In Training

Paul was a mentor to Timothy, and he tried to help him become a good pastor to the churches he went to serve in – churches that were in trouble. We can relate to this, because churches tend to change their pastor an average of every 18 months. Regardless of what might be going on at your church, I believe that Paul’s advise to this young pastor is spot on. So let us examine Paul’s advice and see how we might apply this in our individual areas of ministry.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-08-31
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Timothy 4:7-10
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

OBSERVATION: Paul was a mentor to Timothy, and he tried to help him become a good pastor to the churches he went to serve in – churches that were in trouble. We can relate to this, because churches tend to change their pastor an average of every 18 months. Regardless of what might be going on at your church, I believe that Paul’s advise to this young pastor is spot on. So let us examine Paul’s advice and see how we might apply this in our individual areas of ministry.

APPLICATION: I believe there is good reason why Paul drew a parallel to physical training, for we all try to condition ourselves to help with many areas of our health. I remember an older lady that was in top shape physically, and following her Unfortunate surgery, she quickly recovered and was back on her feet. She said from the very beginning the doctor knew that she would do well and recover quickly, because her body was well conditioned. But let us just stop and think what constitutes sufficient physical fitness for our bodies to thrive, and for healing to be effective after surgery or an injury. Most doctors will suggest a minimum of a brisk 20-minute walk at least 3 or 4 days per week. So if this will keep our physical bodies in shape, what might it take for us to keep our spiritual bodies in close communion with God, and therefore ready for the battles of Christian life (yes, we still have battles in our new life) and in the spiritual warfare that we will face from Satan and his legion? It is important for you to think about this friends, for Satan comes after laypeople as a way of getting to a pastor and/or destroying a church. Wouldn’t you think that too little spiritual fitness will leave us vulnerable, gullible, and therefore easy targets for the evil one? Paul issued a very real warning to Timothy when he told him to be persistent in avoiding idle chatter, or fables, or just stories. I want you to think about this and reflect on a Sunday School class or a Bible Study where someone derailed the teacher from his/her awesome lesson. After 10 minutes you, or the teacher, realized that your lesson is totally off track and that you will be lucky to get back to the lesson and see it achieve the desired effects that the teacher felt like God led him to teach. You might then leave that class more confused than when you entered, and totally unprepared for the challenges of the week ahead. What if our pastors got into this kind of environment during the week when they would normally study and prepare their sermon? What will happen during the sermon time that Sunday? How might God use him to speak His truth to His hungry children who came searching for spiritual food? Friends, please notice that Paul saw a troubled church, and he saw a young man about to enter the lions den to deal with the issues of their day. Paul said then, what I believe that God would have us discern today: there is no greater training for us than to train ourselves into being good students of the Word of God. All the answers are in The Book for all of life’s challenges. But unless we saturate our lives with the Word, our preaching/teaching/witnessing will be in vain. Is the Word of God oozing out of every aspect of your character, your witness, your teaching, and your preaching, if you happen to be gifted to preach? This is the medicine needed for our hurting world. Let’s be sure that we train, and fill ourselves with the Word of God without it being diluted and/or distracted by Satan and his agents.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, although it is unfortunate that today we still face challenges in our churches like Paul saw in his letter to Timothy, and in spite of all that Paul taught. Please Lord, let the church be the church – Your church that is in place to reach the lost and speak tenderly to needs of the saved. Let us represent You well and let the world see Jesus in every aspect of our lives. Help us to be drawn to Your Word and be entrenched into Your teachings so that our lives may be impacted by the Master of the universe, and may it be obvious through every aspect of our lives. Let us be willing to train regularly and consistently so that You would prepare us fully for all that may come our way. Bless Your church and it’s workers Lord, so that You may be lifted up and rule in our churches. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org 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 or listening to this devotional, please go to 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. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Proof of Sonship

In our Scripture today we are reminded of one of the finest aspects of sonship with our heavenly Father. Unfortunately, it is an aspect that most Christians would probably prefer didn’t exist, because no one likes to be ‘disciplined’. However, it is vitally important that we especially meditate on this while considering verse 8 – that an earthly father will discipline his children, and if he doesn’t, it’s probably because we are not his child. The same applies to our Heavenly Father, so let’s consider what evidence of sonship might become evident to us today.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Hebrews 12:5-8 (TPT)

TEXT: …. “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.” Fully embrace God’s correction as part of your training, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. For who has ever heard of a child who never had to be corrected? We all should welcome God’s discipline as the validation of authentic sonship. For if we have never once endured his correction it only proves we are strangers and not sons.

OBSERVATION:   In our Scripture today we are reminded of one of the finest aspects of sonship with our heavenly Father. Unfortunately, it is an aspect that most Christians would probably prefer didn’t exist, because no one likes to be ‘disciplined’. However, it is vitally important that we especially meditate on this while considering verse 8 – that an earthly father will discipline his children, and if he doesn’t, it’s probably because we are not his child. The same applies to our Heavenly Father, so let’s consider what evidence of sonship might become evident to us today.

