Today’s devotion comes from 2 Timothy 1:12-14.

“For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed;  for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.  Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.  Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”  2 Timothy 1:12-14.

—————-

There are the commands to retain the standard of sound words (sound doctrine) and to guard the treasure (more specifically the doctrine of salvation a/k/a the gospel to which Paul refers in the previous verses, that is, “the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity”.  2 Timothy 1:8-9).   

But, let us not miss the promises that God is the One Who does these things for us.

First, we read in verse 12 that “He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”

Second, we read in verse 13 that we retain the standard of sound words “in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”  In other words, we retain the standard of sound words, because of the faithfulness of Christ and “the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus”.

Third, we read in verse 14 that we guard the treasure “through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us”.

In summary, we persevere, because God preserves us. This is the “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, as more fully taught in Canons of Dordt.   

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

Consider what the Canons of Dordt state in the section titled FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.

Consider also the following from the Heidelberg Catechism.

Q. 1.  What is thy only comfort in life and death?

A.  That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;  who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil;  and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;  yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  Verse 7.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Timothy 1:8-11.

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.”  2 Timothy 2:8-11.

————-

Is the gospel according to the free-will of man?

Or, is the gospel according to the power of God?

Is the gospel according to our works?

Or, is the gospel according to God’s own purpose and grace?

Is the gospel granted us from our decision to accept Christ?

Or, is the gospel granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity?

Today’s Scripture teaches us that the gospel is “according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity”.  Verse 9.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:3-6.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:28-30.

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

“Article 7.  Election is the unchangeable purpose of God, whereby, before the foundation of the world, he hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of his own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault, from their primitive state of rectitude, into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom he from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of Salvation.

This elect number, though by nature neither better nor more deserving than the others, but with them involved in one common misery, God hath decreed to give to Christ, to be saved by him, and effectually to call and draw them to his communion by his Word and Spirit, to bestow upon them true faith, justification and sanctification;  and having powerfully preserved them in the fellowship of his Son, finally, to glorify them for the demonstration of his mercy, and for the praise of his glorious grace;  …”  

Article 9.  This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition in man, as the pre-requisite, cause or condition on which it depended;  but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good; from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself …”

“For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” Romans 9:15-16.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man;  though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”  Romans 5:6-10. 

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:4-9. 

The gospel is summarized by the acronym “TULIP” that God provides all that we, the elect, need for salvation from beginning to the end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement and “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, as more fully taught in Canons of Dordt.  

“seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”  2 Peter 1:3. 

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

“And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” 1 John 5:11-12.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 8, 2021

“kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Timothy 1:1-7.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Timothy+1&version=NASB1995

I quote only the following verses.

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.  For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”   2 Timothy 1:5-7.

———–

Today’s devotion focuses on the importance of encouragement of fellow believers to exercise their spiritual gifts.  

First, we notice that Paul encouraged Timothy, whom Paul was mindful of his “sincere faith”, to “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you”.  Verses 5-6. 

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.  …  

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.  There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;  to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.”  1 Corinthians 12:1 and 4-10. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;  and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:24-25.

Second, we notice that Paul pointed out the power that God gave Timothy to exercise his spiritual gift.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  Verse 7.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 7, 2021

“guard what has been entrusted to you”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 6:20-21.

“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.

Grace be with you.”  1 Timothy 6:20-21.

———————–

We have been entrusted with “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation as taught in Scripture and accurately summarized in the Canons of Dordt, that in a nutshell is:  all mankind was dead in sin having the natural condition of “Total Depravity”, but God chose some for salvation based alone on His own good pleasure, not motivated by anything supplied by man, and God provided all that His elect needed for salvation from beginning to the end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement and “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”.  This is the “T”, “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”.

Are we going to reject it?

Are we going to hide it, minimize it, and otherwise neglect it?

Or, are we going to joyfully embrace it, honor it, and fully teach it?

There are very stern warnings in Scripture!!!

“5 Thus says the LORD,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 “For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.
8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 5-7.

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said: “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.”  And again, THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:26-31.

Therefore, do not be ashamed of “TULIP”.  Guard this treasure of salvation which has been entrusted to you.

