Studied: Psalm 80; 2 Timothy 4
- Psalm 80:19 ~ LORD God All-Powerful, make us strong again! Smile on us and save us.
- 2 Timothy 4:1-2 ~ … with God and Christ as witnesses, I command you 2to preach God’s message. Do it willingly, even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. You must correct people and point out their sins. But also cheer them up, and when you instruct them, always be patient.
- There are times in the life of believers that we may feel like we and/or the church is ineffective in our ministry for the Lord. These days, it would appear like the church is totally that way, as folk refuse to attend church because there are so many other things that pull them away. It is interesting to note the words chosen by David in this verse. First of all, he recognizes that he is talking/praying to the Lord God who is All-Powerful, for He is the maker and ruler of everything and because of that strength recognized in Jesus Christ, David asks that He make him and his people strong again. After all, when we are not feeling quite so strong, we would never go to the ‘weak’ for strength. David asked that God would smile on them and save them. In other words, please do us a favor and listen to our plea for help and save us from whatever we feel in bondage over or restricted by. Old Satan is busy these days, and he is extremely busy at work in the lives of ‘Christians’ and the life of God’s church. We must learn to be constant in prayer before the One that has all power, the only One that could save us from deteriorating any more in our witness for Christ.
- Often when we look to the grand stands and see those that are rooting for us, we gain strength and boldness to really pull from deep within to achieve the goal. This is the image I see Paul portraying to Timothy in these two verses. Hey God and Christ is there rooting for you, so be bold and preach the gospel message. While I may not be a preacher, I am one who has a message to share with others. Sharing that message knowing that God and Christ are there rooting for me the whole way, gives me strength for those times that I feel so weary and like I just can’t take my only open evening to visit the sick or shut-ins, or possibly a prospect that visited church this past Sunday, or perhaps the boldness to visit that friend that I’ve been praying for a long time would accept Jesus and attend church. Christ went to the cross in spite of how He may have felt – remember from the Word He pleaded that the Father would take away that cup, but yet He went to the cross anyway because of me. Why then would I look at excuses when it comes to doing something for Him?
- We are so easily led astray and pointed away from the only true and living God who has given us life itself, and who has brought us through so many battles in this life, yet we take our eyes off Him and allow Satan to have his way in too many areas of our life. Father, please forgive us, in fact please forgive me. Help me to stay focused on the cross – the empty cross, knowing that You sacrificed Your Son so that I may have life eternal with You. Please make me strong again as Your child, Your witness, Your representative in a world that often will not even recognize You because of how far they have allowed Satan to take them. Please smile on me, and all Christians willing to carry Your cross and follow You daily, and save us from the evil one, and all the things of this world that tend to cause us to stray. To be a better witness for You, I must be more like You in my daily walk and in my daily talk. Please grant me the strength and boldness to do just that each and every day, especially this day!
- Please smile on us and save us dear Lord. Save us from further deterioration in our walk for You, and instead remind us that You are always there for us, cheering us on as we strive to walk and witness for You. Please help us to never be ashamed of the gospel and always willing to speak up for You so that others may also come to know You as Lord. I am reminded again about the wonderful Lord that I know and serve! Sharing this good news with others should be easy, because You have blessed me in so many ways, especially with You rooting for me the whole way!
Studied: Joel 2; Joel 3; 2 Timothy 1
- Joel 2:13 ~ Tear your hearts, not your clothes. Return to the Lord your God. He is merciful and compassionate, patient, and always ready to forgive and to change his plans about disaster.
- 2 Timothy 1:6-7 ~ This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
- Praise God that we have a Father who is a lot more forgiving than we tend to be, for this verse encourages us to humble our hearts and return to the Lord God, for He is not only merciful, compassionate, patient and forgiving, but He may even change His mind about disaster that may be destined for us. Wow, this is powerful! I was once corrected by an elderly gentlemen about praying for rain, for he told me that I should never pray for natural things that is controlled solely by God. This verse tends to contradict that advice, and give some validity to those Christians that have gone to our Florida coast and prayed God’s protection upon our shorelines, wildlife and sea life with such a disastrous oil spill just off our coast. It also serves to remind me that we should pray for God to redirect or dissipate hurricanes headed our way. However, there is a pre-cursor to all this, we must first tender our hearts and come before God with a broken heart about the sin that has edged into our lives and the life of our churches and towns and state. In other words, we needn’t go before a holy and just God with a pompous, sinful, and proud heart, for God wants a life that is truly sorry for the ways that we have let our lives go unchecked by His Word, and how we have been a stumbling block to those that are desperate to find a mentor of Jesus. Those that are weak, or don’t know Jesus at all, have a desperate need to see Jesus working in the flesh through us, for we are the only Bible that they will read. Let’s not disappoint them!
