Put the Brethren in Remembrance

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained” (1 Timothy 4:6 KJV).

Never forget to remind the brethren!

Father God has much to say. He was so generous to give us a written record of what He wanted to tell us. May we be so thankful to Him that, when we have a King James Bible, we hold His inspired words preserved in English. No need for us to get lost in a maze of Hebrew and Greek, looking for hidden “nuggets” in a mine abounding with fools’ gold. It is unnecessary to enter a “prayer closet” and beg God to reveal His will to us. Rather, we need to get into His Bible and read it for ourselves!

Since the creation of Adam and Eve some 6,000 years ago, human life has become increasingly complicated and busier. In this age of entertainment, it is extremely easy for Christians to become sidetracked. They sit in front of their televisions, computers, and personal devices (including smartphones), and often go hours, days, weeks, months… even years!… without giving God’s Word even the slightest consideration. May they wake up!

Paul the Apostle exhorted young Pastor Timothy to remind his Christian brethren of the instructions laid out in the first epistle that bears his name. He was to especially bring to their attention Satan’s schemes and scams. In the verses preceding today’s Scripture, the Holy Spirit warned of Christians who would abandon sound Bible doctrine. They would embrace religion—“forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats” (verses 1-5).

However, Timothy could reduce Satan’s work by reminding his brethren of sound Bible doctrine (today’s Scripture). Those grace doctrines, constantly affirmed, would encourage the members of the Body of Christ to hold fast to God’s truth. As long as they held on to God’s Word rightly divided, being daily reminded of it, they would survive the apostasy.

Brethren, we trust we have fulfilled today’s Scripture here on a daily basis. Now, to our Lord Jesus Christ’s glory, we close five full years of “333 Words of Grace!” 🙂

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #10

Tuesday, December 10, 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?

For many years, Timothy faithfully served as a coworker of the Apostle Paul in the ministry of God’s grace (Philippians 2:19-23). Satan knew that he could not get Timothy to change God’s Word (that is, compromise the message for the sake of appeasing the false teachers). Timothy showed no interest in joining Satan’s program and propagating his deception.

Nevertheless, Satan’s policy of evil has many schemes and scams, and if one “wile” is unsuccessful, he will simply resort to implementing another. For the Christian soldier who will not give in to false teaching, the devil will use troubling circumstances to distract the Christian, to cause him or her to lose sight of God’s love, God’s peace, and God’s strength in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:35-39). As long as the Christian is confused and miserable, he or she will grow weary (as Timothy eventually did), and then quietly surrender and retreat (and then Satan has one less person opposing him and his policy of evil, which was his goal from the beginning!).

Indeed, Satan is operating a most strategic military plan, but our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is far wiser. He anticipated all of Satan’s moves, but Satan did not foresee His moves (1 Corinthians 2:6-8). The Bible says God kept one secret from Satan, and Satan thus participated in his own defeat (Colossians 2:14,15)! Had Satan really known what God would do with Calvary’s finished crosswork, he would have never, ever influenced Israel to kill Jesus Christ.

Howbeit, Satan did encourage Jesus’s crucifixion, and now through that shed blood of Jesus Christ, God can save us from Satan. By faith alone in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, we can have our sins forgiven. By faith alone in God’s Word to us (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon), we can remember who we are in Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture), and thus draw on God’s power to tolerate all of life’s troubling times. 🙂

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #9

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….

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #8

Sunday, December 8, 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?

In today’s Scripture, the Bible explains how a mature Christian is to think during difficult times:

  • “THE SPIRIT OF POWER.” This is God’s power, not our power. “And he [Jesus Christ] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). Always be conscious of God’s power given you in Christ, lest your troubles cause you to doubt His Word to you (Philippians 4:13).
  • “THE SPIRIT OF LOVE.” This is God’s (great) love for us, not our (weak) love for Him. “For the love of Christ constraineth us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14): Jesus Christ’s immeasurable love for us demonstrated at Calvary (Romans 5:8) compels us! Always be conscious of God’s love for you in Christ; otherwise, your dire circumstances will cause you to believe that God does not love you (Romans 8:35-39). God’s love for you is further discussed below.
  • “THE SPIRIT OF A SOUND MIND.” This is God’s mentality in troubling times, not the world’s “wisdom.” While God does not cause our troubles, we can let Him use them to our advantage and for His glory. Romans 5:3-5: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Always be conscious of how God has given you His mind in Christ. In the form of the Holy Bible, “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)….

