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Showing posts from October 15, 2017

Train Yourself

Some of us seek a trainer to direct our exercise. We will pay money to have that person come to our house or we will meet them at an exercise center so that we can have a stronger body for health reasons, for stamina, and/or for a better looking body. All this effort and money is for a good cause but ultimately limited to the physical scope of our lives. Paul sent Timothy, his young disciple, to churches that needed a leader. But Paul knew that Timothy was a good man and a good leader if he could understand the challenge he set before him. Paul said, "Train yourself to be godly." (1 Timothy 4:7) This would offer benefit for his present life and for the life to come. The word "train" is properly translated "exercise" and is in the present active tense, meaning to continually or perpetually train. It also is an imperative or a command to Timothy. He is to "exercise" in the proper way, regularly and continually. No one knew him better than himself, s…

False Witness

"Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow." (Proverbs 25:18) This statement intermingles two of the Ten Commandments, numbers 6 and 9, which deal with murder and false witness. To tell a lie about someone is to destroy their reputation and mangle their character. Words can really hurt as much as "sticks and stones." A lie is a falsehood, an untruth, a fabrication, and a deception. Its purpose involves denigrating another so that you will look good. It fakes sincerity and earnestness when below the surface there is envy, revenge and destruction of another at its purpose. The three instruments of harm, the ax, sword and arrow, are used to cut down, and cut deep or puncture deeper. They pass through the outward barrier of the skin with ease and draw blood with the intent to harm, cut short life. Whatever you say about someone else changes your own story and the story of others abou…

Help

When was the last time you prayed asking for God's help? What were you concerned with? What were you expecting from Him? We all face situations that cause us to look to God for help. We cry out with words and sometimes cry out with no words because our heart cannot find them. But we rely on and trust in Him because "No pagan god is like You, O Lord. None can do what You do." (Psalm 86:8) David faced issues of life where he needed God's help. He penned the following words that give the reason he felt God would hear and respond to his prayer. He said, "O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help." (86:5) God is good, not malicious or evil. His is ready, not otherwise entertained and not lazy. He is quick to hear and desires to forgive. He doesn't need to beat us over the head with it. And, He is so full of unfailing love, love that never discourages or berates, but love that stands beside and  never f…

Blessing

Paul cared much for the Thessalonians. They were one of the first to hear the good news of the gospel when he was called over into Macedonia, a part of Greece, at the direction of the vision given by the Holy Spirit at the seaport of Troas in today's Turkey. His stay there was chronicled in Acts 17 as he went into its local Jewish synagogue and spoke of Christ as the Messiah. "Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women." (17:4) That was the beginning of the church at Thessalonica. Paul writes to the church two letters, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, in which he covers many topics but he also wanted to encourage them. He said, "May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ." (2 Thessalonians 3:5) There was a faction within the city that had become riotous against Paul and the messag…