Friday 28 February, 2014

2 Timothy 4:6-8

6 I am already being poured out like a drink offering. The time has come for me to leave. 7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is a crown waiting for me. It is given to those who are right with God. The Lord, who judges fairly, will give it to me on the day he returns. He will not give it only to me. He will also give it to all those who are longing for him to return.

What an amazing testimony – what unwavering faith!

I love that Paul could say with confidence I have done what Christ asked of me.  I want the same testimony over my life where I can say with confidence I have fought the good fight and finished the race.  That takes confidence, faith, perseverance, purity…

Lord, help me to fulfil the destiny on my life like Paul did – full of faith, right to the end!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

1 (reply)
  1. logos215 says:

    Quick Word Study
    v8 ‘crown’
    Is the Greek word ‘stephanos’ – ‘crown of victory’
    a wreath (garland), awarded to a victor in the ancient athletic games (like the Greek Olympics); the crown of victory. Not to be confused with a royal crown which is a different word.
    Is the same word used in the Gospels to mock Jesus’ by making him where a ‘crown of thorns’ at His trial.

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Thursday 27 February, 2014

2 Timothy 4:1-5

4 I give you a command in the sight of God and Christ Jesus. Christ will judge the living and the dead. Because he and his kingdom are coming, here is the command I give you. 2 Preach the word. Be ready to serve God in good times and bad. Correct people’s mistakes. Warn them. Cheer them up with words of hope. Be very patient as you do these things. Teach them carefully. 3 The time will come when people won’t put up with true teaching. Instead, they will try to satisfy their own longings. They will gather a large number of teachers around them. The teachers will say what the people want to hear. 4 The people will turn their ears away from the truth. They will turn to stories that aren’t completely true. 5 But I want you to keep your head no matter what happens. Don’t give up when times are hard. Work to spread the good news. Do everything God has given you to do.

Paul in this passage is giving Timothy his last ever command that we have recorded – Preach the word – proclaim the message.  Proclaim the message – none of us really can escape that one.

Even more of a challenge to me has been the last phrase in verse 5.  It’s been sitting with me for days as I have read & re-read this passage – “carry out your ministry fully” or in this version “Do everything God has given you to do”.  Am I doing this?  Have I let things slip through my hands that have been given me to do because I didn’t want to or because it wasn’t convenient or because I didn’t think I was up to it?  I know I have.

Father, forgive me for all the times I have not done the things you have given me to do.  I know you’re faithful even when I am not and ask that you would again bring opportunities along so that I can grow and do my part in building your Kingdom. Amen

Written by Suzie Hodgson

2 replies
  1. logos215 says:

    This version of the Bible has seriously skewed the original meaning of the last part of v5. “Do everything God has given you to do” should be more like “Do to completion your duty”. As you have pointed out “carry out your ministry fully” is a better rendering.
    The original word picture for ‘ministry’ or ‘duty’ is to “wait on tables” which is joined with the word “to fully carry out”. Ultimately, “wait on tables until it is no longer required”. The original context is Paul encouraging Timothy to “spread the Gospel message” but the intent applies to all form of church service.
    That being said, I find your prayer valid, highly relevant and worth meditating on.

  2. Kim Fleming says:

    Love it suz!! I too need to ask forgiveness & keep asking & more importantly listen to what God has for me to do daily & have the perseverance & boldness to do it

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Wednesday 26 February, 2014

2 Timothy 3:10-17

10 But you know all about my teaching. You know how I live and what I live for. You know about my faith and love. You know how patient I am. You know I haven’t given up. 11 You know that I was treated badly. You know that I suffered greatly. You know what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. You know how badly I have been treated. But the Lord saved me from all of my troubles. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be treated badly. 13 Evil people and pretenders will go from bad to worse. They will fool others, and others will fool them. 14 But I want you to continue to follow what you have learned. Don’t give up what you are sure of. You know the people you learned it from. 15 You have known the Holy Scriptures ever since you were a little child. They are able to teach you how to be saved by believing in Christ Jesus. 16 God has breathed life into all of Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. 17 By using Scripture, a man of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

These words are from verse 16 and 17. Such a great reminder about why the Word is important. There is much in God’s word that we read but do we believe it? In this passage we hear we will be persecuted but that God will be there with us. In other places He explains what love is (1 Corinthians 13) and tells us He loves us (Romans 8:38; Ephesians 3:19) – sometimes we miss putting those things together. The purpose of God’s word is not just about reminding us when we do the right thing or the wrong thing, it’s also about when we think the right thing or wrong thing – thinking that can hold us back, thinking that makes sense to us because of our life experience but is not in line with what God says. It’s useful to check yourself every now and again for unhelpful views of the world and how it works based on what God say and bring them back on track.

