2 Timothy 1:7 Don’t Be Timid

 

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For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

The world often has the wrong view of what believers are like. They are often portrayed as weak, hateful and with no self-discipline.

The world thinks that believers are weak because they have to rely upon God, rather than on their own strength and power. Believers are often seen to be walked all over and ridiculed, so the world sees that as a sign of weakness. Some are weak, because they back down from standing true their beliefs.

Believers are often believed to be hateful, because of their speaking out against sin. Some, however, are hateful in the way they speak and how they treat those who sin. Many people have killed others in the name of God, showing hatred.

Others see believers with no self-discipline, because they see some do the very things that they speak against.

It is true that some believers have given Christianity a bad name by their words and actions. There are many who claim to be a follower of Jesus, yet, do not try to live like Him in any way. However, there are also many who are living for Christ in this world.

Those who do try to live for God, know what God has given them. God’s immense power has been given to believers to overcome sin, to turn away from temptations, and to stand true against the beliefs of this world. His infinite love has been given to every believer to love the enemy and to overlook the many wrongs done. His Holy Spirit has been given to the believer to guide him into making the right decisions with self-discipline.

The world will still not fully understand a believer, but the believer must not give the wrong view of who a believer is and who Jesus is.

God has given you everything that you need to live for Jesus, to live a holy life in this world. You do not have to be shy in what you believe, but stand strong and true to God’s word in your life. As you stand strong, do it in love and with self-discipline. Do not bring shame to the name of Christ in this world. The world is looking to bring you and Christ down. Don’t let them and don’t give them a reason, you have the power.

I pray today that you will know what God has given you; that you will know God’s power and love in your life; that you will show the world God’s power and love; and that you will stay true to God’s word in your life.

 

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1 Timothy 3:7 A Good Reputation

 

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He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. 1 Timothy 3:7

Reputation is how other people see a person. What type of person do they see when they look at someone? What is his character like?

Reputations can be good or bad. Some can be positive reputations that every loves, or they can be negative ones that people hate.

Every person has a reputation of some sort. It can be seen in how they act and react to different situations. There are people who are known to get angry every time when they begin to talk about politics. Others may always be generous with time, or money. Some may have the reputation of being a talker.

Although Paul is talking specifically about someone who is going to be an overseer, the rule can be applied to every believer. Believers are to have a good reputation with outsiders, with people who are outside the belief in Jesus.

As Jesus walked on this earth, He had a good reputation with all people. He was known for being loving, kind, and generous. He was known to heal and forgive. Whether a person believed in Him or not, people knew who He was and what He was like.

Believers in the church do not always have a good reputation with people outside the church. Some are extremely judgmental. Others are stingy with their money and not giving. Many employers will state that believers are thought of to be lazy and not giving their best effort at work. Churches are often closed off to outsiders. People inside the church have their own little cliques that they stay in, and refuse to let others in.

These types of actions push people away from God and Jesus. They are falling into disgrace and into the devil’s trap to destroy the church and individual.

Find out what people think about you. What is your reputation with those outside the church?

Do people know you to be a believer, who is full of love, grace, mercy and truth?

Or do people see someone who says one thing and says or does something different?

Although reputation is not everything, it does mean something. It reveals how you are really living your life. Although the world may try to destroy you, they cannot deny who you are. What is your reputation to the world?

I pray today that your life will be like that of Jesus to this world; that people will know you are a follower of Jesus; that you will not do anything that will bring disgrace to God; and that many will know Jesus because of your actions and words.

Colossians 4:5 Using Opportunities Correctly

 

Immigrants

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5

All around the world in every nation and every city or community, there will be people who are outsiders. These are people who have moved into the area from some other location. This location can be from the same country, maybe only a few miles down the road, or from across the ocean. Regardless of where they come from, they are outsiders.

When these outsiders come from another nation, they are called immigrants. There is currently lots of discussion on how to treat those immigrants and what should or should not be done with them. Some want to kick them out, some what to put them in jail, and others want to let them stay.

