Guidance for Success

Paul told his son in the ministry, Timothy, that He should consider three different professions to help him grasp the importance of his ministry, because each have impressive drives that could teach him the values of hard work and dedication that will serve to enhance his aspirations. I believe that our time spent meditating this direction from Paul might also help us, even today.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-09-06
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Timothy 2:3-7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, just as I do; and as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army. Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. Work hard like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop. Think over these three illustrations, and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you.

OBSERVATION: Paul told his son in the ministry, Timothy, that He should consider three different professions to help him grasp the importance of his ministry, because each have impressive drives that could teach him the values of hard work and dedication that will serve to enhance his aspirations. I believe that our time spent meditating this direction from Paul might also help us, even today.

APPLICATION: One of the things that my younger sisters dreaded while growing up, was to hear my mom tell them how she wished they would pay attention to the character and habits of their older brother! They were no different than most of us, for we tend to assume we are being told that what we are currently doing counts for nothing. But friends, notice that Paul was merely using these three professions because of the qualities that normally come forth from those who chose to follow these paths. Let’s look at each individually:
~ A Soldier – Although I have never been in the military, I am told that the first thing military leaders/trainers try to achieve, is to convince new recruits that they now belong to the military and they should therefore forget all other allegiance and everything else. When in battle, soldiers know that they are to follow the orders of their commanders and no one else. They are trained to have a one-track mind. As workers in God’s army, we must also have a one-track mind, for we are to listen carefully to His commands; and follow His orders only. Anything else will result in a half-hearted soldier who can be swayed by every distraction that Satan sends our way;
~ An Athlete – In the days that our Scripture was written, if athletes trained less than 9 months, they were disqualified from competition. Imagine if churches were to ordain leaders and pastors with very basic training and experience? Paul wanted Timothy to be fully trained and very aware of the extreme stress on himself while striving to win the battle of snatching souls from the pit of hell. Satan is very real, but our God is so much more! Strive to win and not settle for anything less, when it comes to winning the lost;
~ A Farmer – My dad was a farmer, so I know how much he dreamed about the end result when he slowly cleared the ground, planted the small seeds, and tenderly and patiently nurtured the plants through to maturity and reaping. I also remember the days of harvest, for he celebrated in seeing, reaping and selling the beautiful crop. Isn’t it very obvious to see the various levels of church work in everything I just described in farming? Paul knew that Timothy would be very familiar with farming, and would therefore apply its concepts to his ministry. This is a great reminder for us as we endeavor to share our hearts and lives in the ministry of Jesus Christ!
Friends, we each have a desire to succeed in life, but what are we prepared to do in order to win? Others have shown us through their various professions, And often all we need to do is to apply the same principles that they used, and most of all, listen closely to our Chief as we head out to do His work. To sit at the feet of Jesus and look around to see all those that we touched in some way with our lives and/or our ministry, is worth every minute of every hour that we spend here on earth in training, in executing and in celebrating successes. Oh that God may be glorified through all of our efforts, is my greatest desire!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we thank You for all that You are to us. We thank You for softly speaking to our hearts and guiding us into accepting You as Lord, and then helping us to share that love with others. But Lord, the times seem to get rougher each and every day, so I beg You to help us remember the one-track mind and dedication of a soldier; the training and aim to win, that athletes strive for, as we strive to win the lost for the Kingdom; and also help us to remember the patience and nurturing by our farmers as they wait in anticipation for the joy that comes with harvest time. Our work seems endless and often so unrewarding, but when we allow you to guide us and work miraculously in the lives of those we touch, we are confident about the joy that will come in the morning! Oh that You may be glorified today dear Lord, and oh that You may use us powerfully in Your kingdom work here on earth. This is my humble plea today for all my readers and myself! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Train Yourself To Serve God

It is interesting that Paul recognized the importance that the people of his day had, with a strong emphasis on a few extracurricular things, that seem to have taken priority over their allegiance to God. 

Post Date:

Saturday, 2017-06-17
SCRIPTURE

From:

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NCV)

Text:

But do not follow foolish stories that disagree with God’s truth, but train yourself to serve God. Training your body helps you in some ways, but serving God helps you in every way by bringing you blessings in this life and in the future life, too.
OBSERVATION:
It is interesting that Paul recognized the importance that the people of his day had, with a strong emphasis on a few extracurricular things, that seem to have taken priority over their allegiance to God. 
APPLICATION:
I found it fascinating that Paul would teach Timothy that we must train ourselves to serve God. That indicates that our normal selfish tendency is to serve self and get as much for ourselves as we possibly could. Thankfully most of us are very centered around healthy living, in our eating and in exercise. In fact, you can find friends along dark streets very early in the morning jogging or walking, or you might see friends coming out of the gym looking like they had a shower in their own sweat. What if we saw that kind of dedication and energy in Christians connecting with friends to introduce them to their Savior? I’ve also heard loads of excuses on why folk can’t, or won’t attend church functions. All the way from being afraid of crowds, to their only day to sleep in or be with their family. However most sports events are often sold out, even if it took a whole week’s salary to buy the tickets. Crowds are not a problem there, nor is early or late afternoon start times. You are bound to sit next to strangers, some of whom might even be obnoxious, but fans are not affected by that. To the only One who knows even our inmost thoughts, what will we tell God when He asks why could you not find priority for Me and in being with my people, or serving me, or giving to my work, or encouraging others? When we committed ourselves to our spouse, or to our job, we were able to lay aside our selfish desires and serve them unswervingly, why is it different with our commitment to God? Are there things that you need to clear up between you and God to restore that allegiance that you once promised Him, or perhaps that you would like to promise Him now?
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You know us all very well. Our comings and our goings, our excuses and our level of dedication to You and Your work. Please help us to search out the Savior of this world, and for those who already know You personally, please teach us to draw close to You and allow You to guide us and train us to give priority to You in every aspect of our lives. For those who have not been concerned about their eternity, please touch them precious Lord and draw their attention to the need for a Savior. You created us to worship and lift up the name of Jesus, oh that we may be found faithful! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Necessary Actions for Effective Ministry

The Holy Bible  (The Message – 1 Timothy 2:8-10): Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

Thoughts:  In giving direction to Timothy for ministry among the churches, Paul knew that the driving force behind a successful work of the Lord would be: prayer; commitment by the church (Christian brothers and sisters); their respective attitudes, and their roles being controlled by the God they intended to serve. Friends, these same characteristics are necessary for the successful work of the Lord in our day also! To achieve the desired dedication, commitment personal effectiveness of the people, Paul had a few guidelines for Timothy to teach them, and since I already stated that this is much like our efforts today to spread the gospel, I believe this applies to us also. Here’s what Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, taught us:

MEN – Pray, pray, pray! As I studied this deeper, there is indication that Paul wanted men to pray everywhere. That tells me that we are to pray even in public places, not just in our closets as alluded to in earlier scripture. Also, just as Solomon did in 1 Kings 8:22 and Psalm 141:2, Paul felt it was important that men lift up holy hands before a holy God. Not only is this a sign of surrendering self to God, but doing this in all holiness is also reemphasizing Psalm 24:3-4. Prayer should be the first thing a Christian man should do in every circumstance. In fact, Paul indicated that this should be done rather than showing our anger against those who abuse us or harm us in any way. Think about it Brothers, when we ‘PRAY’, we are showing respect to God, humbling ourselves to His authority and His power to fulfill His way in our circumstances, and to grow us into being more like Him. Going off and doing our own thing defies submission to God and shows disrespect to the authority of God.

WOMEN – Depending on the Bible version you read this verse in, women may be offended by what Paul was teaching here. But ladies/friends, please allow me to remind you that the Word of God is not intended to be a ‘feel good’ book of instructions for everything you may like. In fact, why have a book of instruction if you want it to always make you feel good about what you are doing, or want to do? Based on supporting study material, I believe Paul is instructing our beautiful ladies to not spend so much time on the physical appearance, but instead on the inward person. For the outward appearance will attract undesirables, but the inward loving, caring, beauty and example of a God-fearing woman will serve to display the love and concern of our loving Father who wants so badly that all may come to know Him personally. Your humbleness to your Christian husbands will be a display of the respect Jesus showed for His Father in depending solely on Him for knowledge, timing and direction. Further, women have a built in mechanism that tends to nurture their children, much like Jesus wants to nurture all those that surrender their lives to Him and His authority.

Friends, if we are to see the work of God flourish, we must take our respective roles very seriously. God used this opportunity to help Paul see how to grow the churches in His day, and His Word still speaks just as clearly and loudly to us in growing and nurturing His church today. Are you on board?

Prayer:  Thank You for Your precious Word dear Lord. Thank You for considering us and how we might accept You, know You intimately, and showing us the way that we might love and care for others as You would. Please speak to myself and our Christian men that we might learn to pray more and learn to be more submissive in our prayers, so that Your perfect will might be accomplished in our world. Without You in our lives, we have absolutely nothing to offer this world that might serve to improve their standard of life. However, because You hold the key to eternal life and heaven, Your rewards are simply ‘out of this world’. May the unsaved recognize this before it is eternally too late. May we, as Christians lean on this as our encouragement for self, and as our determination to share the love of Jesus with all that we know and come into contact with. May our precious ladies have an example to follow in us as their earthly leaders, caretakers and lovers. May they see Jesus exampled in us, and may they in turn, seek to live disciplined and controlled lives led by Your sweet Holy Spirit. All to You I surrender Lord. More of You and Less of me, is my song of dedication to You today oh Lord. Thank You for taking time to listen, comfort, cheer and encourage this child today! Please be a special blessing to all who will read this devotional. May they be drawn to You. For I praise You and request my petitions in the wonderful name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE:  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!