Monday, December 9, 2013
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).
We have often heard the expression “timid Timothy,” but have you ever wondered why he was timid?
It is human nature to avoid trouble (this is especially beneficial for self-preservation!). Consequently, the prosperity theology (“God will rid you of all financial, romantic, and medical problems”) that it is often promoted today under the guise of Christianity, is very popular.
Nevertheless, Paul and Barnabas traveled, “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Paul and Barnabas knew that Christians would suffer persecution and other troubles (they knew firsthand!), and that Satan would use those dire circumstances to discourage them and subvert their spiritual growth. Thus, Paul and Barnabas encouraged them not to grow weary.
The Thessalonians were model Christians—they were spiritual, the complete opposite of the carnal Corinthian Christians. Despite great persecution and even martyrdom in their midst, the Thessalonians were joyful and, by faith, stood steadfast in their identity in Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:3-13; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10). They had matured enough to grasp today’s Scripture, and they did not waver when troubles came! God’s Word sustained them, for they, by faith, drew on God’s power contained therein (1 Thessalonians 2:13). May we follow them!
Remember when Paul wrote, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” in Romans 8:35, he listed troubles (things) in the following verses. Why the pronoun “who?” Who is this “who?” Satan will use various difficult circumstances to cause us to lose sight of the love of God we enjoy in Jesus Christ. The Holy Bible rightly divided provides us with “sound” (healthy, nourishing) doctrine (1 Timothy 1:10,11), which gives us a sober mind, one that is mature and steadfast in God’s Word to us, guarding our minds against Satan’s deception (today’s Scripture).
Let us now summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….