Posts Tagged ‘Timothy’

(NKJV and KJV Scripture )

– There is one who scatters, yet increases more.  And there is one who withholds more than is right – but it leads to poverty. – Proverbs 11:24

This world’s economy is one which generally tells us we have to gain things in life before we’re able to give.  Or, the purpose of gathering goods is so we can hoard them as protection against uncertain future times; such as the end days some believe are fast approaching.  Both ways are to our own hurt – and do not honor God (Ecclesiastes 5:13, James 5:3, Deuteronomy 26:10).

The Word’s economy tells us we are to cheerfully give as purposed in our hearts – not out of necessity or grudgingly – scattering before we can gain (lead verse, 2 Corinthians 9:7). This is not restricted to money.  One of the best gifts we can give someone else is time.  Just talking to them or taking them somewhere, going the extra mile without being asked to (Matthew 5:41).

The profit of this earth is for all (Ecclesiastes 5:9).  We are to be wary in keeping our conversations away from covetousness – and to be content with such things as we have; wherever we are (Hebrews 13:5, Philippians 4:11).  This does include money. We are to be content with our wages and not spend our brief time on earth trying to exact more than what God has already appointed us (Luke 3:13-14, James 4:14).

We shall not want (Psalm 23:1).  Our Father knows our needs before we do (Matthew 6:8).  Every good and perfect gift comes down to us from the Father of lights (James 1:17).  Riches obtained without right – and withholding more than we know is right … is not right.  It can lead to poverty and God can cause us to leave them in the midst of our days (lead verse, Jeremiah 17:11).  For the Lord richly gives us all things to enjoy – of His choosing; not ours (1 Timothy 6:17).

Our “stuff” can be too much – even for a church (Exodus 36:4-7).  We are to take heed and not regard our belongings – for our lives do not consist in the abundance of things we possess (Genesis 45:20, Luke 12:15).  When Christ returns – our stuff will be left behind (Luke 17:30-31).  In the meantime, if we have two coats – we are to give one away (Luke 3:11).  We are not to seek our own wealth – but every man another’s (1 Corinthians 10:24).

Not so anyone is overly eased or burdened – but so there is an equality among all.  We can spend our time in life gathering – and find out we still are lacking; and we can spend our time scattering – and find out we lack nothing (lead verse, Exodus 16:18, 2 Corinthians 8:11-15).  We didn’t bring a thing into these lives – and it is certain we can carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7).

A certain rich man had grounds which brought forth plentiful fruit.  He gathered so much from the reaping – he had no room left to store them.  His solution?  Instead of sharing and scattering his bounty – he decided to tear down the barns he had and build bigger ones.  So he could have enough to survive on in future years.  But God told this man he was a fool – for that night his soul would be required of him  – and then who would have his harvest (Luke 12:16-20)?

He had been rich towards himself – gathering up goods for his own good.  However, he was not rich towards God – for he did not scatter it to others who may have been not so fortunate as he was (Luke 16:21). The redemption of our souls is precious – we can’t buy them back with bank accounts or blessings (Psalm 49:6-8) – which scatter when we die. What does it profit any of us if we live gathering goods and gaining the whole world, yet lose our souls in the end (Mark 8:36)?

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– And they shall teach no more, every man to his neighbor – and every man to his brother, saying “Know the Lord.” “For they shall all know Me – from the least of them unto the greatest of them,” says the Lord. – Jeremiah 31:34

“Would you like to know the Lord, Mark?”  This was how many believers approached me during the first 49 years of this life – when I was not a believer.  Each time, I would listen patiently while the other person told me everything they knew about the Lord.  After they left, I would think just that – I had only heard what they knew.  Their personal comprehension did little to enlighten my darkness.  Often, they tried to draw me to a church before God finally drew me to the Cross (John 6:44).

