Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Tag Archives: child

Hymenaeus and Alexander (the not so great)

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Wage the good warfare

This bible study is part of a series on the book of 1st Timothy, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of 1st Timothy for other studies in this book.

When I set this blog up my intention was to explore the epistles and do the occasional bible study based on what I had studied and learned, what you are reading below is notes I have made. I have to confess that this bible study is basic in its content and is not prepared by a pastor and I have to admit I have no theological training; my hope in prayer is that someone will be blessed by the notes below.

Let’s start in verse eighteen of the first chapter of First Timothy.

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

These last three verses is an encouragement to Timothy, remembering Paul’s praise he charges Timothy to remain in Ephesus and Paul again uses the same word for “charge” that he did in verse three. One of a command to stay put as it were, and he addresses Timothy as “my child” it implies certain seniority, but also reminds us that Paul was like a spiritual father to him. Paul writes with love but at the same time writes with a guidance and advice that is similar to what a father would give to his son.

Paul cites prophecies made about Timothy, Paul and Timothy spend some real time together and people would have spoken about the plan that God had for Timothy’s life through words of encouragement and prophecy, what these words are I can only guess, however based on Paul’s writings they appear to be positive, (waging the good warfare) regardless Paul wanted Timothy to glean strength from those words.

Part one orders

Timothy was going to war for the Christ, it wasn’t always going to be easy, it wasn’t always going to be non-problematic, and he had to approach his mission in the same way a soldier takes his “Part one orders”. This put the responsibility back on Timothy to not desert his post; he is encouraged to “fight the good fight of faith”. (This thought is continued in chapter 6)

Every soldier has to have weapons for battle and Paul charges Timothy to use the weapons of “faith” and “good conscience” because Timothy, much like anyone who is service for God will be under intense spiritual attack.

Faith – He has to know that God had this, that God was in full control and was guiding his mission.

Good Conscience – He had to be of proper conduct, he would be under attack from those who sought to attack him. Both good conscience and good conduct go hand in hand, Paul was urging Timothy to be as pure in conduct as possible so those who sought to bring him down would have little argument about him.

Shipwrecking their faith

Paul advises that some are guilty of “rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith” and Paul had Timothy’s back and wanted to advise him against pitfalls that may befall a man of his youth. If he was to reject, it would be like a soldier who was to throw away his gun in favor of a feather duster, it may look nice but won’t be much use to him in the art of warfare.

Paul likens it to a shipwreck, something he had a lot of experience of! The shipwreck analogy tells us that because of what they had abandoned (faith and good conscience) would lead to a situation where they would lose everything, like a literal shipwreck. The everything they would lose is of course referring to their faith. The only way to resolve this would be to grab the life preserver that is Jesus Christ, to repent and to again “re-arm themselves” as soldiers of the faith.

Learn from the example of Hymenaeus and Alexander

Paul tells us of two people who did just that…

V20 “among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Paul mentions these two by name who have done just that. Alexander is only ever mentioned in this passage and nowhere else in Scripture, (but Hymenaeus is mentioned also in 2nd Timothy and again not i a positive light!) but we can be assured that they were known locally. Paul writes about them as if he had some dealings with them personally and had expelled them for their heretic practices. Paul shows great courage by naming those as an example to not follow and to steer clear from.

He states that they were “handed over to Satan” which tells me of the depths of their conduct, that they could not even be counselled in the community of believers. He handed them over to the world, a step not taken lightly and I am sure that Paul confronted them using a Matthew 18 standard for dealing with sin (Matthew 18:15-17) These people refused to listen so they were handed to the world.

Let us not be like Hymenaeus and Alexander!

Thank you again for finding this article and I pray these bible studies are a blessing. Please feel free to comment, like or share as the LORD leads you to.
TGBTG
TTE

Greetings and Salutations Timothy, my true child in the faith

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Greetings and Salutations Timothy, my true child in the faith

This bible study is part of a series on the book of 1st Timothy, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of 1st Timothy for other studies in this book. 

