2 Timothy 4:7 Are You Fighting The Good Fight?

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

God has either given Paul a bit of knowledge or he is just an old man who knows that his time is coming to an end. He knows that he will not live forever on this earth. He now looks back at his life and is pleased with it. Paul knows that he fought the good fight and finished the race in this life, he did not give up on his faith in Jesus.

People look at things differently when they are elderly or have a health situation that has a diagnosis of death soon. They start to look back on their life and realize all the things they did or did not do. It is usually at this point that many people try to make things right.

No one ever says that they wished they could have spent more time at work. They are wishing they would have done more with family and friends.

Paul said that he had fought the good fight. What is the good fight? Children are always taught not to fight. You are supposed to run away from a fight.

The good fight is the battle against evil. It is against the devil and his ways of doing things. Jesus fought for your life when He died on the cross.

Now you must fight against the devil trying to keep you. It is your choice as to who gets you. Will it be the devil and this world, or will it be Jesus?

Everyday there will be temptations thrown your way to make you fail the battle. Choices must be made as to who you will serve: yourself (i.e. the devil) or God.

Only God knows how much time you have left on this earth. What are you doing with that time?

Are you just trying to please yourself? Then you are serving the devil.

Are you trying to please God? Then you are serving God.

The good fight is God’s fight. It is the fight against sin and the power of sin. Jesus won the battle for you. Will you now fight for Him and with Him? Can you say you have kept the faith?

I pray today that God will strengthen you to fight for the faith; that you will not grow weary in the battle; that you will keep the faith in Jesus; and that you will finish the race you have started in Jesus.

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2 Timothy 4:2 Be Ready With The Word

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2

When people hear the statement that they should preach the Word (the Bible) many start saying that they are not a preacher or a pastor. Others may say that is not their gifting. Preaching, in the way Paul is using it, is just a way of saying to tell other people the Word. To tell people what God’s Word says.

Believers are to be ready at all times to speak God’s Word to someone who needs to hear it. It is not just for Sunday mornings or just in the pulpit. God’s Word is applicable to everyday life for every person.

Three reasons are given for speaking God’s Word to someone: for correction, rebuke and encouragement.

Correction is for believers who are off slightly in their thinking about God’s ways. Some people will have beliefs that are not correctly aligned with the Bible. Sometimes these are just by mistake or misunderstanding. Knowing the Bible fully will help a person correct those mistakes.

Others will be defiantly doing things that God directly disapproves of. These people need to be rebuked. Let them know that what is being done is sin and God does not like it.

The third way is with encouragement. People go through tough times in life. Life can get depressing and difficult. Believers may know in their mind that God is helping them, but they need someone to encourage them to believe it. Giving them a piece of God’s Word showing that He is in control and loves them will go a long way for a person. It will build them up.

All of these ways of using God’s Word is to be done with a lot of patience and careful instruction. Do not beat someone over the head with God’s Word. Show God’s love and mercy to each person. Make sure that the Word you are speaking is correct and what the person needs to hear.

Read and study God’s Word. Be ready to tell someone what God has to tell them. Allow God to use you to correct, rebuke and encourage other believers and non-believers.

Do not be afraid to “preach,” it is just telling others what God wants to tell them.

I pray today that God will reveal to you His Word; that God will guide you by His Holy Spirit in correctly using it; that you will not be afraid to tell others what God says; and that God will use you to touch the lives of others for Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 More Than A Good Book

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible has been around, as it is currently known, for several hundred years. It is classified as the number one best-selling book of all time. During the time Russia had banned Christianity from the country, their colleges were teaching the Bible as an excellent piece of literature. Yet, while all of this is true, it is something more than just a great piece of literature.

Although men did the physical part of writing it, the writings were inspired by God. They were led by God as to what to write. With this in mind it makes the Bible much more than just a piece of literature.

Looking through it you can find great teaching on every area of life. It will guide you in how to live correctly in the best way possible.

As it teaches, the Bible will also rebuke. When you are living in a sinful way, the Bible will point it out and show you Jesus. It can be used to show what sin is and the dangers of it.

As the Bible rebukes, it also corrects. When you slip up and start living in a way that is against God, it will correct you. It will get you back on the right path to God.

It also provides needed training. This training is again in how to live for God. It provides examples alongside the lesson plans.

All of these things are done to teach you to live a righteous life for God. The purpose of living a righteous life is to honor God and to do what He wants you to do. God wants you to do good works. If you are not taught, rebuked, corrected and trained by the Bible, you will not be able to do the good works correctly.

As you read the Bible, are you just reading good stories or morals? Or are you letting it change your life?

God’s Word is alive. Allow the Bible to impact your life and change it. Live for God. He has given you the manual on how to do it. Study it and live by it.

I pray today that God will make His Word come alive to you; that you will allow the Bible to change your life; that you will live by what you read in the Bible; and that you will allow God to equip you for every good work He has for you to do.

2 Timothy 3:1 What To Expect

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” 2 Timothy 3:1

Paul had just finished talking about false teachers and how to deal with them. He stated that there would be people trying to deceive others to follow a lie. Now he points out that there will be terrible times coming.

People watch the news and hear of all of the killing going on everywhere. From children to adults there are those out there going on massive killing sprees. They are walking into homes, businesses, any place and just kill people. Some of these are individuals, while others are armies of countries or groups of people.

Along with all of the killing, there are those who promote the devil and live for him directly. Those who worship false gods and deny Jesus. Those who promote sinful lifestyles.

Watch the movies and it will show you what is really in the hearts of people. The movies portray what people want to do or expect someone else to do.

There is no love, no forgiveness, no caring, no holiness, and no God with most of the world.

Many believers are wondering what is going on and why it is happening this way. Both Jesus and Paul said that this would happen.

