Thursday, May 31, 2012

fighting in our battlefields...

May 31, 2012

 1 Timothy 6:11 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

This is not an obscure verse in the bible that no one has ever heard before; nope, this is a relatively well-known one. That being the case I often wonder why we are surprised that living the life of a believer is hard sometimes. Clearly, Paul is telling us that we are going to have to fight. The word fight automatically brings to mind other words like…strife, opponents, hardship, pain, and any number of words I could list. All of them however have one thing in common though; work, we have to work at and fight for our life in the faith. It will be a battle, and the truly amazing thing about belonging to God is that even in the midst of that battle, that “fight” we can have peace

Friday, May 25, 2012

the fight and the beach...

May 25, 2012

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith…

Some day’s really feel like a fight don’t they? We feel weary, and beat down; yet the strength to go on is given to us in a ways we never understand. When we think we can’t go one more day, we will suddenly have the strength for one more week. When we look around at our lives and marvel at the peace in our hearts amidst the chaos of our life, we are in awe. Our Christian walks are not meant to be fought on a tropical beach laid out on the sand with a good book. They are meant to be fought in the battlefields of our everyday life. However, isn’t it wondrous that although our lives might not look like that tropical beach we will feel as though we have been laying on a tropical shore.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

in pursuit...

May 24, 2012

1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness

To pursue is to “find or employ measures to accomplish”. This word gives us the impression that it will take many years to come close. Perhaps this is the case so that we would not take our eyes on God. For only in God could we hope to achieve any of these things, and if we are in God we cannot be in the world too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

loving money or God...

May 22, 2012

1 Timothy 6:9-10

V 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils, It is thought this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs

Is money bad? This is a question many people get caught up in. No, money isn’t bad; it is to a great degree necessary to life and to ministry. However, the love of money is bad, but it’s not alone. The love of or pursuit of anything except righteousness, godly character, God’s will for our lives, godly wisdom, any number of things I could name, is “a root of evil.” Do not be deceived just because you “say” that the love of money is not in you does not mean that the root of evil can not be found. Satan uses many snares to entrap us; money is just one of them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

food and clothing...nothing else?

May 21, 2012

1 Timothy 6:7 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content

Is this all it takes for you? Food and Clothing? Well, I’d love to sit here and tell you how this is true for me, but the sad reality is that it isn’t. I “think” I require much more than simply food and clothing. But, really I do not. Really, this is all we need. Last night in our Family Service we learned about the person’s heart that was like a briar patch, full of thorns that choked out everything and wouldn’t allow the seed of God’s word to grow. When we are not content with only food and clothing, we can certainly run the risk of allowing other things, or the pursuit of other things, to choke out God’s word in our lives. Is it wrong to have more? No, certainly God rains down blessing upon blessing on us, and no good thing does He withhold. However, if we find ourselves pursuing things over righteousness, perhaps we should step back and learn to be content with food and clothing.

Friday, May 18, 2012

contentment and satisfaction is in the remembering...

May 18, 2012

1 Timothy 6:1-6

V 6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment

Being content…that’s what we are all searching for right. We strive for an absence in the constant fight that we battle within ourselves; a peace from the fight for more. Contentment is defined as “an ease of mind; satisfaction”. How would we love to look upon our lives and feel satisfaction? The strange thing about contentment or I guess godly contentment, is that it is not found in our things, or really our circumstances, but it is found in God and His provisions, His blessings. In Psalms today I read these words…”The Lord has remembered us; He will bless us (Psalm 115:12). This is contentment; knowing that God remembers me

Thursday, May 17, 2012

nothing stays secret...

May 17, 2012

1 Timothy 5:23-25

V 25 …cannot remain hidden

These few verses are dealing with our sins and our works; how some are done in secret and some in the open, and in the end all will be known. “…cannot remain hidden” it doesn’t matter how well you think you have kept your sins secret, from others and from yourself; they will come out in the end. All will be known. This isn’t said to scare you, but to encourage us to repentance. This is said to encourage us to go before God and confess and seek forgiveness and greater help to stay away from that sin.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

being pure...

May 16, 2012

1 Timothy 5:19-22

V 22 …keep yourself pure

We assume that this is easy. I mean the line we draw between impure and pure is usually think and black. We think that it takes some gross immoral sin to make us impure, but does it. When you take a glass of water and add to it only a teaspoon of vinegar, you have ruined the whole glass; even though the water far outnumbers the vinegar. We assume that because the good in our lives outnumber the bad we are good and pure. Yet, it’s not really about that. It’s not about keeping score and making sure that everything is equal or that our obedience is greater than the areas we habitually sin. It’s about the attitude of our heart. If our heart is so busy trying to cover up for the pet sin that we just can’t get rid of, everything is tainted with that brush. The pet sin that we run to makes the water of our lives undrinkable and unworthy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

the moldy bread of idleness...