When I set this blog up my intention was to explore the epistles and do the occasional bible study based on what I had studied and learned, what you are reading below is notes I have made. I have to confess that this bible study is basic in its content and is not prepared by a pastor and I have to admit I have no theological training; my hope in prayer is that someone will be blessed by the notes below.

Let’s start in verse one of the first chapter of First Timothy.

1st Timothy 1:1 (ESV) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

My True Child in the faith

Paul writes this letter to Timothy at Ephesus during his missionary journey, Macedonia is mentioned and it is widely believed that the letter was penned whilst Paul was there. His opening benediction is typical of a Pauline epistle and describes Paul and gives an edited highlight of how he went from being Saul, the Pharisee persecutor of the people of “The Way”, the man who held the coats as Stephen was stoned and the man who was on his way to the modern Syrian city of Damascus with written permission to torture and persecute Christians in that region when Jesus literally stopped him in his tracks.

Blinded by the light

In Acts 9 Paul is blinded by the light. He is scrambling beneath a light that sent him into blindness and then asks the best question he possibly could ask, (being a theological man and zealous for the truth of God he asks “Who are you LORD?”) Jesus introduces himself and reveals himself as the messiah and Saul becomes Paul, the zeal he had to persecute Christians, he also had to spread the good news as a dynamic missionary all throughout the greater Mediterranean area.

Apostle literally by Christ Jesus

Paul was literally a man who was an apostle (messenger) literally sent by Christ Jesus. he had a literal command from heaven to use his skills as an orator and his theological knowledge to show to an audience that was made up of Jewish converts and Gentile new believers. To the Jews he showed how the law pointed to Jesus, to the Gentiles he emphasized the grace we have in Jesus Christ.

Paul gives his credentials in the same way that we would in modern times hand over a credit card, passport, ID card or driving license to prove who he was. His credentials were rich both in the heavenly realm and also on earth. The use of the word “Savior” would have been politically sensitive as the people who were in charge of Rome, the one who was called Caesar was often worshipped as a God and dependent of his political record could be seen as a type of Savior. Paul goes to great lengths to not conform to the standards that the world would like to place on him; he reiterates that Jesus was the one and only real “Savior”.

We can learn from this, we are called to be in the world not of the world. When we start to change our doctrine away from biblical principles in order to make it more palatable to an unforgiving audience, it is time to check where we are going. It is far better for a man’s soul to reveal an uncomfortable truth as opposed to a lie that will send someone to eternal damnation.

The hope we have in Christ

Paul speaks of “the hope we have in Jesus Christ” he talks about his own life and how a relationship with Jesus was a “game changer” he was still looking for the messiah when friends of his were crucifying the chosen one. God chose, in his own time to reveal the truth to Paul and to show him who Jesus was, gave him hope in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus and a mission to spread that same hope.

Family that is not blood

Paul greets Timothy as “a true son in the faith” he saw him as family. Recently I saw on Facebook a graphic which had the following text…

“I have family that is not blood and I have blood that is not family”

And as tragic as that is to read, I believe that we as Christians should be the former to those who need us. Recently my wife and I have been blessed to facilitate a bible study in the town we live in and I see these people as family, they are my new brothers and sisters, I would do for them what I would do for my own family and I believe that in our “church family” life we would do well to remember this.

Bear others burdens

I have failed in this area so I am not “throwing stones” there are times I could have helped others but I have taken the more convenient route, there are times where I haven’t been willing to “bear others burdens” (Galatians 6:2) there are times when I wanted help and didn’t get it and held it against my brothers. This stuff is real folks and I lay it bare here to show that I am as guilty as any man and say this under this realization. I do this as to not seem “morally superior” as trust me I am not.

Who was Timothy?

