Friday, July 31, 2009
14. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15. Study to shew (show) thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Verse fourteen starts out with, "of these things put them in remembrance." What things? Well, Paul isn't very clear. In the other version it says, "Remind your people of these things." What things?! He says it next... "...charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers." So, Paul is telling Timothy to remind the people to speak words that are worth speaking. Words that build people up, not tear them down. Words for the edification of others, not worthless words. Paul clearly tells Timothy, and us, that we should not just babble about random stuff that doesn't matter, it can tear down people, and those kinds of words are definitely not worthwhile.
So, now that Paul tells Timothy, and us, what kinds of words to speak, does that thought make you want to change the kinds of conversations you and your friends have? That would be hard to do, wouldn't it? Especially with teens, me being one; it is hard to talk about Christ together. I have always been shy, and it has been a long time since I really got into a conversation with kids my own age, because, they don't talk about stuff that I am interested in. They talk about cell-phones, clothes, facebook, etc. And I am not interested in those things like they are. I really want to be able to talk with my friends freely about God, and I try really hard, but I'm alone. At least, I feel that way. They are all in Christian families, but it feels like they ignore God when they are together. I don't like that.
And, going back to the verse, we are not supposed to waste our time saying words "to no profit," but to say things that matter! Has someone ever told you, "don't waste your breath?" Why would they say that? Because you are talking too much or about some thing that you shouldn't waste your breath on! God gave us our mouths to do good with, but people do much evil with their mouths.
Verse fifteen is a little happier verse. :) It says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." This has always been one of my very favorite verses! In it, Paul tells us to study to show ourselves approved unto God. What does that mean? Well, in the other version it is said, "Put out every effort to present yourself to God as one who has stood the test." So, we must work hard/study/put out every effort, to present ourselves unto God.
What must we work hard at/study/put out our every effort towards? At first glance, you might think that Paul is promoting salvation by works, but that is not what he is doing because he knew that was wrong. Paul knew that Christ Jesus came down to earth to die for sinners to save them, so obviously he would not promote something he knew to be false.
Paul was talking about standing "the test." What is "the test?" Well, I think, that when Paul speaks of standing "the test, " he is talking about earth. Huh? Earth? Yes! A Christian does not think much of life here on earth, they are always looking upward towards their goal. Being on earth is kinda like an entrance exam into college, in the way that if you pass the test you get to go to college, if you pass the test here on earth, then you get to go to heaven and "receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12.
I think, that Paul himself was a good example of this. Because he was faithful and true to God even in the face of persecution and prison and death. He passed his test here on earth. He did not deny Jesus Christ, so He will not deny him in front of God the Father. It is the same with us, if we are faithful unto death then God will reward us with eternal life!
The next part of the verse says, "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed." We do not need to be ashamed of Christ, the gospel, other Christians, or ourselves. Just what Paul tells Timothy in this book, in chapter one!
The last part is very confusing, it says, "rightly dividing the word of truth." I have never dug into this verse even though I have liked it for as long as I can remember, but what I have always thought that this part meant, is that the workman/Christian should be able to understand, and apply what the Bible says. Doesn't that make sense? Well, today I read about this verse in the commentary by Barclay, and what he says about it is quite interesting, I have to share it with y'all!
"Further, Timothy is urged in a famous phrase rightly to divide the word of truth. The Greek word translated to divide rightly is interesting. It is orthotomein, which literally means to cut rightly. It has many pictures in it. Calvin connected it with a father dividing out the food at a meal and cutting it up so that each member of the family received the right portion. Beza connected it with the cutting up of sacrificial victims so that each part was correctly apportioned to the altar or to the priest. The Greeks themselves used the word in three different connections. They used it for driving a straight road across country, for ploughing a straight furrow across a field, and for the work of a mason in cutting and squaring a stone so that it fitted into its correct place in the structure of the building. So the man who rightly divides the word of truth, drives a straight road through the truth and refuses to be lured down pleasant but irrelevant bypaths; he takes each section of the truth, and fits it into its correct position, as a mason does a stone, allowing no part to usurp an undue place and so knock the whole structure out of balance."
Sorry I quoted so much. :P Well, that's all for now. Have a great weekend! God bless! ~Buttercup~
Thursday, July 30, 2009
10. Therefore I endure all things for the elects' sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13. If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
In verse ten, Paul starts out by saying that he endures "all things." What does he mean by "all things?" He means, ridicule, other sufferings, prison, etc. Things that you don't get because you want them, but because you stood up for what you believed in, and those were the results. Remember, "the gospel brings sufferings." He says that he endures all of those things "for the elects' sakes." Who is he talking about? God's chosen people. Remember a few days ago, when I wrote about what Paul said about the Christian soldier? I said that we would talk more later about "Him who hath chosen him." Well, now is the time.