They didn’t help me know the Lord any better.  Were they unwise in what they were doing?  God only knows for sure.  However, any human relationship has to be founded and established between two people first – not through a third-party.  So does a heavenly one.  We can’t build on another man’s foundation when it comes to being a Christian – especially if they are constructing God’s building on one that still seems to be worldly (Romans 15:20, 1 Corinthians 3:10-12).

Imagine basing and building any earthly relationship – solely on trying to know things about a person from third-party sources? How healthy would the union be?  How long before elements of confusion, dissatisfaction, or trouble started arising?  We don’t get to truly know people simply by soliciting what other people know about them.  If we do it this way – isn’t it like saying we want to know someone like the back of our hand – but only by the back of a hand belonging to someone else?

Likewise, we don’t get to know God – by knowing what other believers know about Him.  Trying to teach others about how to know the Lord – and dispensing our own personal relationship advice on how to establish a more intimate walk with Him – is not how He desires it to be done (lead verse). Our Father will magnify Himself, sanctify Himself – and make Himself known to all of us in our lives.  God will reveal His righteousness to all – so we are without excuse (Ezekiel 38:23, Romans 1:17-21).

We don’t become or stay Christians by any association with other believers – but by the Holy Ghost (Romans 8:9-11).  Jesus comes to dwell in hearts by faith – through the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16-17).  We have access to God 24/7 through Christ our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). Why would we want to find out how to establish a better relationship with the Lord – from other believers who are not with us all day, every day – like He is?

We run the daily risk of being lied to as believers – and deceived by man’s words – even those from so-called great preachers and teachers of God (Job 32:9, Ephesians 5:6).  We shall be taught by God as believers – without lie – and learn how to have a better relationship with Him through Christ alone (John 6:45, 1 John 2:27).  Not by any of the many enticing words man’s wisdom may teach – but in demonstration of the Spirit and power (1 Corinthians 2:4-13).

Other believers can’t save us – nor can we save the lost by how we know the Lord.  Only God’s grace can save (Ephesians 2:8). This grace which brings salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11).  It was through such grace that Christ tasted death for all men – so we would not have to (Hebrews 2:9).  From our youth – we have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ (2 Timothy 3:15).

Just because we may know the Bible, though – does not mean we necessarily know the Lord and His truth as He desires – we could just be ever learning (2 Timothy 3:7).  However, God has assured us we will all come to know Him – from the least to the greatest – and His gospel while we are on earth (lead verse). Once the world knows – then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).  This way, when we meet our Maker – we can’t say to Him we didn’t know who He was while we lived.

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees – and of the Herodians to catch him in his words. – Mark 12:13

Jesus certainly had his critics and doubters while he lived upon this earth. Some certain Pharisees and Herodians were hoping they would catch Christ in his words – that he would slip up and contradict something he had said – so they could at least justify to themselves he wasn’t who he claimed to be. Likewise, Christians today certainly have their critics and doubters. Some certain unbelievers are most likely hoping we’ll slip up and contradict something we say – so they can at least justify to themselves why they continue to live as they do. They’re not sure we even know who we are – or what we’re talking about – so why would they ever want to join in?

We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God – workmen who need not be ashamed – rightly dividing the Word of truth when we present it (2 Timothy 2:15). So we understand what we are saying and affirming before we speak or write words to others. So we don’t come across to the unbelieving as just a bunch of irritating and jangling noise-makers – but not much of anything else (1 Timothy 1:6-7). Confusion and contradiction don’t go far in reaching and presenting a consensus in any matter or subject – Christianity included. It usually just leads to a bunch of vain babbling – which only increases ungodliness among believers (2 Timothy 2:16).

It’s like the riot at the Ephesus theater. Apparently, something really important was going on inside. However, many didn’t really seem to understand what. Some cried out one thing – some another – but a large majority did not know why they had come together to begin with (Acts 19:29-32). Are we the same today as believers? Doesn’t a confused noise coming from Christians – of which God is not the author of – only serve to send a message to the lost that a large part of us don’t even seem to know why we’ve come together to begin with (Isaiah 9:5, 1 Corinthians 14:33)? When we appear this way to the unbelieving – won’t many most likely just be chomping at the bit to catch us in our words?

