Titus 8/30/2016

2 Corinthians 8

8:1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

16 But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men. (ESV)

Titus 8/29/2016

2 Corinthians 7

7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Make room in your hearts for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore we are comforted.

And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For whatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you was true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. 15 And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice, because I have perfect confidence in you. (ESV)

Going Deeper

Going Deeper

Timothy (8-27-16)

Timothy is on of our great examples of a faithful and fruitful disciple.  Timothy is most known for his being discipled and sent out by Paul.  He was just a teenager or young adult when he met Paul. Timothy’s mother and grandmother were faithful Jewish women who raised Timothy in the teachings of the Old Testament scriptures. On his second journey, Paul invited Timothy to travel with him.  Timothy helped Paul to establish churches at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea (Acts 16:1 – 17:14). When Paul left Berea to go to Athens he left Timothy and Silas behind, but later sent word for them to join him (Acts 17:13-15). Timothy was also sent to Thessalonica to strengthen the faith of believers there (1 Thessalonians 3:1-2).

During the 3 years Paul was in Ephesus teaching them about the amazing power of God, Timothy was there, too. When Paul was imprisoned in Rome for two years, Timothy was right alongside him much of the time unselfishly taking care of Paul’s needs. For over a decade he watched Paul minister and teach the gospel and lead the early church.

Paul recognized some men in the church were teaching error about Jesus saying that Jesus could not have been a man and God at the same time. Paul wanted to go on to visit his friends in Macedonia, but he didn’t want to leave the Ephesian church in turmoil. So, he left Timothy to teach truth to the church there while Paul went on to Macedonia. As Paul’s representative, Timothy was given the authority to order worship (1 Timothy 2:1-15) and appoint elders and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-3). Paul thought he’d get back to Ephesus soon, but that didn’t happen. He was concerned about what was going on in Ephesus, so he wrote Timothy the letter called 1st Timothy around AD 64 from Rome or Macedonia.

In 1 Timothy we read that Paul was teaching Timothy how to contend with the false teachers (1 Tim 1:3-7), what the qualifications for a pastor/elder were (1 Tim 3:1-13), that many would prove to not endure in the faith (1 Tim 4:1-5), how the church should be organized (1 Tim 5:1-25), that false teachers were active meaning he had to fight for the true testimony of Christ (1 Tim 6:3-10), to remember his spiritual heritage that he learned from his mother and grandmother (2 Tim 1:4-6), to study hard to know how to teach and rightly discern biblical teachings (2 Tim 2:15-17), that in the last days the sinful tendencies of man would increase (2 Tim 3:3-9), and to keep preaching the Word and that the word corrects, rebukes and exhorts all believers (2 Tim 4:1-5).

Six of Paul’s epistles include Timothy in the salutations. The most tender and moving of Paul’s letters was his last one to Timothy. He was a prisoner in a Roman dungeon when he wrote 2 Timothy, approximately AD 67. He knew he had a short time to live, so the letter is his spiritual last will and testament – his “dying wish” – to encourage Timothy and to request that Timothy join him during his final days of imprisonment (2 Timothy 1:4; 4:9, 21).

Paul says Timothy had a “genuine faith,” the same as that which lived in his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:1-5). Timothy didn’t just preach one thing and live another. He was faithful and a good example of one who was prepared to go make disciples. Who is discipling you?  Who are you discipling?  If you are a parent then you must realize that your influence and opportunity to be a shaping impact on your kids is a huge call of God on your life.  Just like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, we must be diligent in raising our children in the word of the Lord. The truths Timothy was taught from infancy were able to make him “wise for salvation” and help prepare him for the ministry God had for him.

Paul’s investment and discipleship of Timothy proved to be a huge impact on the early church.  Thankfully Paul took the time to invest into Timothy and thankfully Timothy was hungry to listen and learn.   Are you hungry to grow in your faith and maturity?

Who do you need to get with and start pouring into?  What mature brother in Christ at your church or chapter can you ask to invest into you so that you can be fully prepared to be the disciple maker God has called us all to in the great commission?

I leave you today with Paul’s words to Timothy in the opening of his second letter.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC

Timothy 8/26/2016

2 Timothy 3:10-17

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (ESV)

Timothy 8/25/2016

2 Timothy 1:1-14

1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. (ESV)