Lord help us to value Your Word, to see in it the things You have for us, the truth where we have believed a lie and the inspiration we need to take the next step You have set before us. Help us Lord to believe what You say. Help us also to recognise where we have not got Your truth straight in our heads. Thank You for giving us the gift of Your Word. Amen

Written by Therese Manning 

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Tuesday 25 February, 2014

2 Timothy 3:1-9

3 Here is what I want you to know. There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will love themselves. They will love money. They will brag and be proud. They will tear others down. They will not obey their parents. They won’t be thankful or holy. 3 They won’t love others. They won’t forgive others. They will tell lies about people. They will be out of control. They will be wild. They will hate what is good. 4 They will turn against their friends. They will act without thinking. They will think they are better than others. They will love what pleases them instead of loving God. 5 They will act as if they were serving God. But what they do will show that they have turned their backs on God’s power. Have nothing to do with those people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into the homes of silly women. They get control over them. Women like that are loaded down with sins. They give in to all kinds of evil longings. 7 They are always learning. But they never come to know the truth. 8 Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. In the same way, the teachers I’m talking about oppose the truth. Their minds are twisted. As far as the faith is concerned, God doesn’t accept them. 9 They won’t get very far. Just like Jannes and Jambres, their foolish ways will be clear to everyone.

Wow – this is a very descriptive warning for me to attend to. It reads like a synopsis of a TV drama. It is a description of things commonly observed around me. I read it and take note of the warning from Paul – but there is something else that strikes me here – in verse 5 Paul describes the people this way:  “They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.”

Each time I have read this I have felt the Holy Spirit challenge me about whether I am this kind of person. I have had to ask myself if there is evidence of the power of God in my life daily – making me godly – or if I am merely acting religious. I want to say that God’s power is always at work in my life. And yet I struggle with areas of my life where God’s power is not at work in me.

God I know that your power is real and available to me and yet I struggle to depend on you – opting instead to rely in my own feeble abilities and failing. Thank You for speaking to me through Your word again. I humbly lay down my reliance on self – again- and ask you to fill me with your life changing power. As I trust in You and rely on Your power, may You change my life and the lives of those You have placed around me. May your kingdom come!

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    God’s requirement for right behaviour is the same in the Old and New Testament. The difference between the two covenants is highlighted in Ezekiel 36:26,27
    And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart and I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
    The power in v5 (2Tim3) is the Holy Spirit. Without His influence all people are destined to eventually conform with the list in v1-5 no matter how good they appear, even Christians.
    If you reverse the list you will see some of the characteristic of a Holy Spirit influenced believer. For instance a Holy Spirit transformed believer will have ‘No love of Money’.
    You are right Linda, it is challenging stuff.

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Monday 24 February, 2014

2 Timothy 2: 20-26

20 In a large house there are things made out of gold and silver. But there are also things made out of wood and clay. Some have honorable purposes. Others do not. 21 Suppose someone stays away from what is not honorable. Then the Master will be able to use him for honorable purposes. He will be made holy. He will be ready to do any good work. 22 Run away from the evil things that young people long for. Try hard to do what is right. Have faith, love and peace. Do these things together with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with arguing. It is dumb and foolish. You know it only leads to fights. 24 Anyone who serves the Lord must not fight. Instead, he must be kind to everyone. He must be able to teach. He must not hold anything against anyone. 25 He must gently teach those who oppose him. Maybe God will give a change of heart to those who are against you. That will lead them to know the truth. 26 Maybe they will come to their senses. Maybe they will escape the devil’s trap. He has taken them prisoner to do what he wanted.

With the clever imagery of a large household Paul describes the many articles in use – ‘articles of gold and silver for noble purposes’ and ‘wood and clay for ignoble purposes’.

To be an ‘instrument for noble purposes’ we must ‘abstain from wickedness’ {v19} and pursue or strive for the fruit of the Spirit – righteousness, faith, love and peace – and join with other servants who without reservation call on the Lord for help.

Because of the situation Timothy faced in Ephesus Paul warns him not to get involved in arguments; in fact he makes it clear that God’s servant must be kind to everyone, able to teach and not be resentful.

So, with us! Over more than 30 years in ministry in Australia and overseas Joan and I have made the choice to be kind to everyone without exception.

I pray that the Spirit will continue to grow the fruit within my life and that He will help me to be kind to everyone and so avoid ‘arguments’. Help me too to recognise that divisions are a major weapon the devil uses to disrupt the work of the Kingdom within the local church.

Written by Keith Bennett

2 replies
  1. David Newton says:

    I love hearing what you have to say Keith. 30 years in ministry has resulted in exceptional grace and wisdom and yet you still pray for God to ‘grow the fruit’ in your life!