God knows everything. He knows all about you; he knows what you have done, are doing, and what you will do. It says in 1st John 3:20 that God knows everything. He knew all about everyone and everything before he laid the foundations of the world! What does that mean? The point I am trying to get at, is that God knew already who would believe in Him. God chose us. So we are "elected." We are the "elects." So, when Paul says that he endures "all things for the elects' sakes," he means that through his sufferings, and the sufferings of other Christians all throughout time and the world, it makes it easier for the later Christians to follow. Paul knew that he was not suffering in vain. He knew that what he preached was true, and he knew that God was more powerful than anything he could imagine. We serve a great God!
Verses eleven, twelve and thirteen are all one sentence with one thought, so we're going to do them together. :) I am going to make a list of what we can do and what the reward will be, it will help me get my thoughts straight and hopefully it will be easier to understand.
- If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
- If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:
- If we deny him, he also will deny us:
- If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
The next one says, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." Now what does that mean? Well, quite a few times in the New Testament, does it say that we will receive a crown. 2nd Timothy 4:28, James 1:12, 1st Peter 5:4, and Revelation 2:10, are some. But, receiving a crown, and what most people think of when thinking of "reign," is not what Paul means, I think. We will obviously not be "in charge" of heaven. We will be worshiping God before his throne! I can't think of the passage right now, but the Bible says that when we get our crowns that we will cast them at Jesus' feet, and give him our all. Another passage that talks about this same thing is Romans 8:17, it says, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." That's exactly what it says in 2nd Timothy! If we suffer with him, then we may also reign/be glorified together!
The next one should give you shivers! It does me! It says that if we deny him, then he will deny us. In Matthew 10:33 it says, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." That is a scary thought isn't it?! If we deny to follow Christ here on earth, if we tell others that we don't believe/trust/follow Jesus Christ; then he will deny us in front of God the Father on judgment day! He will say that he never knew us! We will go to hell, because we denied him! What could be more scary than that?! That is why tons of Christians all throughout history were martyrs, because they refused to deny Christ in the face of their troubles. Recall that Paul first tells us that the gospel brings sufferings, then he tells us that if we deny Christ, then we will also be denied.
The last one is not the same as the others. It says that "if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful." In the other version it is put, "if we are faithless, he remains faithful." So, even when we don't believe, he is still faithful. Even when we are faithless, he is faithful always. We can always trust God to do what he says, we can't always do that with people. God is perfect, we are not. There is a quote that I really like, it goes, "God is still God, and I am still not." God is so much greater than us! It is so humbling to read through a passage in the Bible and not understand it completely, even when we read it over and over and over again!
The second part of the verse says, "he cannot deny himself." What in the world does that mean? I did not really get it 'til I read what Barclay wrote on this verse, "These things are so because they are part of the very nature of God. A man may deny himself, but God cannot. 'God is not man that he should lie, or a son of man that he should repent' (Numbers 23:19). God will never fail the man who has tried to be true to him, but not even he can help the man who has refused to have anything to do with him."
What does it mean to deny yourself? Well, going back a little, what does it mean to deny something? According to the definition on Dictionary.com, it means "to state that (something declared or believed to be true) is not true," or "to refuse to recognize or acknowledge." And, to deny yourself is "to refrain from satisfying one's desires or needs; practice self-denial." As human beings, we can deny ourselves. But Jesus cannot deny himself, because he is immortal, he cannot die, and he does not need anything.
Well, that was a big bite to swallow! I never really thought before about that last verse, verse 13, and what it meant. Really, I never spent much time thinking about any of those verses. I hope this helped you understand it better, as much as it helped me today. God bless, y'all! Buttercup :)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
8. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9. Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
I see a few things that Paul is saying in verse eight. The first thing I see is that Jesus Christ is in the line of King David. Of course, I already knew that, but if this was the first verse in the Bible that you had ever read, then that would be new news to you, wouldn't it! Do you remember who King David was? He was the little boy with the sling shot who killed the lion and bear, then the giant Philistine Goliath; then later was make King of Israel.
The second thing is that Jesus was raised from the dead! Wouldn't that be awesome news if you had never heard it before?! Our Savior is risen! Not only was he raised, but he still lives! Have you ever read the story of Jesus' death and resurrection? If you haven't then you should! Even if you have before, it is an incredible story, and we should read it often. It is found in Matthew 27-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 23-24, and John 19-20.
The third thing I see is that Paul says "according to my gospel" or "as I preached the gospel to you." So, Paul obviously not only preached that Christ died to take away our sins, but also that he rose again! The gospel, meaning, the wonderful news of Christ's resurrection.