Timothy is first introduced to us in Acts 16:1-5 as someone who “was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium.” (Acts 16:2) His family is listed as a mother called “Eunice” (2 Timothy 2:5) he was taught the scriptures by his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5: 3:15) and had a good foundational knowledge of the word of God.

Timothy was someone who was trusted as Paul left him there, despite his young age to deal with heresies that came up. The timeline of Paul’s journeys tell us that Paul himself would have dealt with these theological issues and then left “his man” Timothy to ensure that sound doctrine was preached and that they did not fall into error.

Paul was sure about who Timothy was and that Timothy was equipped, called and strong enough in the faith to carry out the mission that the LORD had told Paul to give him. This is important to read if you are a leader in the church or in charge of assignments in a ministry as an encouragement to look at a person’s “full package” (most externally and spiritually) and not go for a “popular choice”. I am a great believer in that if you honor God in private, he will honor you in public. I am talking about devotions, private worship time, taking the relationship with Christ Jesus seriously, growing in God, loving your spouse, family and whomever God blesses you come in contact with. Love more, show more grace and forgive the little because of the great amount that you have been forgiven.

I know that Timothy was called and sent to the church and this letter, although addressed to Timothy would have carried the same weight as if Paul was there himself and was intended to be used for proof, reproof and correction of doctrines that were not sound. I would imagine that the letter would either have been circulated or at the very least read out loud. It was by no means a private letter, but one that was useful and God inspired for public teaching.

Grace, peace and mercy

As said previously, Paul uses the typical Pauline greeting using the words “grace, peace and mercy” and this shows the heart of Paul, this letter is not a flowery “how are you doing Timothy? Hope the weather is nice” type of letter, there will be some real tough topics discussed in these six chapters of a letter. Let’s look at why? This was Ephesus, a church that Paul founded on his missionary journey, he had personal interaction and knew many of those who were causing problems and some who were helping heal them. He had spent actual time there, lived there, worked there, preached there and knew who he was talking about.

If you look at Paul’s letters we see that grace and peace are a common greeting, Paul also adds mercy to the letters to Timothy and Titus. These “Pastoral Epistles” involve a lot of correction and establishment of doctrine that may cause contention. Mercy would have to be allowed and given as some of these words may be a bitter pill to swallow for some. Timothy had a tough job and no mistake.

This is a timely reminder to us as we are required to have grace, peace and mercy on others (as stated prior in this article) I believe that the best way to do so is to earnestly pray for those who are in ministry, pray for your Pastors, for their families, for those who are contentious with you, those who have spoken evil of you, those who need your prayer the most. Often times it is the ones who you may not want to pray for are the ones that God moves you to pray for the hardest.

Timothy had a job

Timothy had a job as we will see to find, identify and train other men for the work of the ministry. (Paul goes into great detail of the type of man that he wanted to see in those roles.) Many of us have similar roles today; this book is a great resource for any man who wishes to be used by God in Christian service and ministry.

Thank you again for finding this article and I pray these bible studies are a blessing. Please feel free to comment, like or share as the LORD leads you to.
TGBTG
TTE

TTE Advent Calendar Day One – December 1st

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TTE Advent Calendar Day One – December 1st

Thank you for reading our first installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

After completing my Thanksgiving article number seven, God placed on my heart the idea of a new series based on the idea of an advent calendar. Now I don’t for one second want to tell you that I will have an article every day, however I will try to do one as often as I can. (LORD willing of course)

So what’s the idea?

The idea is to go through some of the prophetic scriptures concerning Jesus, some you will have read, some you may not have. I had the idea that you can never be too prepared to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of the world.

Unto us a child is born, to us a son is given…

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

As you can tell from the literal words of the text the messiah was going to be born in the conventional way, he was going to biologically come from a woman. History tells us that the mother of Jesus of Nazareth was a young girl called Mary. We read in Matthew’s gospel the following:

Matthew 1:18 (ESV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

How can we validate the source?