  2. logos215 says:

    The passage reminds me of Psalm 133.

    How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!
    It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
    running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
    It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.

    For there the Lord bestows his blessing,

    even life forevermore.

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Sunday 23 February, 2014

2 Timothy 2:14-19

14 Keep reminding the believers of those things. While God is watching, warn them not to argue about words. That doesn’t have any value. It only destroys those who listen. 15 Do your best to please God. Be a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed. Teach the message of truth correctly. 16 Stay away from godless chatter. Those who take part in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like a deadly sickness. Hymenaeus and Philetus are two of those teachers. 18 They have wandered away from the truth. They say that the time when people will rise from the dead has already come. They destroy the faith of some people. 19 But God’s solid foundation stands firm. Here is the message written on it. “The Lord knows who his own people are.” (Numbers 16:5) Also, “All who say they believe in the Lord must turn away from evil.”

I take three things from this passage of Scripture:

1. Avoid useless arguments over words and stop talking about unimportant things.  ie. “Don’t sweat small stuff”.  The reason Paul says this is because not only will it lead you astray but those in your hearing as well.  We don’t want to turn people away from the Christian faith because of some silly or thoughtless thing we have said.

2.  Work hard!  Can’t put any spin on this one just work hard.  Make sure you know God’s word and what it means.

3. The ultimate fallback – “ But God’s truth stands firm like a great rock, and nothing can shake it.” Reading God’s word and having it as a foundation in your life will show you what is important and what you should spend time doing.  It also centres your life on God’s truth preventing worthless discussions that don’t build faith. Always come back to and stay in God’s word!

Dear God, thank you so much for your Word.  As I read the Bible may your words transform my conversations and what I devote time to, Amen.

Written by Ainslie Woods

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Saturday 22 February, 2014

2 Timothy 2:8-13

8 Remember Jesus Christ. He came from David’s family line. He was raised from the dead. That is my good news. 9 I am suffering for it. I have even been put in chains like someone who has committed a crime. But God’s word is not held back by chains. 10 So I put up with everything for the good of God’s chosen people. Then they also can be saved. Christ Jesus saves them. He gives them glory that will last forever. 11 Here is a saying you can trust. If we died with him, we will also live with him. 12 If we don’t give up, we will also rule with him. If we say we don’t know him, he will also say he doesn’t know us. 13 Even if we are not faithful, he will remain faithful. He must be true to himself.

In this last letter to Timothy I see Paul sharing his heart with his “son”, friend and co-worker as never before – writing his own short biography – this is who I am and what I’ve done and why – now passing his mantle to Timothy.

Verse 9 – “The word of God is not chained” what prophetic insight Paul had here – 2,000 years later, we know the truth of Paul’s words.  Even though I know this, do I believe this as Paul did?  Have I chained up God’s word in my life?  “He remains faithful” I know there are times when I haven’t believed this, & yet it is true & unmoveable – I have chained God’s word & not allowed it to give me life and set me free, I haven’t always believed God’s complete faithfulness to me.

Father I am so grateful that in the many times I have been faithless – you have been faithful to me.  How amazing is it that your word is not governed by my circumstances.  Thank you for your faithfulness to me always.  Amen

Written by Suzie Hodgson

1 (reply)
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Friday 21 February, 2014

2 Timothy 2:1-7

2 My son, be strong in the grace that is found in Christ Jesus. 2 You have heard me teach in front of many witnesses. Pass on to men you can trust the things you’ve heard me say. Then they will be able to teach others also. 3 Like a good soldier of Christ Jesus, share in the hard times with us. 4 A soldier does not take part in things that don’t have anything to do with the army. He wants to please his commanding officer. 5 In the same way, anyone who takes part in a sport doesn’t receive the winner’s crown unless he plays by the rules. 6 The farmer who works hard should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Think about what I’m saying. The Lord will help you understand what all of it means.

I like how cryptic Paul is sometimes. His original readers must have looked at each other in bewilderment at times and asked “what does he mean by that?”

This passage is one of those. Paul encourages us to face suffering like a soldier, an athlete and a farmer.

Soldiers are tough and focused. They don’t crumble when things get hard. Am I like that when suffering comes my way?

Athletes follow the rules to the letter so they don’t get disqualified. Do I maintain my integrity even in the face of hardship? Or do I teeter on the brink of disqualification in moments of testing?

Farmers don’t farm for nothing. There is a harvest if they work hard. And there is a reward for me if I persevere. Am I focusing on the finish line, the reward, and letting that thought get me through this season of suffering?

Lord, please keep me and help me be strong in this season of suffering.