The same problems arise with people who are outsiders coming around the church. These are people who are not believers. How does one in the church act towards them?

Often many believers treat them with distrust and hatred, not giving them an opportunity to know Jesus.

Paul says that the believer must be wise in how one acts towards them and to make the most of every opportunity.

Wisdom can be seen in being careful in choosing the words and actions spoken. Every believer is supposed to be a witness of who Jesus is and a representative of His great love and mercy towards others. This takes great wisdom from God to know.

The believer is to take every opportunity he can to show God’s love to the outsider–the non-believer, the world. This can only be done with love, mercy and grace in both words and actions.

Every day and at every moment there are many opportunities to be a witness to an outsider. More than half the world is an outsider to God.

Instead of being afraid of an outsider, find ways to reach out in love to the outsider. Take a look at what you are saying and doing around the outsider. Are your actions and words drawing them or pointing them to Jesus? Or are your actions and words pushing them away from Jesus?

Allow God to open your eyes to the many opportunities that come your way each day. Grab every opportunity you can to be His witness. Draw in as many outsiders into His kingdom as you can. That is the goal of Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will guide you in what to say and do around others; that you will show God’s love and mercy to all people; and that you will be filled with God’s wisdom. 

1 Corinthians 12:27 The Body Of Christ

 

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Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

Paul had been talking about different parts of the church. There are different leaders and different ministries within the church. Each one has a place in the church.

Groups of people tend to believe that their church is the only true church and that all other churches are missing the mark and are not true to God. The reason for these feelings are usually different beliefs in doctrine. One church worships with only fast songs, while another worships only slow songs out of the hymnal. One believes in using wine for communion, while another uses grape juice. One has services in a home, while another in a church building. The differences are uncountable.

Some of these groups broke off from another group because of some of these differences. Yet, God did not make His church to be that way. The church is the body of Christ. It is made up of believers in Jesus, regardless of how they worship or believe.

The core of it is belief in the salvation provided by Jesus. All the rest are sides to how you worship and serve God and each other. As long as the belief does not go directly against any teaching in the Bible, it is acceptable.

Each person must decide between himself and God as to what he wants to believe and do in the process of worship. However, every believer must be a part of the body of Christ, working together to build His kingdom in their own ways as God has shown them. That needs to be the goal of every believer, just as it was with Jesus and is still to this day.

Division must not occur in the body of Christ. Regardless of  how you worship and serve God, do not cut someone else down for the way that they worship and serve God. Build each other up, rather than cut them down.

A body should never cut itself or destroy itself. As a believer in Jesus, do not do anything that would destroy another part of God’s body…the church.

If you are believer in Jesus, you are a part of His body. What is your duty in the body of Christ? What does God want you to do in order to build His body even greater?

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that God will show you your position in His body; that you will love every part of the body of Christ, the church; and that God will help you build the body of Christ.

Daniel 7:27 Future Power And Authority

Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. Daniel 7:27

While the nation of Israel has been brought into captivity, Daniel receives a vision of the future. God reveals to Him what Jesus will accomplish. In the end, Jesus will be the sovereign ruler of the entire world. As the supreme ruler, He will hand over all the kingdoms of the earth to all the believers. At that point, every ruler on the earth will worship and obey Him.

When a person looks around at all the nations of the world today, he will see very little unity and no one person in absolute control. There is chaos, fighting and wars everywhere one looks. Sinning against God is rampant and promoted everywhere. At times it appears as though no one is even attempting to serve God at all. Churches seem to be dying at a rapid rate and no one cares. A person may wonder if God is really in control.

Even though it seems no one is following God and that God is not in control, it is not true. God still has a remnant of believers in this world who are faithfully serving Him. Jesus had stated that the road to heaven is narrow and only a few will find it.

