers. (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Shepherd's Notes says:
Paul expresses three attitudes that are characteristic of his view of ministry:
  1. Christ Himself is the source of Paul's strength. Paul doesn't take credit for any of his accomplishments
  2. Being a servant of Jesus Christ is a privilege beyond comprehension. He considers it a blessing he did not deserv
  3. When Christ calls a person into His service, this implies trust. Paul felt great responsibility for living up to that trust.
Am I faithful to the service God has called me? Do I do my best for His glory? Am I useable by God? Or am I living for myself? Things to ponder on.


Surrender to the Lord's will daily.

Thank Him for His strength and enabling me to serve Him.

Seek His help.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Breaking the Law

1 Timothy 1-Part 5
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
1 Timothy 1:8


I am glad that our nation has laws, aren't you? They protect us and others, as well as give us guidelines by which to live. I must admit, there have been times in my life that I have broken the speed limit laws. Mostly it happened whenever I was in a hurry or late for work, an appointment, or such. Are you with me? Laws should keep us doing what is right for our society. (However, some I don't agree with-abortion and homosexual marriages are legal in our states/nation.) In verse 8, Paul is talking about the laws that God set up for people to follow. When He established laws, God knew that mankind would break them and not be able to keep them all, so He provided a remedy for us-a Savior.

"The law is good and meant to be used even today, but it must be used for its intended purpose, 'that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God,' (Romans 3:19), so that man turns toward Christ for righteousness (Romans 10:1-4)," states Liberty Bible Commentary.

We are all sinners in need of a Savior, Jesus Christ. He has provided all that we need in order to to be right before God. The purpose of the law is to show us that we sin and fall short of obeying God's laws. The only perfect one is Christ.

Paul wrote to the church in Galatians 2:16a says, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; Galatians 3:24-26 says, Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 

So the law of God is a good thing. Not only does it show us our sinfulness, but the Ten Commandments given to Moses is a good standard by which we can strive to live.
What are my standards based upon?


Verses 9-11 say this: Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there abe any other thing that is contrary to sould doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

Paul listed 14 kinds of people who were condemned by the law in these verses. Who are they?
  • lawless
  • disobedient (rebellious)
  • ungodly
  • sinners
  • unholy
  • profane
  • murderers of fathers
  • murderers of mothers
  • manslayers
  • whoremongers (immoral)
  • defilers with mankind (homosexuals)
  • menstealers  (kidnappers)
  • liars
  • perjured persons
[Words found in the NAS are in parentheses.]
Warren W. Wiersbe, in his book Be Faithful, a study on 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, said this:
The lawful use of the law is to expose, restrain, and convict the lawless. The law cannot save lost sinners; it can only reveal their need for a Savior. When a sinner believes on Jesus Christ, he is freed from the curse of the law (Gal.3:10-14), and the righteous demands of the law are met by the indwelling Holy Spirit as a believer yields to God (Rom. 8:1-4). Paul centered particularly on fiev of the Ten commandments in Exodus 20-umbers 5-9. It is the "glorious gospel" that saves lost sinners. Law and gospel go together, for the law without the gospel is diagnosis without remedy, abut the gospel without law is only the good news of salvation for people who don't believe they need it because they have never heard the bad news of judgment. The law is not gospel, but the gospel is not lawless (Rom.3:20-31).

I'm glad that we have the Holy Spirit and the grace of God because I can't keep all ten of those commands daily, much less until I die.
Grace, grace, God's grace. How wonderful and matchless!


Live by faith and under grace.

Keep the Ten Commandments for a guide for me to live by.

Point others to Jesus.