The writer was Matthew, a tax collector, a man who kept meticulously precise records for the Romans prior to conversion and afterward when he wrote this record he was a man who began the first 17 verses of the book listing the genealogies to prove that Jesus was the Christ. The man had researched and stated the case based on Old Testament lineage, genealogies and theological records.  This was a guy who only wrote It down if it was correct.

Was he fully God or man?

This verse tells us that although Jesus was fully God, he was also fully man. He came to be that example of a sinless life and to pay the price for our sins. There is a heresy that Jesus appeared to us but was still only God. Being man he was never less God, however he took on flesh as one person but two different parts. He literally became a fulfillment and confirmation that man was indeed made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26)

Jesus became man in order to be that sacrifice. If he was not fully man how could he live a sinless life and atone for man’s sins? How could he take the place of guilty man? This would negate his sacrifice and make it illogical as well as insufficient.

From the creation account we learn that God can create things that are old, that are fully grown. He could have allowed Jesus to arrive in the earth as a fully grown man (much like Adam) and fulfill his mission as a man, however Jesus was born as a baby, a baby that was in danger from the moment he was born by the ruler of the day (Herod) he identified with every part of humanity, being born, growing up, submitting to parental authority, being tempted, fulfilling his mission and tasting death on a cross. What a glory to God that Jesus went through everything we do and came out glorified.

And the government shall be upon his shoulder…

Imagine this, a Government who doesn’t lie! An honest, just government who will judge fairly based on just means and fairly weighed scales. This is not a party political party broadcast. This is not a set of promises to get someone elected. This will be a millennial Government, with a just king. The King of Kings. Revelation 20 gives us what this will look like.

I like this idea, but I can’t vote for him. Citizenship has no borders, no immigration reform; there is only one way to get in. Currency is not a problem due to the immigration price having being paid should you accept the invitation from the king. In this kingdom there will be no more death, no crime and this king will have a 100% approval rating. Sounds great huh?

The names of Jesus

We read the following…

“and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

I could spend all day going through these names to glory Jesus. He is all of those names and much more. We read that he “shall be called” these names, whilst these may not be his given name, he will be known as those names. He will be a wonderful counselor, etc.

We really have to ponder these names and carefully consider what they mean, I am guilty when I am reading Isaiah because I have read this verse so many times and seen it quoted so many times of skimming it and not giving it the time that it is due.

He is “wonderful” who else could do what he has done and not do it for personal glory, to willingly submit to the harshest possible death in order to save people he knew may reject him, how else could you describe him but wonderful.

He is “counselor” Who do we pray to? Who do we seek solace in times of trouble? Who is our example? Who would give more honest and faithful counsel? Do you use this counselor as often as you should? Also if not do you struggle more than you should?

He is “Mighty God” Even although we have been speaking of the humanity of the messiah we cannot forget the deity of the messiah. Had he not been as much God as he was man his sacrifice would be null and void. He would just be a heretic tried by the religious and civil laws of that country.

He is “Everlasting father” He was there at the beginning of the world. He is quoted as saying “Before Abraham was I AM”. We touch on this in our “Creation” section. He is as timeless as God and will rule forever.

He is “Prince of Peace” He is the one who makes peace between God and man. The sacrifice that he made was the only atonement that would reconcile man to God.

My hope is that this look at a messianic passage was a help to you and my hope is that this blessed you and hopefully stirred some questions about Jesus being your messiah.

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.
TGBTG
TTE

Have a little Compassion

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Matthew 25:35 (ESV) For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, .you did it to me

Have a little compassion

I don’t normally use this blog to promote other Christian organizations (perhaps I should as we are all the body of Christ) but this is an organization that is very close to my heart as it combines the love of Jesus with the wellbeing of children that really need our help.

My wife and I have supported Compassion International since 2006, we have a sponsored child from Uganda, we first got involved with compassion after visiting visiting a booth at the Scottish Christian festival called “Frenzy”.