The first word in that verse we kinda skipped over, it is "remember." Remember that Jesus is of the seed of David, and that he rose again, just as Paul told people of that time. Why is it important to "remember" this? Because if you recall that Jesus loved you so much that he willingly died in your place, and took away your sins; then you will want to serve and love him back won't you? That's what it makes me want to do. And not only that but when I think how much I want to be as loving, caring, and compassionate as my Savior was to others; it kinda makes me see how imperfect I am, and how much I need Jesus Christ.
In verse nine Paul talks about bonds, and being bound. He starts "wherein I suffer trouble." Why did he suffer trouble? Because he preached the gospel. Remember verse eight in chapter one? It said that the gospel brings afflictions. In the next part of the verse Paul says, "as an evil doer, even unto bonds." So, in the eyes of non-Christians, he was a criminal; so much so that they chained him to a Roman soldier constantly! They thought he was leading the people to follow a false god, so he was a criminal in their eyes.
The last part of that verse is very, very important!!! Read it carefully!!! "...but the word of God is not bound." Why would that be important? Because if something is bound then it can't move, right? If something is not bound then it is free, correct? Some of you might say no to that last question. Why? Because if you are in a jail or prison cell, and you are not a really dangerous criminal, then you are usually not bound; you're free to move about your cell. But let's not get too literal!
If the word of God is not bound, then it is free! Even thought Paul is in prison, the word of God is not! Even if someone burned or locked up all the Bibles in the world, and got rid of every single Christian, then people would still know about God. They would see it in His creation! The word of God is not and cannot be bound! Isn't that a wonderful, and comforting thought?!
Well, that's all for now! I hope that this blessed you today. God bless! **Buttercup**
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
5. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
Verse five in the KJV is not very clear, at least to me it's not, "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully." So, I am also going to put it down in a different version, "And if anyone engages in athletic contest, he does not win the crown unless he observes the rules of the game." It is the same in the Christian life, that is why Paul makes this example. Remember how Paul used the example of a soldier in verses three and four? He told how a soldier has to behave, and what he must do; just like Christians. Today we are looking at two more examples that he makes.
A Christian is like an athlete for God. An athlete is someone who competes in games. What must an athlete do? He or she must train for the games, they have to get into shape and get ready to compete, but they must stay in shape, they must always be ready to compete. So also a Christian must "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." 1st Peter 3:15.
An athlete is also disciplined, they have to be strict with themselves. If you are just about to leave to compete in a game are you going to eat cake and ice cream? No! You are going to eat something that will give you the energy you need to compete! A Christian must be disciplined also. Remember when we talked about having a sound mind and self-discipline? What did "self-discipline" mean? Remember, I said, "What is self-discipline? Well, what is discipline? It can mean either punishment or training. So self-discipline is punishing yourself or training yourself."
Is it always easy to do what we want to do? Well, not necessarily, what if you wanted to go on a missions trip to Africa tomorrow? Is that going to be easy to do? Probably not! Is it always easy to walk on the easy path? Yes. The easy path of life in my mind means, video games, computer games, ice cream, cake, etc. all the time. Whatever you desire to make you comfortable. But can an athlete do that? Can they walk on the easy path? They can, but they probably won't win anything. If we want to succeed as Christians then we must take the more difficult path, if we go down the easy path of life then we will not win a prize. We will fail.
An athlete must observe the rules. He is saying that anyone who does not obey the rules of the game will not win. Have you ever gone to, played, or watched some sort of game? (Such as, baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, etc.) Does anyone try to cheat sometimes? Well, if someone does then they are not "observing the rules of the game," and they will not win the prize. To win/succeed then you must obey the rules. It's the same for the Christian, we have to obey the rules to be able to succeed.
William Barclay puts it well in the commentary, "The Christian, too, is often brought into contest with his fellow-men. He must defend his faith; he must seek to convince and to persuade; he will have to argue and to debate. He must do so by the Christian rules. No matter how hot the argument, he must never forget his courtesy. He must never be anything else but honest about his own position and fair to that of his opponent." He goes on to say that the "supreme rule of the Christian life is love, and he will carry that love into every debate in which he engaged." So, the biggest, most important, rule for the Christian to follow is love. We must love. Just like Jesus said, "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you." Matthew 5:44.
Verses four says, "The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits." What does that mean? Well, the first time you read it, it should make sense. The man who works gets to be the first partaker of what he grew. But what is Paul trying to tell Timothy through this example? Well, a farmer who plants a crop of (for example) wheat, he will have to plow the ground, then plant the seeds, then wait for the wheat to grow. Does the wheat pop up the first night after he plants it? No! (Most people would probably love that though!) It takes time, a long time, for that wheat to grow up ready to be harvested. So, the farmer must be patient, and wait for the wheat to turn from green to gold, so that he can harvest it. It is the same for the Christian. He must sow a crop of the word of God into the hearts of others, then he must wait, for results which usually do not come quickly. It may take years for you to see the results in someone, or you may not know the results until you get to heaven.