Why is it like this? There are two reasons. One is that many is born in sin. If that sin is not checked and put under the blood of Jesus, then it will only get worse. Normal sinful man can only sin more, he will not get better.

The second reason is believers are not doing their job of spreading God’s love and message of Jesus. How many believers do you know that are really living their life like Jesus lived His? I must admit that I am not doing the job as well as I should be. Everyone falls short of this, but most fall extremely short of it. Many are not even really trying to live like Jesus.

Do not be surprised at the evil in this world. God said it would come, just don’t be the one to bring it.

There are many believers who believe in word, but not in action. Which one are you?

Are you contributing to the terribleness of this world by not telling others of Jesus?

Or are you living for Jesus and spreading His message to hold at bay the evilness of the devil?

I pray today that you will know Jesus and His will for your life; that you know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will not fear the evil of this world; and that you will spread the gospel message of Jesus to this world.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 Gentle Instruction

“Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:25-26

Paul knew that there would be people in the church who are not really serving God. They would fight against true believers in various ways. He warned Timothy not to get into arguments with them. Now he states that one must gently instruct them in order to get them to repent and turn to God correctly.

Arguments and disagreements occur in the church all the time. Sometimes they are about non-spiritual things, such as the color of the carpet. Other times they are about the interpretation of the Bible, what is sin and what is not, or the order of the end times.

These arguments have, at times, caused great division, and splits, in the church. When it comes to doctrinal or Biblical interpretation, usually one side is correct, at least partially or for the most part.

Often the side that is correct bashes the other side. They will condemn the person and being ungodly. There is no love in this at all.

In these verses you are told to gently instruct the person. Use kind, caring, loving words to point out the truth. People who are in the wrong are being blinded by the devil’s schemes. The world has veiled their eyes so that they cannot see the truth. Yanking that veil off will only scare them and make them hold tighter to the falsehood.

Jesus was gentle with non-believers and those who saw things in a different way because of the blinding of the world. He calmly pointed them towards the truth. At that point many repented and turned to Him.

As you speak gently with a person at odds with you, you have a greater chance of them seeing the truth.

Seek God in how to speak to a person so that they will turn to Jesus. God is the only one who can break them from the trap they are in. Don’t get into an arguing match and lose everything.

I pray today that God will reveal to you what you need to take a solid stand on; that God’s Spirit will guide you in teaching others His truth; that God will use you to release others from the traps of the devil; and that many will come to Jesus through you.

2 Timothy 2:13 Faithful

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13

Paul had started out the trustworthy saying about the believer who does the right things will be rewarded accordingly. In this verse he talks about the believer who chooses the wrong thing or way.

Every believer has a measure of faith in Jesus. They are trusting Him for their salvation. This is different from being faithful.

The person who is faithful is the one who is loyal, trustworthy, and dedicated to someone or something. Just like the sun is faithful that it will rise every morning and set every night, so a person is to be faithful. The world sets the time by the sun, because it is faithful to do what it is supposed to do everyday.

Not every believer is faithful like this with God. Often God tells a person to do something or not do something, and that person refuses to follow the order.

How many times have you not paid your tithe? Or gave out of obligation, not out of love?

How many times have you chosen a sinful way over doing God’s way in a situation?

These are times that a person is faithless.

Regardless of how many times you may fail God and be faithless, God will remain faithful. Jesus will always do the right thing every time. You can count on it. You can expect it.

God cannot disown Himself. He cannot go against His own rules and ways of doing things. This is something you can trust in. The old saying is that you can take this to the bank and cash it. God’s Word is good and faithful, because He is good and faithful.

As you keep this in mind, know that you can trust God in what He is giving you, or telling you. It will always be the right thing and the best thing for you. You can count on the fact that God does indeed truly love you and cares for you. He cannot go against Himself.

Are you trusting Jesus? He is faithful.

Can Jesus trust you? Are you being faithful?

I pray today that you will know that you can fully trust Jesus; that God will reveal the faithfulness of Jesus to you; that you will be faithful to God; and that you will do all that God asks of you.

2 Timothy 2:11-12 A Trustworthy Saying

“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;” 2 Timothy 2:11-12

After telling Timothy to endure suffering and the ministry like a good soldier, Paul now gives some encouraging words. He starts with saying that this is something that can be trusted in.

The first is about dying and living with Jesus. Many believers have gone through water baptism. This is a symbol of dying with Jesus. It is a dying to the old sinful self and only living for Jesus.

Although many go through the water baptism, many do not want to die. They will hold on to their past ways. Yet, if you die to your self, you will live with Jesus. Give up living for your own ways and follow Jesus. Your life will then be eternal and not just temporary.

Next is to endure. Every believer must endure hardship and struggles. Living a life following Jesus will bring about many challenges. It is described as a race that must be run. In order to win, you must keep going, to endure. You must not give up. If you don’t give up, in the end you will reign with Jesus for eternity.

The last one for today’s verses is if you disown Jesus, He will disown you. Disowning is turning away from, rejecting, not wanting a part of Him. Many believers have chosen to turn away from Jesus. Something bad happens in their life and they feel God is not real and walk away. Others continue to claim Jesus, but live a life that is completely against Him. Others refuse to talk to other people about Jesus.

If you choose to disown Him and have nothing to do with Him, He will allow you to make that choice. The consequence of that choice is that He will also disown you. You will no longer live with Him, nor will you ever reign with Him.

Do you want to live and reign with Jesus? Be willing to die to self with Him. Stay strong and true and endure the struggles with Jesus. Never, ever disown Him.

I pray today that you will die to your old self and sin; that you will endure all that God brings you to and through; that you will never disown Jesus in any way; and that Jesus will make Himself more real to you each day.