Compassion are an awesome charity that facilitates communication between the sponsor and the sponsored child, distributes money just not for the child’s education but also has programs that will help out the community at large.

Of course many programs do this, however what attracted me to these guys and the reason I have stayed with them (Apart from our “African daughter”) I’d the strong emphasis on honoring Jesus name in everything they do.

I do not get anything for promoting them, this is an advert which is written without prior consent of Compassion and I do not get reimbursed in any way.

Over the years I have help “Compassion Sundays” at my church and have manned and staffed Compassion booths in my local area at concerts as diverse as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Chondra Pierce.

Sponsoring a child is very easy and surprisingly affordable. (Works out to be about $38 a month/just over a $1 a day)

You can learn more about sponsoring sponsoring a child here

God bless you and I pray that you share, like or comment below
TGBTG
TTE

Do we treat the Bible as the precious document it is?

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Do we treat the Bible as the precious document it is?

We in the western world are very blessed. We have a Bible in almost every room in our house. I certainly have at least 5-6 Bibles in my house that are either on my bookshelf or have barely been read. If we were to look into impoverished nations, such as those in Asia and Africa where they have only ever owned a few pages at a time in their native language, and see what they look like if they were to get a whole book of the Bible, like a Gospel of John or a New Testament, never mind a whole Bible, will make you think about your faith, your relationship with your Bible and hopefully inspire you to change. Here are a few scriptures I have chosen to ask the question above.

We need reminding to study and why

2 Tim 2:14 (NKJV) Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

It is a sad indication that we don’t treat our Bibles the way we should. If we did, my new country (USA) would be in a state of revival that would make the Azusa Street Revival seem like a conservative “run of the mill” Sunday.

The graphic is of course amusing but it is meant to cause a point. I borrowed the graphic from a local pastor who I know quite well (Pastor Bob Grenier – Calvary Chapel Visalia) off his Facebook, sorry Bob!

The graphic however got me thinking and made me wonder about my own life, do I “study to show myself approved” as much as I should? I read the Bible sure, but how am I in the areas that really matter. How am I in personal readings? Do I study enough? Do I study with my wife as a couple? Do I lead by example when it comes to Bible reading? How do I engage my child and raise up the next generation of Christians? What example am I to the folks that God has allowed me to be head of that home?

Challenging stuff huh? I am not as bad as the graphic but I am certainly a long way from where I believe God would like me to be. It is not easy to publicly say that and it truly chafes at my inner being to admit. I like to be like everyone else and claim that I have it all down, but I am a fallen man, who fails his wife consistently (let’s be real here) but has been forgiven by God and also by his wife!

Continuing in the Scriptures

2 Tim 3:14 (NKJV) But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Starting a Bible plan is only the start; I have started, re-started and turned over enough leaves to fill an autumn. My wife calls me the “startup guy” because i am great at getting things moving, ministries started (I launched the church I attended since 2007’s Facebook & Twitter in 2009 before passing it on earlier this year) and then pass on the baton to someone else. Of course she is right, but I wish I had more staying power at times.

It is imperative that we teach the precious children the precious scriptures. These are not just words on a page, this book is the most maligned, most attacked, most martyred book ever, it contains the Word of God. The words that should guide your life as a Christian, as the verse says it “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”

The world is going to teach them anything but the Bible, such as programs to ban school bible classes. We have had no official representation in schools for the Bible since 1962. If the kids are not getting the Bible in their homes (whether that home is Christian or Non-Christian) then they most certainly are not getting it at school.

I am a little bit of an enigma in that respect, until recently my dad did not care for the word. I was sent to a Brethren Gospel hall for Sunday School and I learned a basic foundational knowledge from there, I did not get beyond a basic knowledge as I did not follow up in the word (always have had a Bible) and didn’t read it because my parents didn’t. God rescued me from myself by sending a wonderful woman (see my Testimony page)

How deep is the Word?

Deut 11:18 (NKJV) “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth. 22 “For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him—23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves.