One thing that I got out of the commentary today is another characteristic in a farmer. It is that they never know their work hours! They never know how long they will have to work each day. They work on whatever needs work. So also with the Christian. Remember 1st Peter 3:15, we must "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." We can't just be "Sunday" Christians, we have to be "all the time" Christians!
The last verse today is verse seven. It says, "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things." It is clear what Paul is saying, he is saying to not only read what he says but to consider/think about it. Then he says that the Lord will give Timothy "understanding in all things." So, if you meditate on the scriptures, and think about them, and consider them, then the Lord will help you understand it.
I like what Barclay writes in the last paragraph, "One thing remains in all three pictures. The soldier is upheld by the thought of final victory. The athlete is upheld by the vision of the crown. The husbandman is upheld my the hope of the harvest. Each submits to the discipline and the toil for the sake of the glory which shall be. It is so with the Christian." We have a goal too! We are upheld by the thought of one day getting to heaven to be with our Savior and God!!! Wow! Our goal is so much greater, and our struggle is also so much greater. But we also have help through our sufferings, struggles, pains, and persecution. God is always right there next to us!
God bless, y'all! In Christ, Buttercup.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Now before I begin, I have to admit that I have made a big mistake, the one thing I have neglected to do before Bible study every day is to ask God for His guidance as we go through this book. It is always important to pray, not only when we are studying His word, but all the time. 1st Thessalonians 5:17 says, "pray without ceasing." So now, let's pray before we start today.
Today we are starting the second chapter of second Timothy!
1. Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
The first thing in this verse that you should notice is that Paul again calls Timothy his son. Remember when we studied this the first day? The first day, we talked about how Paul and Timothy were close, and that Paul instructed Timothy in the gospel, and he probably led him to Christ.
In the other half of the first verse Paul tells Timothy to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus," or "Find your strength in the grace which is in Christ Jesus." So is Paul telling Timothy to find his strength in things of this world? No! Just the opposite! He is saying to find your strength in Jesus' grace! Remember grace? God's Redemption At Christ's Expense? He is telling Timothy to lean on Jesus! To go to him for the strength you need! We all need to listen to what Paul is saying here. Who or what do you go to when you need help or encouragement? Answer truthfully. Do you go to Jesus for help and strength and encouragement? Do you dive into God's word when you feel overwhelmed or alone? God is the ultimate giver of help, strength, and encouragement. That is what Paul is trying to tell Timothy here, to go to the one being that is never busy and always has time for you when you need strength to go on! People are busy, they don't always have time; people are mortal, they don't always have all the answers. God is never busy, he has all the time in the world for you; God is everlasting, he has all the answers!
The second verse is about teaching. It is spit up into three parts separated by commas. The first part says, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses." What does that mean? Well it is obviously not a complete sentence. :P What is Paul talking about that he has told Timothy and many other people before? About God and Jesus Christ!
So, the first part of the verse doesn't make much sense until you read the other part so let's do that, "the same commit thou to faithful men." What is "the same?" The things that Timothy and many other people have heard Paul preach. Who are "faithful men?" Faithful men, I think, is referring to men in the Church that are true Christians, men who are not ashamed of the gospel. So in the second part of the verse Paul tells Timothy to "commit" or "entrust" the gospel to strong/faithful Christian men.
The third and final part of this verse says, "who shall be able to teach others also." So not only do the faithful men have to be strong/faithful Christians, but they have to be men who have the courage and gift to "teach others also." So, all together the verse says, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." Why is it important to commit the gospel? So that more people can be taught about Jesus Christ, and why he came to save us. Why is it important to commit it to faithful men? So that they not only teach the right things, but that they also keep doing it, and they have the courage to speak out.
For the next two verses Paul talks about being a soldier of Jesus Christ. In verse one he tells Timothy to "endure hardness" or "accept your share in suffering." Remember, Paul talked about this in chapter one verse eight. What does it mean to "endure hardness?" Well, just like what we talked about in part three, the gospel brings hardships. But why would someone translate it into, "accept your share in suffering?" Because Timothy was a Christian, and since the gospel/being a Christian, brings hardships and sufferings, then Timothy would have a share in the sufferings for Christ. If you are a Christian then you do too, you must also "accept your share in suffering." The devil is not going to let us off easy! He is out to destroy us, but we must stand firm, and accept the sufferings that come our way. That is pretty easy to say (without thinking much about it), but is it easy to do? No.