- Paul took his mentoring of those that he led to the Lord very seriously. I believe that if only we would practice this today, we will see a much stronger church. Imagine if we said to a brother or sister that we were instrumental in leading them to Christ, that they should now fan the flame that Christ has lit in their lives, let those gifts that God has highlighted in their new spiritual walk shine with such intensity that God’s power and love will be promoted through them to reach a lost world, and that they would have the self-discipline to live a life that exemplifies Christ! This would have such an impact of our world for Jesus! If only we could be a mentor for life, of those that we have led to Christ! I believe that the back doors to our churches will be permanently shut and our churches will be in a constant growth mode instead.
- Father for those times that the flesh (my own selfish/sinful desires) has taken control and not been obedient to Your Word, I truly seek your forgiveness this morning. I pray that Your Spirit would have such an impact on my life that I would be quickly alerted to those times that I am representing You poorly, or not at all. I want to be like Jesus in all that I say or do. I want You to be able to work in and through me so that You may not only grow me spiritually, but so that Your work may be accomplished through me. This old world is falling apart very quickly with earthquakes, volcanoes, oil spills, hurricanes, tornadoes, and just evil works of the devil. Please help me to be a part of the solution in seeing my family, friends, coworkers, community, state, country and world won for You, and not a part of the problem that is causing this old world to suffer through the last days of sin and strife that leads only to destruction/hell. Please be a constant reminder to me to tender my heart and surrender myself to You daily, so that I may rid myself of sin and selfish desires.
- Lord I pray that You will first of all help me to fan into flames the spiritual gift that You have blessed me with so that I may be on fire for You and shining before a lost world. Secondly, I pray that You will constantly remind me to check on those that I have led to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and encourage them along the way, and help them to also fan the flames of the spiritual gift that You have given to them. Please allow Your church to become so engulfed with fanning the flames within our spiritual beings and corporate body, that we will soar to new heights into reaching the world around us, and encouraging those around us, that are disheartened and discouraged because they have lost sight of the gift You have blessed them with.
Studied: 2 Chronicles 20; 1 Timothy 3
- 2 Chronicles 20:18-19 ~ Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.
- 2 Chronicles 20:22 ~ As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
- In the verses leading up to this we see where Jahaziel had share with the king and his people a word that he had received from the Lord about His help in the battle the next day. This word was received with such faith that an awesome worship time began. This touched my heart, because there are so many times that we will wait until after the victory (the proof) before we praise the Lord. In recognition of God’s promise, King Jehoshaphat and his people had a praise service. Oh that I may have that kind of faith! Oh that my church may have that kind of faith!
- In verse 22, I am totally overwhelmed by God and His power. I am also overwhelmed in seeing how important it is to God that we recognize His presence, His power and His promises. As these men were preparing to go to war against a very large, mighty army, they had every reason to be nervous and weak in the knees. Instead they were so confident in what God had promised them that they broke into singing praises to God as they left for the battleground. This was the trigger for God to begin His work in having the large opposing army self-destuct. God has placed us on this earth in His image and for His glory. When He sees us recognize Him and honor Him and His Word, He is pleased. We know from past experiences that God will do what He says, now all we need is the faith to act on what He says in confidence and giving Him praise every step of the way. He will do His part, may we always do our part!
- Father I believe, please help my unbelief. Please help me to have the kind of faith demonstrated in this story today. When I receive a word from You, help me to act on it as a done deal and not force myself into waiting to see the finished product. If You said, then I must believe it to the extent that I am willing to act on it! I need that kind of faith that only You can bless me with. Thank You Jesus!
- Lord Jesus I come to You this morning acknowledging that I am one that have always needed to see the results first. I realize that this is evidence of little faith in You and Your ability to honor Your Word. Please help me to be firm in my faith and always willing to believe what You say. There is no one like You, and while I may need to have an earthly friend prove themselves, I should always know that if You said it I can confidently believe it, trust it, and begin praising You for it, because it is like a done deal! Thank You for watching over me and taking care of me like this. You are truly awesome, and I love You Lord.
Studied: 2 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 20
- 2 Kings 7:18-20 ~ Earlier, when the king was at Elisha’s house, Elisha had told him that flour or barley would sell for almost nothing. But the officer refused to believe that even the LORD could do that. So Elisha warned him that he would see it happen, but would not eat any of the food. And that’s exactly what happened–the officer was trampled to death.
- 2 Chronicles 20:13-15 ~ While every man, woman, and child of Judah was standing there at the temple, the LORD’s Spirit suddenly spoke to Jahaziel, a Levite from the Asaph clan. Then Jahaziel said: Your Majesty and everyone from Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you don’t need to be afraid or let this powerful army discourage you. God will fight on your side!
- There is a verse that this story has reminded me of, Hebrews 10:31~ It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, for this is what happened to the king’s guard. Elisha was truly a man of God and just as he told the king’s guard after he doubted that even God could provide the amount of grain that Elisha spoke of, so it happened. These verses speak to me in telling me that it is crucial that I listen to, obey and believe God’s Word, without doubt and fear, for my God is no different today than He was in the days of Elisha. God can still move mountains, so I mustn’t doubt that He could also attend to the problems and challenges that I feel are so insurmountable today. God is still on the throne and He will remember His own, His promise is true, He will not forget me, God is still on the throne. What great promises are hidden in the words of this little chorus.