This is critical, we have to memorize the word, write it on our hearts, we have to bind them as a fabric of our every being. (I don’t know about you dear reader, but I am being flogged by the words today and realizing my shortcomings) God promises blessings if we abide in his word.

I like the idea of writing them on your “doorposts and gates” having reminders all around your home who you serve and the standards that you must keep. In my house when you walk through the door I see the words “FAITH HOPE LOVE” which of course refers to our family verse 1 Corinthians 13:13, all around my house are different scriptures to help remind our family that when the trials come, and they will, the God is in control and all this other stuff is temporary (see my blog on trials)

The promise to drive out our enemies is one I like, what we have to realize though is that is in God’s time. Often times he will “purify us in the fire” longer than we would like. When I get trials I usually sink to my knees and pray for deliverance. What I should be praying for is open eyes to see what lesson I am being taught here.

Destroyed for rejecting knowledge

Hosea 4:6 (NKJV) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

God has written down his plan for your life (mine too) and we have the same choice as Adam and Eve. We can choose to reject God’s plan, discard the knowledge that is in the Word of God, reject God’s plan for your life and forget God’s law. There are two things I would like to say here, if you are giving up on God completely and going away from the faith, then that is tragic.

Secondly I see people who are in ministry, try to take on more than they were ever equipped to take on, the counsellor is soon in need of being counselled, the preacher should really sit down and learn for a season. The prayer has a dry prayer life and is pumping a dry well publically. The minister is living life based on what he knows of the words of God as opposed to the Word of God and he is falling into a hole that very soon will either lead to apostasy or leaving the faith.

I pray for those folks. I see so many folks sitting with their little “cyber guns” waiting to shoot at a minister, a pastor or someone in ministry that either has gone off the rails or is about to. Instead of getting down, getting humble and praying for those folks, honestly wishing their brother does not fall. They sit with a “Grinch-like smile” and take great glee at uncovering their sin in the same manner as Noah’s son Ham, where he could not wait to tell his brothers of his father’s shame. (Gen 9:20-23) Are you like Ham? Or are you like Shem and Japheth? (There are whole ministries dedicated to being Shem or Japheth’s)

What is the Word of God?

Hebrew 4:12 (NKJV) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

I pray that as you read this, it is not my words which impact you but the Bible verses. That is the point of this whole blog/website. The word of God is center stage. I have no “show to steal” as i am just a lay person (a nobody) giving what God has put on his heart. I have no official ordination or tie in or promotion to any church/assembly or group. I write just as me.

That being said, in studying for articles like this one, my heart does get pierced. It speaks to me in a way that no other man made document has. It is a refiner, a mirror to show your imperfections and what you need to do to fix it. I am a knucklehead so I need to be told everything many times over to allow it to resonate. This is why I believe that God wrote it down for us. So that we can’t say, well if only God would tell me what he wants for me to do with my life. In the words of Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham “Well there is this book…”

How to receive the word

Acts 17:11 (NKJV) These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

Now we understand the importance of the word, how do we receive it? We have two options

1) Receive it in a passive way, possibly like you are doing now
2) Receive it in a fashion like the Bereans (v10 states who they were)

The Bereans were studiers of the word, they pulled apart the scriptures and were what we would call these days and Inductive Bible student, they found out what it meant, they liked for ways to apply it to their lives, they examined the evidence and found the truths, they looked for each spiritual nugget and how it meant to their lives.

My prayer is that God make me like a Berean!

Some comfort in the Psalms

Psalm 119:105 (NKJV) Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path

Psalm 119:11 (NKJV) Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

Some comfort to end on a light note, the Word of God is there to help us be “lights in the darkness” and our Bibles are what keeps the light shining bright, we need to treasure these scriptures as they have been diligently been prepared (by hand until the later part of the 16th century)

We need to have the word engrained in our hearts; it allows us to claim victory over our struggles.

God bless and I pray this was an exhortation and a blessing to you all
TTE