The next part of that verse says, "as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." So, not only do we have to "endure hardness" but we must to do it as a good soldier. A good soldier never gives up, never backs down, has a good attitude, obeys without question, is faithful to do as he is told, is loyal to his officer/officers, and is willing to die for their cause. That is a good soldier.
Verse four also talks about being a soldier of Jesus Christ. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life," or "No soldier who is on active service entangles himself in ordinary civilian business; he lays aside such things." In other words, if you are a soldier then you are not supposed to participate and/or get caught up in the things of civilian life/ordinary life. So, if you are a Christian soldier then you are not supposed to get caught up in things of this world. Of course, we live on this earth, and we are mortal, so we have to work so that we have food to eat and shelter, and we must sleep, and take care of our bodies. Also, if we have families to take care of, then we have to provide for them. So, is Paul saying that if you are a Christian then you can't have anything to do with this world, and other people? No! Absolutely not! He is saying that as a Christian, not to get caught up with the things of this world, such as, money, cars, electronics, etc.
"He lays aside such things." When you become a Christian you are supposed to lay aside things that distract you from your Savior and your God. But do we? Is Paul saying that we have to give up everything? I don't think so, I think that we are supposed to get rid of everything that we think is more important than God. So, we have to ask ourselves, is God our number one priority? Is He the first thing we think about in the morning? Do we pray before we start our day? Do we love God more than we love our things? Do we worship God or something else?
Next Paul says, "that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." Who is Paul talking about? Well, if you go to enlist there is someone there who will ask you questions, and then they will decide if they think you will make a good soldier or not. So they "chose" you. God chooses his soldiers. If you are a Christian then God chose you as a soldier in his army! We will talk more about this when we get to verse ten. Look forward to it if you want!
We all make mistakes; God forgives. We all fall down sometimes; God lifts us up. We all go through hard times; God helps us through. God is our commander, the ultimate commander. Our commander knows exactly what is best for us. Our commander is perfect, He never makes mistakes. Our commander always has victory! God bless. ~Buttercup~
Sunday, July 26, 2009
As for having my room clean every Friday night, I am keeping it clean! Mostly... Well, kind of, I have been keeping my part of the room in order, the other part is not really my concern. That is my sisters' part, their place, I don't go over there unless I have to! Just kidding. :P
My Bible reading is going pretty good, I kinda dropped it when I started the study on 2nd Timothy. But I am on Titus, and I promise to pick it up again this week! Not far to go!
Thanks for reading, I know this is really boring compared to the Bible study. :)
What do y'all think of the study? Are y'all liking it? I want the truth! I know I go really long, but I want to dig! I want to dig deep into God's word! So, if y'all want me to go longer that probably won't be too big of a problem for me! lol. <3 Buttercup <3
I am not going to do all of the verses, but here are the points that I saw that Paul makes in 2nd Timothy chapter one.
- He really wants to see Timothy again. Verse four.
- Timothy has a strong faith (unfeigned faith), and his grand-mother and mother also believed. Verse five.
- Paul writes about the spirit that God gives us (not a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind). Verse seven.
- He tells Timothy not to be ashamed (of the testimony of the Lord, and of him). Verse eight.
- He says that he is not ashamed (of his sufferings). Verse twelve.
- He tells what he is (Preacher, apostle, and teacher). Verse eleven.
- He tells Timothy to "hold fast to sound words...in faith and love..."(to tell others about God, just as Paul has told him). Verse thirteen.
- He writes about the many people who deserted him (including Phygellus and Hermongenes), and the one who was faithful (Onesiphorus). Verses fifteen through eighteen.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
15. This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermongenes.
16. The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus: for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
17. But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
In verse thirteen Paul says, "Hold fast the form of sound words." What does he mean by that? Well, in a different version it says, "Hold fast the pattern of health-giving." Paul, I think, is telling Timothy not to change something, to "hold fast" is to stay in one place, to not move. For example, when in battle, the commander has the choice whether to tell his troops to retreat or to stand their ground, or in other words, "hold fast." The thing that Paul wants Timothy to hold fast is "sound words," or "health-giving words."
What does "sound words" mean? It means that the words are true, pure, not false, or whole. How about "health-giving words?" What does it mean when you are healthy? It means that you are not sick, you feel good, and you are "sound." Something that gives you health is usually good, right? Well, yeah! So would "health-giving words" be good or bad for you? Good! So, Paul is telling Timothy to keep using good, useful, helpful, healthy, sound, words! In other words, I think Paul is telling Timothy to lift up others, and preach the gospel to them! Probably, mostly to other believers. A good verse that goes with this is Titus 1:9, "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by wound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." Titus is another letter Paul wrote. :)
Right after Paul tells Timothy to "hold fast the form of sound words," he says, "which thou hast heard of me," or "received from me." So, Paul had told Timothy before these "sound words." He had taught Timothy what he needed to know, he had instructed Timothy in God's word. And he taught Timothy enough so that Timothy could go teach others!