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(Scripture from the KJV)

– Of making books there is no end … and much study is a weariness of the flesh. – Ecclesiastes 12:12

Plato once said that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, perhaps it should be the brother of education and learning as well. Abraham Lincoln never went to college. In a short autobiography written in 1859, the future 16th president described his education like this: “All my formal schooling took place when I was young – in the way of reading, writing, and ciphering. The little advance I now have upon this state of education – I have picked up from time to time under the pressure of necessity.” (Source: American Presidents (11th Edition) by David C. Whitney).

Especially in modern times, more and more people seem to be acquiring more and more knowledge – often at great expense – simply for the sake of doing so.  With the explosion of the internet in the past 20 years – we are bombarded daily with all kinds of information that must be filtered and processed by our limited minds.  Daily decisions get harder to make with this deluge of data. The prophet Daniel warned that in the last days, many will run to and fro – and knowledge will be increased (Daniel 12:4).

As Christians, we should always be very careful and prayerful that we are not learning a bunch of Bible verses – simply for the sake of learning them – without asking the Holy Spirit on how to compare them with other spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:13).  If we don’t, then we can easily and frequently start quoting them to others in an often – almost clinical “matter of fact” manner – to show off our Biblical “book knowledge” to others.   We are not in tune with the Holy Spirit as to if they actually apply to any circumstance or situation we are encountering.  

When we present the Word like this – it sometimes leads to nothing but back and forth exchanges of our Scriptural “smarts” or “stupidity”. They usually fall on mostly deaf ears. It only serves to puff us up – or pull us down against each other (1 Corinthians 8:1). Sadly, we can spend years like this – always searching and learning Scripture – thinking we have eternal life but never being able to come unto the knowledge of the truth (John 5:39, John 16:13, 2 Timothy 3:7, 1 John 2:27).

Too much knowledge and too little love can kill common sense – even among Christians (1 Corinthians 8:1). Verses we may use as our own personal mantras to get through difficult times can be totally meaningless to someone who is lost. Love always edifies others – but too much Bible learning can paralyze us from responding the way God has commanded us to first and foremost. Remember love covers all sin (Proverbs 10:12, 1 Peter 4:8).

Instead of being sensitive to every situation we encounter daily as Christians – as to how we can show others God’s love immediately – we’re searching our brains to find what we think is that one verse that will somehow be the perfect and quick solution to whatever the difficulty, problem, or trial may be. This is very close to striving about words to no profit (2 Timothy 2:14). We can get so overly focused on trying to find and say the right thing – that we can forget that all we have to do sometimes is go the extra mile with someone – with our mouths mostly shut (Matthew 5:41).

Yes, we are to study to show ourselves approved to God – but not to others (2 Timothy 3:15). As with any area of life we are directly involved in – we should be continually broadening our scope of knowledge – even if we may not be using it in our day-to-day lives. But if all we are doing is studying – and never showing others we’ve discovered how to apply what we’ve learned – we’re nothing more than talking heads. Is this how some who are lost see many Christians? Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

Perhaps the last thing any unbelieving person wants to hear from us first is some verse we may like – but which they will probably forget as soon as we walk away. Wouldn’t they rather see us show them God’s love first – so they will remember it much longer than sharing a snippet of Scripture? And in the process of doing so – we may actually start comprehending and understanding a little better each time what God’s love really is – instead of just learning about it?

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(Scripture refs – in order of use – at the end from the NKJV and KJV)

– How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him? – Hebrews 2:3

God is long-suffering and patient towards all mankind – He made all of us and is not willing that any should perish – but for all to come to repentance. Our Father in heaven takes no pleasure in the death of anyone. What He desires is for all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. However, the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

From our times as children, we have known the Holy Scriptures – to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. However, heaven is not a birthright. We are all born as flesh and blood beings into a corrupt and polluted world – neither of which can inherit the eternal kingdom of God.