Written by Boudy vanNoppen

2 replies
  1. logos215 says:

    When I read a passage, I always remind myself of the context. This is a private letter from Paul to Timothy. If Paul had known his personal correspondence would become part of the ‘Canon of Scripture’ he may have written it differently.

  2. David Newton says:

    There are only a few places in Scripture where you (in this case Timothy) are told something and then instructed to think about it. I would say this bears further consideration.

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Thursday 20 February, 2014

2 Timothy 1:15-18

15 You know that all the believers in Asia Minor have deserted me. They include Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to all who live in the house of Onesiphorus. He often cheered me up. He was not ashamed that I was being held by chains. 17 In fact, it was just the opposite. When he was in Rome, he looked everywhere for me. At last he found me. 18 May Onesiphorus find mercy from the Lord on the day Jesus returns as judge. You know very well how many ways Onesiphorus helped me in Ephesus.

Seeing someone in hospital, writing a letter to someone mourning, texting someone who needs encouragement, praying for the needs of others. These all can seem like small actions. Yet these are the efforts that move the Kingdom forward.

Onesiphorus refreshed Paul when he really needed it, Paul the man who wrote the most letters contained in the New Testament. Onesiphorus moved the Kingdom of God forward through these acts of love and kindness towards Paul.

Phygelus and Hermongenes did nothing good to advance the Gospel by their inaction in supporting Paul.

“Lord, show me the little things to do each day, that can make big differences in the life of a brother or sister, and can change eternity in your Kingdom!” Amen


Written by Andrew Mellor

3 replies
  1. John Tomc says:

    Being actively involved in God’s church family, and reaching out to your brothers and sisters in time of need, is a great way of moving the Kingdom forward in people’s lives.
    During my illness last year, Carolyn and I received many bible verses and words of encouragement, via SMS, which was a great source of hope and encouragement from our church family!
    A little thought and prayer can go such a long way. 🙂

  2. David Newton says:

    I believe encouraging those who are down is a task close to God’s heart. That is why, what you are saying Andrew is so important and is something we should consider practicing on a daily basis.
    I have found small gestures can make a big difference but the key is ‘timing’. With the right timing a small gesture can have a greater impact than a grand gesture. Look to God for sensitivity and timing and you will be amazed how personally fulfilling it is to deliver ‘a simple act of kindness’ to someone in need.
    Thanks Andrew!

  3. logos215 says:

    Quick Word Study
    v16 – He often ‘cheered me up’ sometimes translated ‘refreshed’ or ‘comforted’ or ‘encouraged’.
    The original Greek is a compound word meaning ‘to complete a process’ of ‘cooling by blowing/exhaling’. The meaning pictures the idea of the natural tendency to blow on something like a burnt finger in order to relive the pain.

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Wednesday 19 February, 2014

2 Timothy 1:8-14

8 So don’t be ashamed to give witness about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, his prisoner. Instead, join with me as I suffer for the good news. God’s power will help us do that. 9 God has saved us. He has chosen us to live a holy life. It wasn’t because of anything we have done. It was because of his own purpose and grace. Through Christ Jesus, God gave us that grace even before time began. 10 It has now been made known through the coming of our Savior, Christ Jesus. He has destroyed death. Because of the good news, he has brought life out into the light. That life never dies. 11 I was appointed to announce the good news. I was appointed to be an apostle and a teacher. 12 That’s why I’m suffering the way I am. But I’m not ashamed. I know the One I have believed in. I am sure he is able to take care of what I have given him. I can trust him with it until the day he returns as judge. 13 Follow what you heard from me as the pattern of true teaching. Follow it with faith and love because you belong to Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the truth of the good news that you were trusted with. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

What has been entrusted to you from God that you are to guard?  Paul reminded Timothy to keep as a pattern of sound teaching that he had given to him, what he had entrusted to him.  Clearly Paul thought this was under attack.  It may have been because here is the Apostle, the teacher now in disrepute in gaol!  Whatever, even if it was the gradual erosion of beliefs and values – Paul says we need to guard the good deposit!

How do we guard it – well the Holy Spirit will help – He will bring to our remembrance what matters when it matters.  We also stay close to God’s Word and avoid speculations and meaningless genealogies and the like.  As I heard someone say one day – keep the main thing the main thing!

Father help me to guard the truth that has been faithfully deposited in my spirit over many years by men and women who have been faithful in teaching me God’s Word.

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

2 replies
  1. David Newton says:

    If you could have a single scripture inscribed on your headstone, what would it be?
    For years now my choice would be part of verse 12 –
    “I know in whom I have believed.”
    Over the years, my actions have not always lived up to this passage but the aspiration has always remained the same.
    Can anyone else point to their scripture?

  2. Richard says:

    David – great thought. The scripture that comes straight to mind for me is “As for me and my house – we will serve the Lord!”

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