He next says, "in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." So not only does Paul tell Timothy to teach others the gospel with sound and health-giving words," but he tells him to do it in the "faith and love which is in Christ Jesus!" That is very important! We are supposed to tell others about Jesus Christ, but we should always do it in faith and love. One way we show that we are Christians is by our attitudes, "your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus," Philippians 2:5. Do you think that people would want to become Christians if we taught them without any love for anyone, even God? Or taught them something that we did not believe in? No. that is why Paul says to do it in faith and love. Another big thing is, who are we representing? Who sent us out? God. We need to remember that we are representing God, we are His. It is like when you go to a big spelling bee, you are picked out of your school to go "represent" it in the bee.
Verse fourteen is pretty short, and Paul only tells Timothy one thing, "That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." And in the other version, "Guard the fine trust that has been given to you through the Holy Spirit who dwells in you." What good/fine thing is Paul telling Timothy to keep/guard? Well, in the second version it says, "the fine trust." What could he mean by that? I am not sure of this, myself. It might be trust in God, or faith in God, shown to us by the Holy Spirit. Well, what has to happen for the Holy Spirit to dwell in you? You have to believe that Jesus died on the cross to take away your sins so that you can live forever in heaven with God. So, after trusting that Jesus has saved and is saving you the Holy Spirit comes to live inside you to help you, that might be what Paul is talking about here. What are your thoughts on the meaning of this verse?
In verses fifteen through eighteen Paul tells Timothy about the many people that deserted him when he was taken prisoner, and then the one person who was faithful to Paul and did not desert him. In verse fifteen Paul tells us that all they in Asia have turned away from him. When Paul says Asia, he is not talking about the nowadays continent, he is referring to the the Roman province in eastern Asia minor. (Thanks, Barclay! :P) Then he tells us two of the names of people who deserted him, Phygellus and Hemongenes. I have no idea who these people were, but Paul and Timothy probably both knew them pretty well, for Paul to mention their names. But, Timothy already knew that these people had deserted him.
The next three verses tell of a man named Onesiphorus, and how he did not desert Paul in his time of need. The first verse says, "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain." It is clear that Paul had a faithful friend in Onesiphorus, for he says that he was not ashamed of Paul's imprisonment. Remember in verse eight, how Paul was telling Timothy not to be ashamed of him? Now Paul has an example of someone who was not at all ashamed of his imprisonment. It is clear that even before Paul was in prison, Onesiphorus was his friend, for he says that he "oft refreshed me."
Verse seventeen. In this verse Paul says that while Onesiphorus was in Rome he tried very hard to find him, and finally found him in the prison. Then, in verse eighteen, Paul says, "The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well." Paul was so grateful to Onesiphorus, that he asked the Lord to give him mercy on judgement day. Next he says that Onesiphorus ministered to him at Ephesus. What does he mean by "ministered?" Well, I think that since in verse fifteen that Onesiphorus often refreshed him, that whenever he was close by he gave him a place to stay, and food and water. And always his friendship. But, again, Paul says that Timothy already knew that.
Well, that was the end of chapter one! I honestly thought I would do one chapter at a time, and this study would be only four parts long, but God had other plans. And I am glad. I am getting a lot more out of this than I thought, and I hope that you are too! Also, it is keeping me from being idle and useless all day after school! :P Thanks for reading! Obviously, feedback is much wanted! lol.
Friday, July 24, 2009
10. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
11. Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Verse ten starts, "but is now made manifest." What is made manifest? Well, it does not make sense if you only read verse ten. But if you read verses eight and nine first then it makes sense. Lets do a little review here, in verse eight Paul says to not be ashamed, in verse nine he is talking about Jesus saving us and calling us with a holy calling, not according to our works but by his own purpose and grace which was given to us by Christ Jesus before the world began. So then, verse ten says that it is now made manifest. What is now made manifest? The fact that God is saving us, and has called us! The next thing that Paul covers in this sentence is what it is made manifest by. "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ." So, the fact that God is saving us and called us, is made obvious by the appearing of Jesus Christ our Savior!
What did Jesus do? And, how is it made obvious that God saved us and called us? The second part of the verse says, "who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." It says that Jesus did those things. So it is clear what Jesus accomplished by dying for us on the cross, he "abolished death," and he "brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." And now, how. How is it made obvious that God saved us and called us? Paul says the answer at the end of that verse! "...to light through the gospel." In God's word, the Bible, it is made obvious! I hope that made some sense to y'all, that was a really hard verse!
