Saturday 31 July, 2021

2 Timothy 4:9-15

9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.

In this passage, Paul mentions the names of people who partner with him in sharing the gospel. These are people who had experienced good times and hard times together. In this letter Paul mentions Demas. Paul also mentions him in Colossians. Demas has some good history with Paul. They have served Jesus together.

But sadly, somewhere along the way, Demas walks away because he has been tempted by what the world could offer him. In The Passion Translation it says Demas deserted Paul because he loved his own life. I wonder what Demas thought he was missing out on? I wonder what Demas hoped Thessalonica could offer him, that Jesus didn’t?

This is a sobering thought: being involved in Christian activities isn’t a guarantee we’ll keep following after Jesus. This passage causes me to reflect on my own life and ask, what things in life capture my attention that draw my heart away from Jesus?

Father, help me not to be distracted by the things the world offers me but to remain close to You and close friends within my church family. May I keep my relationship with You in first place, and serving second. Not vice versa. 

Written by Gab Martin

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Friday 30 July, 2021

2 Timothy 4:6-8

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

I have had the honour and privilege to speak to a handful of wise, faithful people in the period of their life where they are preparing to depart this life.

The tone in today’s passage is similar to what I have heard in the voices of those who have now departed. The imminence of heaven makes it very real, but the sweetness of what is to come is mixed with the bitterness of having to leave behind loved ones and, perhaps, work unfinished.

The reality is though that all of us should be living with our eyes and hope fixed on the life that is to come, on the new Jerusalem. But not just sitting around and waiting for the next thing to happen, engaging in bringing God’s kingdom to earth.

I have lately been reading up on the Greek word “Teleios” which is used in the bible and also has its roots in Plato and Aristotle. The bible seems to assert that humans are “Teleiological” meaning we are driven by a higher purpose and we are heading towards an end, that is tied to that purpose. We are going somewhere, and we need to be meaning where we go, because our destination has meaning!

Lord, help me to remain true to the purpose that you have called me. Help me to work towards the prize and the final destination that I know you have promised me.

Written by Ps Justin Ware

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Thursday 29 July, 2021

2 Timothy 4:1-5

4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

A purpose for our lives – this is what each one of us longs for, whether we realise it or not.  

Here, in some of the very last written words of the Apostle Paul, he reminds us of the mission that God has given each one of us … Tell (or remind) people of the Good News (the Gospel) of God’s salvation.

It’s easy to become discouraged or feel responsible when people in your life appear to reject God’s word and God’s ways. However, in one sense, we need not concern ourselves with the outcomes that are out of our control. Our job is to live and to speak God’s word (and to pray) as best we can. How people respond to that is between God and the other person.

Over the years, coming to understand this has been both empowering and liberating. We are empowered with the incredible purpose of partnering with God to share His love with the world, but thankfully, we are not burdened with the outcomes. 

The mission of partnering with God in sharing the Gospel is a very special gift, and if we feel weary or view it as a heavy burden, then we should examine what is making us feel that way. Jesus has said that His “yoke is easy and His burden is light”.

Today, I remind myself that I am a partner with the greatest mission and purpose on earth given to us by God. What an honour and what a joy it is to see the impact of God’s love in and around me.

Written by Shelley Witt

3 replies
  1. Sue says:

    A privilege to Know Him – but to also have a part to play in His Kingdom..
    We sow and we water – God brings the growth.

  2. Florence Farjandi says:

    This is the best book to help we know more about who we should be. Not just be Christian. Be look like Jesus and His commitment. Amen
    This book is part of my Persian people bible study. It’s amazing book.
    God bless you, amen

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Wednesday 28 July, 2021

2 Timothy 3:10-17

10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Paul seems to be labouring a point here – focusing Timothy’s attention on Paul’s persecution and suffering. No one likes suffering. I try hard to avoid it and I suspect I’m not alone. Paul tells it like it is though, saying “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ will suffer” (v12). But we are not without hope. Paul directs Timothy (and us) to three sources of help…

  1. Mentors. Paul says Timothy can trust those who taught him. Have I sort the help of a Pastor, mentor, or wise friend to help me through times of suffering? These people are placed in our lives by God as a gift to help us. I need to use them. 
  • Scripture. It’s through reading and mediating of God’s word that we get the wisdom, teaching, correction, preparation and equipping we need to face, not only persecution but resources for “every good work” (v17). 
  • God Himself. In verse 11 Paul reminds Timothy that God rescued (past tense) him from ALL the persecution, the inference being that God will rescue Timothy also. 

