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Showing posts from October 18, 2015

Running

What are you pursuing or fleeing? What are you running towards or running away from? Life moves along as a steadily flowing river, and what direction is it going? Downhill. Unless you make certain decisions to direct your life, you will steadily flow downhill. Timothy was a "young man" (probably 35-40 years old) when his mentor wrote to him about running in the right direction. He said, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22) Paul challenged Timothy to constantly be fleeing the strong cravings of the flesh, whether they involved the inordinate pleasures of the physical appetites, the desire for power, to be number 1, to be dominant, or the pull of material possessions and the pride that goes with them. Then he counters it, knowing that a vacuum needs to be filled, by saying, steadily pursue by keeping in focus, with intent and passion in a positive se…

Noble Purpose

I have coached many persons who desired to have more clear purpose in their life. That meant they obtain clarity on a their purpose statement and begin to fulfill it daily. It has been amazing to me to see the difference between a person who takes the time to write out a purpose statement and those who bungle along without one. God has a purpose for everyone on the earth. He has put within each of us special strengths that are designed to help humanity in different ways. Unearthing purpose can bring joy and direction to a cluttered life. God has also created believers for "noble purposes." He said through His servant Paul in 1 Timothy 2:21, "If a man cleanses himself from the latter [wood and clay works], he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." Paul states this in a letter to Timothy, his mentoree and friend, using the illustrations of a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer. He is saying that it is…

Promise of Life

As a child do you remember that friend who promised to stand by you for life? What became of them? Life went on and old promises faded. But does Christ promise and not deliver? Paul spoke to Timothy of "the promise of life that is [centered] in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 1:1) This is the promise of an indestructible life. This promise of life is definitely stated in the following passages: Psalm 16:11 as "the path of life…with eternal pleasures at your right hand" Psalm 138:7, 8 "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life…The Lord will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever." John 3:16 "that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 6:35 "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry…" John 6:48-59 "Here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die…If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever…Just as the living Fat…

Being Rich

There are those among believers who purport that all believers should grasp the idea of being rich. They speak what is called the "prosperity gospel" suggesting that if you are doing right as a believer you will gain wealth. On the contrary, Paul spoke of every class, including the wealthy and down to the slave, as a part of the makeup of the body of the Church. Paul exclaimed that, "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil," (1 Timothy 6:10) and warned about the passion to be rich by saying, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction." (6:9) This would be the down side of being rich. He instructed the rich to seek the up side of being rich by saying, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything f…

Holy Living

What are the most important things a man or woman can do as a believer? Some would say, "do good works" while others might encourage you to "give your money to the poor." We could go on with the suggestions of the crucial activities of a believer's life but it is simpler than we might think. Paul in speaking to Timothy, his protégé, and encouraging him in a life that is beyond repute said, "Watch your life and doctrine closely." (1 Timothy 4:16) He was to focus on his own duties, gifting, and teaching which produced holy living and sound teaching. If he was to go astray, it would start by an ignoring of his own life, by making concessions to himself that were in opposition to God's Word. In other words, by the reading of God's Word, by accepting the exhortations from it, and obtaining of a clear explanation of its meaning, Timothy would not become entangled with heresy. However, if he accepted the discussions of those around him, the myths an…

Fathers Responsibility

The responsibility of a father is multitude. He must provide, protect, teach, discipline and encourage his sons and daughters. Creating children changes the way a father will live. It influences his path with the children always being an important consideration in every decision. A father does not always receive respect for this role. In Scripture the prodigal son disrespected all that his father had done for him by requesting his inheritance before his father was even dead. Then, he went away and spent it all, leaving himself in dire straits, until he determined to seek the forgiveness of his father. And, what had his father been doing all the time he was gone? He had been standing in the street, longing and looking for his son's return. His love was constant and his forgiveness was evident by the rest of the story. Jeremiah spoke God's message to the people of Israel (Northern Kingdom) and Judah (Southern Kingdom). It was the message of their spiritual father, the God of th…