In the next verse Paul tells Timothy what he is; what he is appointed to be. Paul says, "whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." Who appointed Paul to these positions? God or man? God. Dictionary.com defines appointed in many ways, but one is "pre-determined." So, in other words, Paul was "pre-determined" or "predestined" by God to be a preacher, apostle, and a teacher. In Acts 9:15, right after Paul's conversion, we read, "But the Lord said unto him (Ananias), Go thy way: for he (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel." Next we are going to do some questions and answers about these three positions. Please don't read my answers until you think of yours. :)
Preacher. What is the first thing you think of when you think of a preacher? I think of the pastor of a church. Why? Because he preaches the word of God on Sunday mornings to his congregation. So, Paul was a preacher, he taught the people at the cities he went to about God.
Apostle. What is the first thing you think of when you think of an apostle? I think of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Why? The first reason is because the Bible calls them apostles; the second reason is because an apostle is someone who is sent out to preach the gospel, and the disciples went to many different cities to preach God's word. Apostle is "a title borne by persons sent on foreign missions." So really, are missionaries and apostles the same thing? No, the name missionary is given to a person who is "sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities." (I do not fully agree with this definition, because I think that you can be sent out by God alone, for example, Corrie Ten Boom is counted as a missionary, but she was not sent out by a church, she just ministered to people whenever she was near people who would listen.) But it can also mean someone who is sent out on foreign missions. So, the title of missionary means that you are sent to minister to others. The title of apostle means that you are sent out to a foreign place to tell others about God. Yet, they are really quite similar.
The last one is teacher. What is the first thing you think about when you think of a teacher? I think of a school teacher. Why? Because they teach people things; such as, math, reading, science, etc. But that was not the kind of teacher Paul was, he did not go from city to city teaching people how to read, write, and do arithmetic; he taught people about God, he told them to turn away from their sins and live lives for the glory of God! And some did, and the ones that became Christians, Paul encouraged in the faith, and taught them more about God and Jesus. He even wrote them letters, the books of Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians were all written to the Christians of the different cities he ministered in.
Lastly, verse 12. In this verse Paul again tells Timothy that he is suffering for Christ, but not to be ashamed of him. He starts out by saying, "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed." That is just like what he was saying in verse eight! So, Paul once again states he is not ashamed to suffer for Christ. Paul goes on to write, "for I know whom I have believed." In the other version I am using it puts it as, "for I know him in whom my belief is fixed." So it is clear that Paul knows who he believes in, and he is so sure that it is "fixed," it is sure, it will never move. Wow! Paul's belief in God is so great that it is immovable and unchangeable! Do you have faith in God like that? That is something to think about!
Paul goes on to say, "and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." Or in the other version, "and I am quite certain that he is able to keep safe what I have entrusted to him until the last day comes." So, once again Paul shows the strength of his faith in God. Paul says that he is "persuaded" and "quite certain" that God will keep it safe. But, what is it? What did Paul entrust to God? His work and his life. He simply put his career, and his entire life into God's hands to do as He saw fit. Incredible. He just said, "God take it. Take my work and my life, and do with them as you wish. They are yours, I give everything to you." Wow! Can you do that? Do you trust God enough to place everything in His hands? Paul had amazing faith!
The very last part of verse twelve is, "...against that day," or "...until the last day comes." What does he mean by the last day? Does he mean the end of his life? or the end of the world, when Jesus comes back? I am not sure of that. It really could mean either one. What are your thoughts on this?
That's it for now. :) I hope y'all are enjoying reading this, and that I am making some sense!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9. Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
In verse seven Paul tells Timothy that God has not given us the spirit of fear. What is the spirit of fear? What is fear? In short, fear is an emotion, and you feel afraid. Dictionary.com defines fear as a "distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid." I think that is the kind of fear Paul is talking about here, not a holy fear, not a fear of God. So Paul says that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but we are afraid sometimes, if God did not give us a spirit of fear, then how do you explain that? Well, there is good fear and bad fear. Good fear is like a fear of heights, if you were not afraid at all of heights then you might be careless on top on something high and fall off. And example of a bad or useless fear is like being afraid of what you will eat tomorrow, you are not trusting in God if you fear that. For God said not to worry what we shall eat or what we shall wear, because since God feeds the sparrows and clothes the lilies, will he not clothe us since we are more important then them? That is the kind of fear that Paul is talking about to Timothy.