I believe that God had two things to show me in these verses:
- Jehoshaphat prayed for help from God while this huge army was approaching to attack, yet God chose to speak to Jahaziel. I can only take my concerns to Jesus, but I have no right telling Him how or when to respond. For some reason He chose to answer through Jahaziel. Did He answer Jehoshaphat’s prayer? Yes He did, but in His time and to whom He wanted to speak.
- As I take my burdens before Jesus, I can rest assured that God will be on my side, so I needn’t be afraid or disheartened, for with God on my side whom then shall I fear? Absolutely no one or no circumstance!
- Thank You Father for being so attentive to me and my needs. Thank You for bringing these promises to mind today as this brings me strength to go on, knowing that the King of all Kings, my Savior and my Lord is in charge and will take care of all my needs today. I am reminded more and more everyday that I can do very little without You holding my hand. May You be that Guide, Deliverer, Strength and loving Savior that I need today. May I find comfort in knowing that the work that seem so backed up on my plate at work, will become lighter in my mind knowing that You are there to guide me and help me through it all in a very timely manner.
- Father You are truly awesome and I am so thankful that I know You and follow You each and every day. Thank You for these encouraging words this morning and the awesome reminder that with You on my side, I needn’t worry about a thing! Please help me to be the servant that You can use to be Your example in my family, in my church and in my realm of influence. I thank You Lord for accepting me as Your son. Please guide me each day into being the representative that You can be proud of, and used to glorify You and reach the lost.
Studied: 2 Kings 1; 2 Kings 2; 2 Kings 3; Psalm 82; 1 Timothy 1
- 2 Kings 1:16 ~ When Elijah arrived, he told Ahaziah, “The LORD wants to know why you sent messengers to Ekron to ask Baalzebub about your injury. Don’t you believe there’s a God in Israel? Ahaziah, because you did that, the LORD says you will die.”
- 1 Timothy 1:5 ~ You must teach people to have genuine love, as well as a good conscience and true faith.
- 1 Timothy 1:12-14 ~ I thank Christ Jesus our Lord. He has given me the strength for my work because he knew that he could trust me. I used to say terrible and insulting things about him, and I was cruel. But he had mercy on me because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I had not yet put my faith in him. Christ Jesus our Lord was very kind to me. He has greatly blessed my life with faith and love just like his own.
- I find it interesting in our world today that folk will leave their homes and travel hundreds of miles in order to be prayed over by a TV Evangelist. The same God that this evangelist is praying to is the same God that we can pray to not matter where we are, and we have the same access to God as any other human being. I know that desperate people will do desperate things, and I know that in this particular verse God was upset because Ahaziah sent men to Ekron to have a worldly god, Baalzebub, to pray for him, instead of calling the elders of the church together to pray to the one Holy God, but I just felt like God is also saying that we should take our burdens, concerns, illness, etc. to God where we are at, and stop putting so much faith in people of this world that claim to have some special power to heal. Only God can heal, and we are His children who have a direct line of communication to Him through His Son, Jesus.
- This verse, with instructions given to Timothy by Paul, sounds like it would make an excellent church mission statement. Teach people to have genuine love for Christ and others; Ensure that our conscience is so attuned to the mind of Christ that we will treat all people as a genuine child of the King, and a desire and striving for true faith so that we may go confidently before a living, loving and holy God with all things, having the faith/confidence to know that all things are possible with God. As fellow Christians, we need a church body with that kind of faith/confidence. As a lost world, folk will watch us and come to a church where they feel like Christians believe, live and practice true faith in the Christ that we worship and pray to, otherwise all we offer them is ‘lip service’.
- Like Paul, I thank God daily that He trusts me and has given me strength and fortitude to do my work for the kingdom and for His glory. There is so much more to be done and so many people that need to know the Savior of this world. May God find dedicated and willing servants to spread the word and exemplify Him in our daily lives.
- I know that this seems a bit controversial today, but I thank You Father for reminding me that while I might ask others to pray with me over a special need in my life, You are truly the source of all power, and that I have direct access to that power through the blood of Jesus. Please help me to always look to You for all my needs, knowing that You will meet my needs and bring about healing in Your time.
When I refer to ‘the church’, I am a part of that, so Lord I pray this morning that:
- I may be so in tuned with You and have such a relationship with You, and
- I will be so filled with genuine love and always have a good conscience about the things of Christ and the needs of others, and
- My faith in You will always be so strong, that I may come confidently before Your throne, and
- I can exhibit these characteristics so boldly that teaching these to others will be easily accepted.
Please help me to follow these commands that You have shown me this morning in this verse, each and every day of my life.
- Thank You Jesus for using even me to participate in Your work here on earth. I pray that I will always seek Your presence and direction to make me worthy of the call on my life. May You be honored from my humble efforts that seem so little compared to the great work and sacrifice that You exampled for me. I love You Lord and place myself at your disposal for Your kingdom’s sake.