May 11, 2012


V 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers…

Again Paul is telling Timothy how to handle the widows of his church, and this is dealing specifically with younger widows. Paul is commanding that they not be allowed to just live with other families but should have families of their own to care for. Mainly the reason for this is that if they have nothing to do they become idle. This being idle is a doorway for other less-desirable traits or habits than we can get into, unless we are busy with other things. Idle is defined as “not working or active, not in use, habitually doing nothing or avoiding work, of no real worth, frivolous; vain” wow! Doesn’t sound like something we really want to be does it? For some this is not a hard thing to overcome; some people crave to be busy, like my husband for instance. Yet, some others have to battle hard with their flesh to not be idle, like me for instance. I am always reminded and convicted by this verse which speaks of the Proverbs 31 woman “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” I have been convicted a lot in this area, and I’ve gotten lots better at it, but alas, I still have a long way to go…

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

what are we doing with our much...

May 9, 2012

 1 Timothy 5:8 but if anyone does not provide for his relatives and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever

I wonder why it’s easy for us, even as believers, to become selfish with our time and our money. Many times that selfishness is extended to the people who we should want to help the most, our family. Yet, we don’t. We may try to excuse our selfishness by coming up with some reason for why we should not help them. True, Paul does give some parameters for us to follow, meaning there will be some people who we should not help, but that is a very small minority. We want to hoard for ourselves the blessings that God gives to us, instead, of raining them on others in our lives. I am reminded of a verse I can’t remember the reference so I’ll paraphrase it…”To whom much is given much is expected…” what are we doing with our “much?”

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

who controls me...

May 8, 2012

1 Timothy 5:6 but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives

I can distinctly remember the first time I heard this verse. I was just a tiny bit fearful, as you can imagine. Who wants to be confronted with their selfishness! Not me. Yet, here I was sitting in a great woman’s conference getting pounded by my own selfish desires. I left that meeting crushed to realize how much I had allowed my “self” to control what I did or sometimes what I didn’t do. I cried! And in many areas I have changed! I love how God works, and I love how He sometimes allows us to see how He works. I love that I came to this verse, even though it’s a hard one, on the day that I’m dealing or confronting other areas in my life that I have allowed “self” to control. I love that God reminded me of this today, to further convict me to be obedient, when my habit would be to ignore what I needed to do in exchange for what I would want to do!

Monday, May 7, 2012

whose power...

May 7, 2012

1 Timothy 4:16 Keep a close watch on yourself…

You know it’s easy to become complacent in our everyday…I mean we get up we start our day, maybe even with quiet time, we go about our day perhaps with the music of KLove in the background. Yet, we couldn’t be farther from the power of God in our lives. How can this be?  As I was reminded in the sermon yesterday, we can’t be hungry for God if we are already full from something else. If we have allowed something, anything, to take the place of God in our lives we will have no room for more of Him. It is easy to fool ourselves; especially if we are going to church, singing our praise chorus loudly, having our quiet times, but all of those things, although they are good, they are just the motions. It’s the power behind those motions that will tell us who controls our lives, God or us. Paul is reminding us to watch ourselves to make sure that we are living in the Spirit and not on our own strength.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

saying good-bye to the negative...

May 4, 2012

Psalm 107:30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven

Last night at Jackson’s ballgame a friend of mine made this statement…”Girls, in our 40’s we are going to deny negativity in our lives.” Of course, in that moment I laughed because my friend is a hoot, but the more I’ve thought about it I think her idea certainly has merit, even though I’m not quiet in my 40’s yet! I have been dealing with a few things that are a hold-over from a situation that God has recently delivered me through. Ever have that happen, you are out of the fire and storm and in relatively peaceful waters, yet, you can’t seem to shake off the after effects. Well, suffice it to say those aftereffects are “negativity” that I shouldn’t allow in my life. They shouldn’t be allowed into the “haven” that God has lead me to. Yet, here they sit. How to shake them? How does one go about losing negativity? I’m convinced that like all things in our Christian walk it’s easier said than done, and must be done with God’s strength not my own. Today, I’m simply pondering this thought; I certainly haven’t concurred the “negativity” yet. I’ll let you know how I do!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

practice makes perfect...

May 3, 2012

1 Timothy 4:15 Practice these things, devote yourself to them so that all may see your progress

“Practice these things…”. My sweet darling daughter takes piano lessons, and her piano recital is fast approaching. Her recital piece is called Musette by Bach (yes, I’m amazed that my baby girl can play Bach!). She must perfect this piece if she is to play it flawlessly at her recital. That being said; I think every person in this house could play Musette because we have heard it over, and over, and over, and over, and over. She practices it constantly...BUT she knows it; I mean she can play her piece flawlessly. When she walks up to that stage, sits at that piano, and plays her heart out everyone will know that she has spent hours practicing. This is an example of how we are to “practice” the things of God; so much so that our first reactions to problems will be godly ones not fleshly ones!