Good Morning, Siblings!

Today’s readings are 2 Timothy, 1-4

Read today’s Bible readings at BibleGateway by clicking here.

Rabbit Trails

  • This letter was written during Paul’s second imprisonment in Rome at a time in which Paul feels he will soon be executed. (2 Timothy 4:6-8). One of the themes of this letter is to remain strong and stand firm in the face of opposition. We have to prepare ourselves, arm ourselves, and practice standing firm in the faith as we determine to follow YHWH as our one true God.
  • These four chapters are chock full of verses you’ve probably heard quoted and quoted yourself more times than we can even count. They are very timely and it is difficult to read this and not imagine Paul is speaking about the times in which we live. So much of the Bible is circular that way – and double the blessing when we realize that and read our history in order to understand our present and future. YHWH is so good to us!

2  Timothy 1:7 is a reminder that when operating in the will of YHWH we have the power of love and self control. In this day and age it is so easy to be swept up in our passions in any number of arenas but we can use this as an indicator of how we are operating: In the flesh of our own will or in the Spirit according to YHWH’s will.

A Believer, operating in the spirit, directed by YHWH, will have self control.

2 Timothy 2:1 The grace shown to us should serve to strengthen us, not embolden us to sin at will. It’s crazy how the gospel has gotten so twisted over the centuries to the point where that is exactly how many view it.

2 Timothy 2:4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
Oooh that’ll preach! How entangled are we in the world? Where does our hope lie? Where do we exert our energy?
Here is a trick I use often for a little self-check: Look at your last five Facebook posts. What are they about? This gives us a pretty clear picture of what we focus on the most. What does it say about how we spend our time and energy? This has been a very fruitful endeavor in the past when it comes to checking my own fruit and redirecting where needed.

2 Timothy 2:14-26 is a finely written, concise piece of wisdom. I found it enlightening in my ESV but especially enjoyed it in my CJB so I’m goin to share that here.

14 Keep reminding people of this, and charge them solemnly before the Lord not to engage in word-battles. They accomplish nothing useful and are a catastrophe for the hearers! 15 Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. 16 But keep away from godless babbling, for those who engage in it will only become more ungodly, 17 and their teaching will eat away at people like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are among these; 18 they have missed the mark, as far as the truth is concerned, by saying that our resurrection has already taken place; and they are overturning some people’s faith. 19 Nevertheless, God’s firm foundation stands, stamped with these words:
“The Lord knows his own,”
and,
“Let everyone who claims he belongs to the Lord
stand apart from wrongdoing.”20 In a large house there are dishes and pots not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. That is, some are meant for honorable use and some for dishonorable. 21 If a person keeps himself free of defilement by the latter, he will be a vessel set aside for honorable use by the master of the house and ready for every kind of good work. 22 So, flee the passions of youth; and, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love and peace. 23 But stay away from stupid and ignorant controversies — you know that they lead to fights, 24 and a slave of the Lord shouldn’t fight. On the contrary, he should be kind to everyone, a good teacher, and not resentful when mistreated. 25 Also he should be gentle as he corrects his opponents. For God may perhaps grant them the opportunity to turn from their sins, acquire full knowledge of the truth, 26 come to their senses and escape the trap of the Adversary, after having been captured alive by him to do his will.

Wow. That is a lot of wisdom in few words, especially coming from Paul.  I already had it highlighted in my Bibles but reading it again for these notes I took the time to read it three more times. This is one to write out by hand for your journals if that is something you do. At the very least, post these verses on your Facebook wall. Seriously, if we who call ourselves by His name abided by this advice the world would be so different that we’d all make the news worldwide by tomorrow evening.

2 Timothy 3:2-5 is one we hear a lot when folks speculate if we are in the last days.

 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
It is hard to read that and not see our culture.

I often wonder how bad things were before the flood. Were they about where we are now? Were they much worse? How much worse can it get for us? Just in the past decade our decline as a society has picked up speed and it seems we reach new depths each month. The snowball is getting larger and the hill is steep.

What are believers to do? Diligently study the word and for goodness sake, don’t jump onto the snowball as it rolls by! We are to be set apart. In the world but not of the world. Read  2 Timothy 3:3-4 again. That is where we are as a culture. Now reading the closing statement which tells us to “Avoid such people.” That is pretty straight forward and highly sound advice.

Sidenote: I’ve been reading a very interesting book called Morality, Restoring The Common Good In Divided Times* by Jonathan Sacks. This book has provided great nuggets of information to digest with regards to our society today and how we arrived where we are. It’s also given me further insight into how my family can implement Biblical principles in a more effective way to make sure we’re swimming counter culture and doing our part to bring light into the world. Jonathan Sacks is a Jewish Rabbi, he is not Messianic, but at this point we have a better understanding of the role our Jewish brethren play in the last days and us coming together with them is a fulfillment of prophecy. I just wanted to mention this book as something you might enjoy gleaning from. I have also read another one of his books which gave me great insight into the three Abrahamic faiths and how they view one another and the world around them, called Not In God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence. It is important to have at least a basic understanding of the motivation and misconceptions behind other faiths in their view of one another, the world, and us. Of course, our own misconceptions will be confronted in the process as well – which aids growth.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

I cannot stress enough that when this was written, the New Testament did not exist.

What we refer to as the “old” testament is what they were raised on, lived by, and taught from. Not one jot or tittle had been made irrelevant then nor is it today (Matthew 5:18). YHWH is incapable of ever becoming irrelevant and His word always proves true and good.

But this is where we are as a people:

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

We have a different church concept on every corner. Even now, the “emergent” church movement is building up mega churches near and far, welcoming in people with coffee bars, smoke machines, the latest music, and “come as you are, stay as you are” messaging. Could this be a good thing? Absolutely, in some cases. Could it be a bad thing? Absolutely, in some cases.  Some of these pastors are telling folks that we need to “unhitch” ourselves from the “Old” Testament and even advising that we not even read our Bibles, because we might walk away feeling convicted. (I have seen these words spoken with my own eyes and ears)

Meanwhile, in other cultures people are risking their lives to meet in hidden places and listen to scraps of Bibles that have been smuggled in. While most Bibles in our own country are purely decorative, used merely as a prop.
The words in this book are what we are supposed to live by, meditate on night and day, write on our doorposts, and teach to our children moment by moment throughout our day.

My prayer for us:

Father, we come before you today asking you to shine your light on everything within us that keeps us apart from you. Lead us, convict us, let us get rid of all that serves as a barrier between us and you, keeping us in the world and out of your will.
Help us to cling to your Word, trust in you, and serve no other gods apart from you, especially the gods of self.
Embolden us to stand in complete submission, seeking only to serve and please you, the one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We bow before you in humble submission, and ask this in the name of your son, our Messiah, Yeshua.

 

A sweet friend has a wonderful page on Facebook called Sweet Blessings. She posted this and I thought you’d enjoy it as much as I did.

And with that, we have completed another book.  Rak Chazak!


Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21

We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!

May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!

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Christy Jordan
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