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.  For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed;  for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.  Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.  Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”  2 Timothy 1:8-14.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 6:17-19.

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.  Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”  1 Timothy 6:17-19.  

—————–

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21.

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”  Galatians 6:9-10.

“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”  2 Corinthians 9:6-8.

And, there is this additional hope!

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 5, 2021

“Fight the good fight of faith”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 6:11-16.

“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith;  take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see.  To Him be honor and eternal dominion!  Amen.”  1 Timothy 6:11-16.

———-

We fight by faith.  “Fight the good fight of faith“.  Verse 12. 

We do not fight by our will-power.  We do not fight by our strength.  We do not fight by our flesh.

By faith, we “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called“.  Verse 12.

Hebrews Chapter 11 is the Hall of Fame of the saints’ fights by faith through history.

In a similar Scripture in the same book of 1 Timothy, Paul commanded Timothy to fight the good fight by faith in the prophecies (promises of God) concerning him.  “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning youthat by them you fight the good fight,”  1 Timothy 1:18.  

“seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”  2 Peter 1:3-4. 

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”  2 Corinthians 10:3-4.

“in the word of truth, in the power of God;  by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left,”  2 Corinthians 6:7.

Yes, we work and strive, but we do so out of faith that God is at work in us, giving us the will to do His will and working in us to do His good pleasure.  “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;  for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:12-13.

Thus, we “fight the good fight” by “keeping faith” “in the word of truth, in the power of God” summarized by the acronym “TULIP” that God provides all that we, the elect, need for salvation from beginning to the end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement and “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, as more fully taught in Canons of Dordt.  

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  …”  Ephesians 1:3-4.

“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

“In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.  …  For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”  1 Timothy 4:6 and 10.

Our faith is in the Lord, because He is faithful.  

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7.

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom;  to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”  2 Timothy 4:18.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith …”  Hebrews 12:2.

Thus, we realize that even our own faith is not of ourselves.  Faith is a gift of God.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:8-10. 

“so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:5.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.”  Jude 1:24-25.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 6:3-10.

“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing;  but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.  But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.  For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.  If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.  But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”  1 Timothy 6:3-10.

—————

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.  Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;  and in their greed they will exploit you with false words;  their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”  2 Peter 2:1-3.

“Then He (Jesus) said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed;  for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”  And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive.  And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’  Then he said, ‘This is what I will do:  I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come;  take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your soul is required of you;  and now who will own what you have prepared?’  So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:15-21.

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.  Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten.  Your gold and your silver have rusted;  and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire.  It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!”  James 5:1-3.

But, there is hope! 

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”  Colossians 3:2-5.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  …  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:16 and 22-24.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 6:1-2.

“All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against.  Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved.  Teach and preach these principles.”  1 Timothy 6:1-2.

——————

“Were you called while a slave?  Do not worry about it;  but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.  For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.  You were bought with a price;  do not become slaves of men.”  1 Corinthians 7:21-23.

What is most important is not whether we are free or enslaved, but whether we are saved.

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female;  for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.”  Galatians 3:26-29.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it;  but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Matthew 16:24-26.

“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;  not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.  With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.”  Ephesians 6:5-9.

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 5:17-25.  Here is a link to this Scripture  –  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy+5&version=NASB1995

I only quote herein verses 17-22.

The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.  For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”  Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.  Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.  I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.  Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others;  keep yourself free from sin.”  1 Timothy 5:17-22.

—————

Today’s Scripture continues the theme of respecting your elders, and the Scriptures also contain promises that I highlight in bolt italic font.  

“‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.” Deuteronomy 5:16.

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  1 Timothy 2:1-4.

“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.  Live in peace with one another.”  1 Thessalonians 5:12-13. 

“I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I?  Or does not the Law also say these things?  For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.”  God is not concerned about oxen, is He?  Or is He speaking altogether for our sake?  Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.  If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?”  1 Corinthians 9:8-11.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”  Hebrews 13:17.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 31, 2020

“she has devoted herself to every good work”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 5:9-16.

“A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works;  and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.  But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge.  At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house;  and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.  Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;  for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.  If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.”  1 Timothy 5:9-16.

———–

Who can be devoted to every good work?!

Who can do those things that please God?!

But, there is hope!

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.

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