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #7

Saturday, December 7, 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?

The word “spirit” in today’s Scripture should be understood in the sense of “attitude or state of mind; mentality.” For clarity’s sake, we must remember to attach the term “spirit” to the three items listed: “For God hath not given us the spirit [mentality] of fear; but [the spirit] of power, and [the spirit] of love, and [the spirit] of a sound mind.”

Remember the “spirit of fear” has gripped Timothy. He is becoming craven; he is beginning to lose the boldness that is required in the Christian ministry. Satan does not like competition, and when he opposes the Christian’s service by using persecution and/or other suffering (in hopes of forcing the saint to quit entirely), the Christian must be mindful to have the mentality that God would want him or her to have during those troubles (that spiritual destruction, apostasy, et cetera, not result).

How would a mature Christian handle troubles? Firstly, spiritual maturity only comes by personal Bible study. We study God’s Word, believe it, and let it transform our minds. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2ab). “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23)—the same “spirit” found in today’s Scripture. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).

Satan cannot take us out of Jesus Christ; however, he can deceive us into thinking we are outside of Jesus Christ (thus causing us to lose sight of our provisions in Christ). Consider the troubles of life described in Romans 8:35-39, which Satan utilized to discourage Timothy (he will do the same with us if we are not mindful of sound Pauline doctrine!). We, like Timothy, need to remember who God the Father has made us in Christ, and use the “arsenal” God has given us to protect our minds in dire circumstances….

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #6

Friday, December 6, 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?

None of us are exempt from troubles—even the Lord Jesus Christ experienced them! Difficulties in life exist because of the curse of sin (Romans 8:18-23), bad choices that we and others make (Galatians 6:7,8), and persecution for choosing to live godly in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12). While suffering will not be abolished until our death (or the rapture), we need not lapse into the mentality of hopelessness (today’s Scripture indicates Timothy did). God has the answer, the key, to handling those awful circumstances.

In the verse previous to today’s Scripture, Paul reminded young Timothy about how he had ordained him in the ministry. Timothy received a very important ministry, but Satan was using Timothy’s difficult circumstances to discourage him, to distract him from that ministry from God. Beloved, Satan still attempts to do this with us, so it is imperative we understand and apply today’s Scripture by faith!

Thankfully, in today’s Scripture, God the Holy Spirit informed us how our adversary the devil operates, but let us look at a companion passage for additional insight. Before He wrote today’s Scripture, He had penned through Paul many years earlier: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; ) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Scripture warns about Satan “corrupting our minds” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Satan attacks the Christian’s mind using bad information—false doctrine, religious tradition, philosophy, et cetera (Ephesians 4:14; Colossians 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:14-18). Hence, today’s Scripture speaks of the “spirit,” or mind, of the Christian. Let us discuss the mentality God has given us in Jesus Christ….

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #5

Thursday, December 5, 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?

Timothy was despised because of his young age (1 Timothy 4:12), he was imprisoned for Jesus Christ at least once (Hebrews 13:23), he was facing intense opposition from false teachers (1 Timothy 1:3-11), and he suffered “often infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23). Now, Paul, his dear friend and brother in Christ, is in prison again. Timothy is beset with troubles, troubles, troubles! He is weary, mentally and emotionally distressed. He wants to give up.

If Timothy is to survive the troubles yet to come (more false teaching, and worst of all, Paul’s execution), his mind must be corrected, reminded of God’s truth, and this farewell letter from Paul will accomplish just that. Today’s Scripture is excerpted from the Apostle Paul’s final epistle. If ever Timothy needed to remember his identity in Jesus Christ, it is now!

The Holy Spirit, writing through Paul, is preparing Timothy to handle the impending death of his good friend, and the increasing doctrinal errors within the Body of Christ. The Church the Body of Christ needs Timothy to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1), to remain faithful in the message of God’s grace and pass it on to “faithful men” who will teach others also (verse 2), to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (verse 3). He needs not abandon God’s people when they need godly, mature leadership. The apostasy that is already occurring—the forsaking of Pauline grace truths and the embracing of the (Scriptural) Mosaic Law—is nothing new (2 Timothy 1:15).

Timothy needs to be reminded of today’s Scripture, three concepts that are key to handling all troubles. Let us discuss these three provisions that God has given Timothy (and us!) in Christ, and how they can sustain him (and us!) amidst those troubles of life….

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #4

Wednesday, December 4, 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?

Let us read today’s Scripture in its context (Paul writing to Timothy): “Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God” (verses 4-8).