God is still at work to this day. He is working to save as many as possible and holding off the final judgment against all mankind. Despite what people may think, that day is coming. Once Jesus returns and judges the world, He will be in absolute control, with everyone, who is left, serving Him. At that point, all the power and authority of all the kingdoms will be handed over to all the believers. Peace and unity will reign on the earth.

As you are going through your day-to-day living, it may seem like chaos and that God is not in control. It may seem hopeless and never coming to an end. Keep your eyes on Jesus, looking for His return. There will come a day when all the sin and chaos of this world will come to an end. It is closer today than it was when Daniel saw His vision, and it is still true.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that you will serve and obey God with all of your life; that you will know Jesus will return someday soon; and that you will be His witness on this earth.

Ezekiel 22:2 Judgment Of “Believers”

“Son of man, will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed? Then confront her with all her detestable practices” Ezekiel 22:2

God was bringing judgment against the city of Jerusalem for all the things that the people of the city were doing. They were allowing worship of idols, prostitution, murder, and other types of sin openly. The people were not following God and His judgment was getting ready to be poured out upon them.

The city of Jerusalem was supposed to be the city of God, a city of people who were the people of God. They were supposed to be the believers who knew, trusted and followed God. Yet, they were not following Him, except in word only.

When Jesus walked on the earth, He met with many sinners and showed love and compassion to them. However, when He met up with the Pharisees and Saducees, the leaders of the church, He held nothing but harsh judgment against them. They claimed to know and serve God, yet, were doing things against God.

Today many believers like to show harsh judgment against non-believers for their sinful ways of living. Non-believers are just living the only way they know to live. They are living by their own ways or the ways of this world. None of them have been given a standard to live by.

Those in the church, however, claim to know God and serve God. They are without excuse as to how they live. Many choose to live in sinful practices, hating, jealousy, gossip, lying, stealing, cheating, and harsh judging against the world. God’s harshest judgment is against those in the church who claim to know Him, but do not.

It is easy to claim to know Jesus, but it is an entirely different thing to live for Him. Living for self is a common practice with many in the church today.

As you look at your life you need to take a look at yourself as to how you are really living for God. Are you just living in word only, claiming to know God? Or are you giving God your whole life, serving Him and striving to live by His standards and not the standards of this world?

You do not want to step into eternity and God has to look at you and say that He never knew you, because you did not really live for Him.

I pray today that you will know God; that you will live by God’s standards; that God will keep you from being corrupted by the world’s standards; and that you will be His witness to this world.

1 Corinthians 5:11 People To Stay Away From

“But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slander, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” 1 Corinthians 5:11

Paul comes out very strongly in who a person should be around. He lists off several groups of people: sexually immoral, greedy, idolaters, slanderers, drunkards, and swindlers. Very quickly he points out that these are not people in the world, but people who claim to be believers in Jesus yet do these things.

The world lives in sin because they do not know any better. They are expected to commit all kinds of sins. That is what they do.

As a believer it should be different. Every person who believes in Jesus, must strive to be like Jesus. Jesus was perfect with no sin. Believers must strive to be perfect and have no sin in their lives.

Looking at churches, there are people in the church who claim to be a believer in Jesus, yet lead a completely different life. There are some who sleep with others in sin while going to church. Some will slander others very viciously. Many are very greedy. Some will try to cheat everyone and anyone. Many will stay drunk all the time. Each of these do these things Monday through Saturday, then go to church looking good to other people. The real problem is most other believers turn a blind eye to the sin and accept it as normal and acceptable.

Paul says not to even eat with these types of people. A believer may have a problem with a sin, but should be striving to overcome it. These types are not even trying to stop the sin. Many will even justify it.

If you know someone living like this, you must approach them with God’s word and see if they will change. Do not ignore the sin. Let them know what God says about their sinful lifestyle. Pray for the person. After this, if they refuse to change, do not associate with them anymore. They are a bad witness for Jesus.

I pray today that you will take a stand against all sinful lifestyles in your life and in other believers lives; that God will give you wisdom in what to say and do; that God would change the hearts of others through you; and that God build His kingdom through you.