Tag Archives: grace
Yesterday, our church had Confirmation Sunday. We welcomed new believers into the faith and into the membership of our church. These new church members are children who have participated in a nine month long confirmation process learning about our church and about faith in Jesus Christ. As we looked upon their sweet faces turned toward us, our pastor reminded us that we all must come to God as little children no matter our age.
“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:2-5
I remember the day I was confirmed in the church many years ago. The day was special and filled with hope and promises. I’ve walked with my heavenly Father for many days now. Sometimes, my posture towards Him is more like a rebellious teenager that believes I already know all the answers and don’t need any help. Those times have brought about swift disciplining from God. He disciplines me because He loves me and knows that I need true fellowship with Him (Hebrews 12:7-11). He also knows, as I do, that I need to change and be transformed into a child who reflects her heavenly Father. I find that only when I approach Him as a little child do I find that sweet communion. With a humble heart filled with trust and faith that my Father God will forgive, protect, correct, teach, and train me in the ways of righteousness, I come to Him as His child. This posture is not always easy but is always best.
Today marks the conclusion of this study. I hope you have been encouraged and challenged to be a mighty servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All of the posts pertaining to this study and previous studies can be found under the Bible Studies Archive.
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2
During the first lesson of our last week of assignments, we considered verses pertaining to the judgment of unbelievers and the judgment of believers. We also took an in-depth look at 2 Timothy 4:2 as Paul charged Timothy to assume his leadership role of teaching and sharing the gospel. He encouraged him and us to share what has been entrusted. Beth Moore summed up the scripture in this way: “Urgent with the gospel. Patient with the people.” We also should question ourselves about what we will do with the message entrusted to us and whether or not our present works will affect our future reward and assignment. In all places and at all times, regardless of the season being convenient or favorable, we should stand ready to share the message of Christ.
“For the time will come when men 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. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4
“Always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7
A time will come when people will only want to hear what they want to hear. On Day Two, we considered our modern timeframe and the unlimited accessibility to teachers of all types, skills, and messages. Are we careful with our exposure? Are we too careful with our customization of what we hear or not enough? In order to have a healthy spiritual life, we should expose ourselves to sound doctrinal teaching on a variety of topics not just the ones we want to hear. Too much encouragement and training only gives us certain spiritual nutrients. We also need correcting and rebuking to ensure a healthy spiritual life. Sometimes, what we want is not always what we need. One way to combat this tendency is to be involved in a local church. Sound teaching will challenge us, mend us, pierce us to the heart, convict us, revive us, and restore us. We are all called to the work of ministry and have gifts to meet the ministry entrusted to each of us. We don’t need to do the ministry of others only our own.
“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8
On Day Three, we studied the meanings behind Paul’s imagery of being poured out like a drink offering. We looked at verses pertaining to Passover, fragrant offerings, and Jesus as the Passover lamb. As Paul drew his letter to a close, his words indicated that he knew his time was short and that he would soon die. Paul had given his all, finished the course, and kept the faith. Will we also not be lost but loosed from the world when the time for departure comes knowing that we have been poured out as drink offerings for Jesus Christ?
“Do your best to come to me quickly.” 2 Timothy 4:9
Our lesson on Day Four centered around learning more about the people that surrounded Paul in his last days. We learned of those who deserted him and those who remained with him. Through this viewpoint, we came to understand Paul’s passion and urgency to attend to every last detail before his passing.
“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:17,18
Beth Moore states in the last lesson that “Trust holds a torch in the blackest hole.” Paul stood firm in faith through the darkest times because he knew the Lord was with him. When all others had deserted or left him, he knew He was there. Paul was able to stand firm and we are too. We need to hold tight to the word of God, make sound doctrine a priority, and then stand on the authority of the word. In these last days, however long they may be, “scripture is our concrete in a world of mud.” We have the gospel and the gifting. Now is the time for going forth.
Thank you for joining me on this journey through Entrusted: A Study of 2 Timothy by Beth Moore.
Grace be with you all.