These are the things I must remember when facing suffering – God has provided others to help me, He has given me His word and His promises to encourage me and give me hope, and best of all, He is with me Himself and will rescue me from all of it. 

Bless you Lord! Thank you for all the help that You have provided – to help me through times of trouble. Help me remember them and use them. And I will see You rescue me every time. 

Written by Boudy Van Noppen

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Tuesday 27 July, 2021

2 Timothy 3:1-9

3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly 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. Kim Fleming says:

    Amen Linda. I too need Gods power ever present in my life so others can see what a great God we serve.

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Monday 26 July, 2021

2 Timothy 2:20-26

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 22 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. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

I’m not much of a runner these days. When I was in school I ran quite a bit, whether it was the cross country or a game of soccer. But these days it doesn’t rate high on my list of priorities. Can you relate? Running simply isn’t something I do much of – at least, not in the physical sense.

Figuratively, I often feel like I’m sprinting through life. Running from one meeting / event / season, to the next. In the broader sense of life, I’m quite the athlete – and I have a feeling I’m not alone in this!

In this passage, Paul is instructing Timothy on how to be an honourable and approved worker for God. His advice is basically for Timothy to keep himself pure so that he can be effectively used by God. And how do you keep yourself pure? Paul says it’s about where you’re running.

Run FROM anything that stimulates youthful lusts. In other words, run FROM things that are going to stir up lusts and tempt you away from God, and run hard. Instead of this, Paul says, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace. Run TOWARDS these things. Run TOWARDS righteous living, run TOWARDS faithfulness, run TOWARDS love and TOWARDS peace.

So the question is – where are you running right now? Is it FROM the unhelpful stuff and TOWARDS the good stuff, or vice versa?

Father, help every one of us to run from temptation and run towards You. May our lives be marked by righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace, as we run towards these things for Your glory. Amen.

Written by Ps. Matt Samperi

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Sunday 25 July, 2021

2 Timothy 2:14-19

14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

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 Ps. Ainslie Woods

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Saturday 24 July, 2021

2 Timothy 2:8-13

8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown 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, and yet it is true and unmoveable – I have chained God’s word and 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)
  1. Florence Farjandi says:

    This is awesome. I love Timothy books. It is part of our bible study at Persian group.
    God bless you. Amen

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Friday 23 July, 2021

2 Timothy 2:1-7

2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

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.

Amen

Written by Boudy van Noppen

1 (reply)
  1. Andrew says:

    Boudy
    Wow! Great observations. I want to be God’s farmer intentional focused.
    I love Paul’s tips for Timothy, will pass some on to Tim.

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Thursday 22 July, 2021

2 Timothy 1:15-18

15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

Paul names twenty-two people in this letter. Its obvious personal relationships are really important to him. He’s clearly discouraged by the number of people he knows personally who are deserting him in the middle of the most difficult trial of his life. But its also obvious how much the loyalty of someone like Onesiphorus means to him. He says four times as much about one faithful friend than about two unfaithful ones.

It would be understandable if Phygelus and Hermogenes were afraid. At the end of Nero’s reign, authorities in the city of Rome were actively seeking out Christians and killing them in such unusually cruel ways that even pagans were moved to pity. And here is Onesiphorus coming and searching for Paul in Rome, the very centre of the danger. Which will Timothy be like? Will he stand strong for the gospel, unashamed of his testimony about Jesus?

Which will I be? Will I stand by the truth about Jesus even when there’s a risk? When I know someone who’s in a hard place, will I go looking for them, like Onesiphorus came looking for Paul – like Jesus came looking for me? Will I stand by them?

Jesus, thank you that you came looking for me, and you were willing to die to find me and rescue me. I want to follow you. Please give me your heart to faithfully seek out and stand with people who need my support.

Written by David Cornell

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