Even though God does not appoint any of us to wrath at birth – He does not automatically appoint any to righteousness either.  We must be “born again” at some point in our lives – so God can come to dwell in our hearts by faith in Christ through His Holy Spirit.  So we no longer remain natural men and women still trying to learn God – who is a spirit – from the “outside-in” by our own flawed and finite human wisdom and understanding.

Without the Holy Ghost in us while we live – we cannot be sanctified.  We cannot become furnished and prepared for the Master’s every good work on earth.  Without the Holy Ghost in us when we die – we cannot be saved – and have our mortal bodies quickened and raised up on that last day.

Therefore, do not neglect such a great salvation.  Now is always the accepted time – for we never know what a single day will ever bring forth.  Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.  See then, that we do not refuse Him who speaks – for if they did not escape who refused Him that spoke on earth, how much more shall not we escape if we turn away from Him that speaks from heaven?

Be warned from Scripture:  Continued and defiant rejection of God, failure to learn from His heavenly correction and discipline – and failing to retain Him in our knowledge – is eternally dangerous.  This can make Him turn us over to reprobate minds and make us do all kinds of things we may not want to.  If it continues unabated, our Father in heaven can cut us off without remedy forever.

(Scripture refs in order of use: 2 Peter 3:9, Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 18:32, 1 Timothy 2:4, Titus 2:11, 2 Timothy 3:15, 1 Corinthians 15:50, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, John 3:5, Ephesians 3:16-17, John 4:24, 1 Corinthians 2:11-16, John 5:39, 2 Timothy 3:7, 2 Timothy 2:21, 2 Timothy 3:17, Romans 8:9-11, Hebrews 2:3, 2 Corinthians 6:2, Proverbs 27:1, 2 Corinthians 6:1, Hebrews 12:25, Romans 1:21-32, Job 34:31, Proverbs 29:1, Luke 16:26).

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(Scripture from the KJV)

– Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift. – 2 Corinthians 9:15

We have just ended a man-made day of thanks in America.  The world has now officially entered into a season of gift buying, giving, and receiving.  However, these are all gifts that will perish one day (Matthew 6:19).  The greatest gift ever given was forever.  It was not made by the workmanship of man – but God making Himself manifest in the flesh (John 1:14, 1 Timothy 3;16).  It is the gift of His only Son – our only hope of eternal life promised to us by Him before this world began (Titus 1:2). But this gift was not wrapped up in pretty paper – or colorful boxes with bows – neatly tucked under some tree.  Instead, it was human – hung and nailed nearly naked to a wooden cross for all to mock and scorn (Matthew 27:28-21).

This gift cannot be bought with our own gifts, money, works, or righteousness (2 Chronicles 19:7, Acts 8:20, Ephesians 2:9, Titus 3:5).  Our sins were purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary (1 Corinthians 6:20).  It is a debt we can never repay (Romans 4:4).  Christmas is a time that comes at the end of the year – when we hope to receive gifts from family and friends.  Our salvation is a time that comes at the end – when Christ returns in His glory.  It is something we hope for until that time when God’s grace is finally brought to us at the revelation of His Son (Lamentations 3:26, Romans 4:16, Romans 8:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, 1 Peter 1:9,13, Revelation 12:10).

It is a free gift – it is not a free ride Matthew 7:14, Matthew 24:14, Luke 13:3,5, Luke 24:47, 2 Timothy 2:21-22, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 12:14).  Our own personal deliverance from hell was not God’s primary intention and purpose for this gift. Otherwise, why wouldn’t we all go to heaven the second we accept it? There are many things that accompany our eventual salvation (Hebrews 6:9) while we are still living on earth.  Much has been given and much is required (Luke 24:48).  It cost God everything to give us in the life of His only Son. It should cost us everything – including our own lives – to use (John 15:13).

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