‘Difficult Times, Difficult People’ was the title of the Week Four lesson plan. I found the title to be an accurate description of all that we studied and cross referenced. How about you? We have only one week remaining in this study. Following the final post for Entrusted: A Study of 2 Timothy by Beth Moore, the season of Lent will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017. If you’ve fallen behind in the posts for this series or would like to begin from the beginning, all of the past posts for this study as well as other studies completed, can be found under the Bible Studies Archive.
“But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days.” 2 Timothy 3:1
Our lessons began on Day One by laying down a point of agreement about the era called ‘the last days.’ We used biblical cross references to establish that the last days began at Pentecost as announced by Peter and prophesied by the prophet Joel [Acts 2:16,17; Joel 2]. We also learned that this era will continue ‘until the day of Christ Jesus’ as termed by Paul [Phil. 1:6]. We commonly refer to this day as the second coming of Christ which we eagerly await as His believers. When that day arrives, the order of this world will pass away and a new one will usher in [Revelation 21:1-6]. We also read from 2 Peter 3:3-13 how we are to live as we wait for this new beginning.
“…what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:11-13
As Beth Moore states; “We are His wonders with the greatest potential impact on the lost, the cynical, and the hopeless.” We are called to this time of the Church Age, waiting until His glorious return, to share the gospel and the gifting of what has been entrusted to us. In the meantime,we are to –
“Occupy till I come.” Luke 19:13 KJV
We are to take the gifts given and use them for His glory and to share His message. On Day Two, we examined all of the characteristics displayed in the lives of people during the last days found in 2 Timothy 3: 2-5. We also compared and contrasted them against what we learned from Matthew 24:1-14. We learned from the Matthew passage that these signs and behaviors are the beginnings of birth pains [Matthew 24:8]. We then considered if these characteristics were unprecedented. Beth Moore highlighted three ways to view whether the label, unprecedented, is warranted: Prevalence, Occurrence burgeoning into prominence, and Invasiveness. The second portion of this day’s lesson focused on Greek terms and language lesson of these words listed in 2 Timothy 3:2-5. Three particular phrases were highlighted as being characteristic of people in the last days. They will be “lovers of themselves” [3:2], “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” [3:4], and “without love” [3:3]. Whether these days are indeed the last of the last days, only God knows. Our responsibility is how we choose to spend the ones gifted to us. Will we carry forth what has been entrusted?
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14 ESV
The third lesson for the week centered on what type of people we will choose to be. Will we be strong willed about God’s will or will we be ruled by our natural passions? We specifically focused on women in this particular lesson since the scripture is directed toward women. We were challenged to guard our hearts, bodies, homes, and to guard our callings.
“But you …” 2 Timothy 3:10
Following the list of characteristics displayed by those ruled by their natural passions, Paul interjects and writes that Timothy is to be different. On Day Four, we considered the power these two words have when connected. The power to challenge our list of limitations and obstacles. We have what it takes to be faithful. As believers in Christ, we have his Holy Spirit and God’s word. We are able because of Him. We have our own unique blend of gifts, skills, and experiences that enable us to serve God to that which He has called us. Beth Moore reminded us that we’re called to walk with equal tenacity as Paul and Timothy as we fulfill our own callings. This lesson concluded with the construction of our own timeline.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17
Beth Moore states that “How we accept the Word of God profoundly affects how we receive the work of God.” In our last lesson for the week, we considered three cross references that correspond to the one above found in 2 Timothy 3:16,17. We also added to our timeline chart from Day Four the names of those persons that have equipped us or acquainted us with the word of God as well as those who have influenced us spiritually and aided the formation of our spiritual life.
During the Group Session Five Video, Beth Moore spoke on the life of a servant of God. She used two passages of scripture to highlight her points: Romans 16 and 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:2. She used rowing as the visual to showcase the need for connectedness to be effective in ministry. She stated we have more strength together. As a mighty servant of God, the church is our family and we need to have the backs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Only one week left in the study! You can do it!
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15