Timothy was a young man when he trusted Jesus Christ alone as his personal Saviour. His grandmother and mother had educated him in the Scriptures (cf. 2 Timothy 3:15). Before Paul first met him in Acts 16:1-3, Timothy had a respectable testimony among other Christians. Thereafter, Timothy faithfully served with Paul in his ministry amongst the Gentiles: Paul had ordained Timothy to function in that ministry as a “secondary” apostle (“the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands;” 2 Timothy 1:6). In the context of today’s Scripture (see previous paragraph), Paul is reminding Timothy of his ordination (which he evidently forgot because of his dire circumstances).

Timothy is now ashamed: he wants to surrender to the opposition. The persecution, the false teaching, his young age, and now Paul’s imprisonment, have distracted Timothy (Satan’s goal). He is not thinking like God has designed a Christian to think, and today’s Scripture is the key to him handling the opposition as a mature Christian….

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #3

Tuesday, December 3, 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?

Satan, God’s arch-nemesis, has implemented—and is still employing—various clever strategies (“wiles,” “devices,” et cetera) that hinder God’s purpose for creation. Although most professing Christians are completely ignorant of how Satan schemes and deceives, he is very much aware of what they are supposed to be doing (and he works tirelessly to keep them unlearned).

For those Christians who do know what God is doing, and they are, by faith, doing the same, Satan has a two-fold plan of assault. Firstly, he will attempt to mislead the Christian and get him or her to water down God’s Word (message). If the Christian does not compromise, then Satan will attack the Christian (messenger). Although this is true throughout the Scriptures, acknowledging Satan’s implementation of it in Paul and Timothy’s ministries is needful in comprehending today’s Scripture.

Paul was committed to faithfully transmitting—preaching, teaching, and writing—the doctrines of God’s grace. Satan understood that he could not get Paul to corrupt God’s Word, so then he began to use evil men—kings, priests, emperors, and common unbelieving Jews—to physically hinder Paul’s ministry (as documented throughout the book of Acts; cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).

In the context of today’s Scripture, Paul is in prison for preaching an “illegal” religion in the Roman Empire (2 Timothy 2:8,9). Satan is attempting to use Paul’s troubling circumstances to discourage him and Timothy. In addition, Timothy’s young age causes older “educated” people to criticize and disregard his ministry: Paul encouraged Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth” (1 Timothy 4:12). Timothy has faithfully held to God’s Word rightly divided, just as Paul had instructed him (1 Timothy 1:3-11), but the constant opposition is beginning to greatly weary him. Timothy is beginning to shy away, wanting to give up. The false teachers have intimidated him to near-silence.

Now we see why Paul wrote what he did in today’s Scripture….

Tips to Timid Timothy to Tolerate Troubling Times #2

Monday, December 2, 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?

Originally, Satan (formerly, “Lucifer,” the “light-bearer”) was “full of wisdom” (Ezekiel 28:12): Lucifer was created as an extremely wise creature, someone to devise ways to glorify His Creator, Jesus Christ. Yet, Lucifer was only interested in glorifying himself, and he corrupted his wisdom (leading to his fall from heaven). Thus, the Bible portrays Satan (“adversary”), the devil (“slanderer; accuser”), as a very sneaky character.

Satan has devised a very ingenious plan to accomplish his own goals in creation—he wants worship that God alone deserves (Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8). The devil wants us to focus on anything and everything, as long as we are ignorant of what God desires us to know. In 2 Corinthians 11:3, we read about “the serpent [who] beguiled Eve through his subtilty.” Genesis 3:1, the verse Paul quoted, says, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made….” Scripture also speaks of Satan’s cunning craftiness (Ephesians 4:14), wiles (Ephesians 6:11) and devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).

This satanic policy of evil has operated on earth for 6,000 years now (ever since Adam chose to follow it; Romans 5:12). We observe it in the world’s governments, religions, educational systems, and so on (Galatians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Ephesians 6:12). Upon considering the contents of the entire Bible, we can conclude that when a saint of God does not give in to this policy of evil—that is, when Satan attacks the message but the saint refuses to compromise God’s Word—then Satan will attack the messenger (the saint). Imprisonment, torture, and even the death penalty, were some of the awful consequences for the saints of old who unapologetically believed God’s Word (Hebrews 11:32-40).

Concerning today’s Scripture, Timothy has not compromised the message of God’s Word, so, as we will see, Satan has switched to personally attacking Timothy and his Christian brother and closest friend, Paul….