Tuesday 20 February, 2018

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.

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


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Monday 19 February, 2018

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.

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 another 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 not 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 all that you have in store for my life. Amen.

Written by Suzie Hodgson


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Sunday 18 February, 2018

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.

“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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Saturday 17 February, 2018

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


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Friday 16 February, 2018

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.

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

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Thursday 15 February, 2018

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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Wednesday 14 February, 2018

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, & 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


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Tuesday 13 February, 2018

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

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Monday 12 February, 2018

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.

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

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Sunday 11 February, 2018

2 Timothy 1:8-14

8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—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

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