APPLICATION:   Anytime that we think of our parents, we probably think about the love that they have for us. Anytime we think of the reason one accepts Jesus as Lord, we probably think about the great love that Jesus has for us, and them. However, part of the reason we remember the love of our parents, is because we may recall the times of discipline given, because of their deep love for us and how they wanted the very best for us. However, seldom do we promote the idea of God also disciplining us. But think about it friends, if there is not a point of discipline by God, and He allowed us to do whatever our earthly desires are, would that truly indicate a God who loves us and wants His very best for us? Absolutely not. So I would recommend that we look at God’s discipline just like a business person who looks at complaints coming into their business as a ‘gift’. Without the complaint, a customer will try another business establishment to see if they could get it right. Through the complaint, the customer is saying to a business, here’s what you are not doing well at, correct it for success because I want to continue doing business with you. God’s discipline is showing us that He cares enough about us that He wants His very best for us But to accomplish that we may need an attitude adjustment, or we may need to look at others with respect and not look down on them because their gifts are different to ours. I believe that you will find where it is challenging to accept discipline, and often you could see no good reason for it. May I remind you that God is the only One who knows about tomorrow, and the needs and opportunities that will exist when that time comes? Trusting God means that you understand that previous statement and that to be aligned with God’s perfect will for your life, you are at His disposal and direction for everything that He has planned for your good, and His glory. Are you there yet? I believe this requires daily communication with God, asking for strength to endure and be obedient to whatever He desires of you that day. We are far from perfect, but with a perfect God as our Master and our Guide, He will lead us into opportunities that we would never dream of, or think possible. Let go of selfish desires and ask God to direct your path, my friend. He may have a soul to save, a saint to heal, a discouraged warrior to cheer up or much more than we could imagine, and He may have you or I taking part, as His physical hands or feet on the ground! Oh to be His ambassador, and to be a part of God’s miraculous plan for us!

PRAYER:   Father, we all love the idea of being Your precious Son or Daughter, but there is a total negative connotation when we think of You having to discipline us into full obedience to Your will. Lord, may Your Word speak to the hearts of many who will read this devotional today, and may we all be reminded of the love that is transmitted through Your discipline. For we may look at discipline as changing or stopping a behavior that we love, but I truly believe that You intend it for our good and for the benefit of Your kingdom. Oh that we may be used of You in some way today, and I know that it will take Your ‘discipline’ for many of us to redirect from the plans we have in place already for this day. Our desire is for You to be glorified oh Lord, and that You might use even us to bring glory to Your name. 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 Sebring, 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!

Be Passionate In Ministry

The Holy Bible   (New Living Translation – 1Timothy 4:7-10): Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle (or continue to suffer), for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

Thoughts:   In our everyday conversations we often find ourselves ‘chasing rabbits’ – getting off the subject at hand. Often, if we are not careful, our little side-tracked conversations could actually turn into a total distraction from what we intended to say. I believe that Satan works exactly like that friends. I believe that he is most upset when he is losing the battle and we are succeeding in sharing the gospel with a non-believer, so he gets us off on to something irrelevant. Paul saw where this was challenging Timothy, so he warned him to not get caught up in it. Instead, he wanted Timothy to become proficient in his faith and to work steadily and faithfully to be godly in every way. Doesn’t the various distractions, which tend to side-track Bible studies or other Christian based enhancement studies, amaze you? Let’s be cautioned about the originator of the distractions, and instead be steadfast in declaring the Word of God as He intended for us to do. Remember also that this is not restricted to studies taking place at our churches. This will happen when you are determined to witness to a friend or loved one. But let’s keep in mind that through our passion for the Lord and/or leading the unsaved to Him, that there is no greater purpose. Be reminded of what Paul said in verse 8, the benefits will bless us in this world, and in the next. So be prepared and determined to prevent distractions from getting in your way of sharing the gospel today. There is a greater purpose, and there are great rewards for those of us who believe, and are willing to share the joy with others! Be passionate and determined, and ask God to be your guide as you work for Him. Remember, it is for His glory that you share His name, not yours.

Prayer:   Lord, You are good and Your mercies endureth forever! Whom then shall I fear? Why should I doubt when I see distraction occurring? Please help me to stay focused and passionate towards the work that You have assigned to me. Please help me to be careful not to distract those trying to share the gospel, instead please teach me to pray in all earnest that You may speak through the words of mere man to reach a soul for You. Please encourage us today, and give us boldness to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through all that we may say or do with all that we may come into contact with. Please teach us to stay focused on the goal – spending eternity with You, and give us a deep desire to do everything possible to encourage those we love to be present on that day when You will gather us around Your throne. Lord, You are good and Your mercies endureth forever! Praise the name of the Lord! Thank You for being so good! Thank You for hearing the cry of Your humble servant today, for I ask all this in the precious and holy name of Jesus, all for You sake and Your glory, 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!