What is the opposite of fear? Courage. So if God did not give us a spirit of fear, then we should be courageous. It takes courage to be a Christian, it really does. If you are a Christian then you probably dress, act, talk, and behave differently than non-Christians. To do that, you have to have courage, because you might get teased, ignored, ridiculed, and in some countries, thrown in jail or even killed. So Paul is probably trying to get Timothy ready for what might happen to him later in life, also in the next verse you will see that Paul talks about his being a prisoner, but tells Timothy not to be ashamed. The next part tells us what God did give us spirits of; power, love, and a sound mind. The spirit he talks about is the Holy Spirit. "And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you." Acts 1:8
Power. A Christian must have the power to cope with being ridiculed, persecuted, and killed. So God helps us. He gave us the spirit of power so that we can "do all things through Christ which strengthens me."* We must keep the faith. We must trust God that He knows what is best. The commentary that I am using for this study says it really good, "A Christian is characteristically the man who could pass the breaking-point and not break."
The next one is love. I am not sure if Paul is meaning right here to love other believers (the brethren) or his enemies, Paul knows that God wants us to love everyone, even our enemies, but I am not sure which Paul means in this verse, and I don't know if Timothy was having any problems loving the brethren or his enemies. But, in William Barclay's commentary, he says that in this verse Paul is talking about love for the brethren. So we will just go with that. We must love each other as Christ loved us, Christ loved the church so we should do likewise.
The last one is a sound mind. In a different version, it says self-discipline. What does it mean to have a sound mind? I think that a sound mind ties in with what we talked about yesterday in verse five when Paul is talking about Timothy's unfeigned faith. To be at peace in your mind, to know what you believe. But it is also put "self-discipline." What is self-discipline? Well, what is discipline? It can mean either punishment or training. So self-discipline is punishing yourself or training yourself. I think Paul is talking about both at the same time! He is saying that God gave us the power to know when we are doing something wrong and correct ourselves, and that God gave us the power to train ourselves to do something. For example, if you shoplift anytime you can, and you know it's wrong, then you have the power to control yourself and stop shoplifting, and in punishing yourself, and getting a clear conscience you have the power to go tell the police and/or the store owner(s) what you have been doing. And now, training yourself. For example, you can train yourself to get up at six o'clock every morning to read your Bible and pray. It will become a habit before long, and you will have trained your mind to set of the alarm at exactly six every morning. Another great example for self-discipline that my Dad thought of, is fasting. To fast something you have to control your desire to eat, do, or use that certain thing. You can fast food, computer, cell phone, sugar foods, etc. All it is is not eating, doing, or using a certain thing so that you can pray and read God's word.
Now verse eight. Paul talks about two things in particular in this verse; the first one is not to be ashamed. He tells Timothy not to be ashamed of the "testimony of our Lord." Or, in another version, "do not be ashamed to bear your witness to our Lord."He is saying that we should not be ashamed to tell others about Jesus Christ. We should be proud to know our Savior personally! We should tell others about Him without being ashamed. It is like having your best friend from school, grow up and become president of the United States, and then be ashamed to admit that he is your best friend.
Then Paul tells Timothy not to be ashamed of him; right now, Paul is a prisoner and criminal in the eyes of most, because he proclaimed the Word of God. Barclay puts it well in his commentary. He says, "For Timothy, it meant loyalty to a man who was regarded as a criminal, because as Paul wrote he was in a prison in Rome." Just put yourself in Timothy's place. He loved Paul, but Paul was a prisoner, a criminal in the eyes of non-Christians. If you are the friend of a criminal, then you are looked down upon; and Timothy did not want that. But Paul tells him not to be ashamed of him, for whatever happened to him, Paul knew it was God's will. He just had to get Timothy to understand that.
Paul says next to "be thou a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God." And in the other version it is put, "but accept with me the suffering which the gospel brings, and do so in the power of God." Paul is simply telling Timothy to accept and partake of sufferings and afflictions that the gospel brings. Paul says clearly that the gospel brings sufferings and afflictions, just like in the beginning of verse seven. In being a Christian, you will face trials and afflictions and sufferings, but God helps us through!
The last part of the verse says "according to the power of God," or "and do so in the power of God." We will obviously not be alone in our sufferings, even if we are not around other Christians, God is with us, and Jesus Christ, his son, already went through pain and sufferings to give us eternal life. God will never leave us, nor forsake us. Isn't that a wonderful thought?! I know it gives me peace, and the courage to go on.
And that brings me to the last verse we will do today. Verse nine starts by saying, "who saved us, and called us with a holy calling." Who is Paul talking about? Christ Jesus! He saved us and then called us to go preach the gospel to everyone!
"Not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace." We cannot earn our way into heaven, Christ Jesus had to come down from heaven to die for us wretched sinners. We cannot do anything, say anything, or earn our way into heaven. So God sent his only Son down to earth to live a perfect life, so that he could be that perfect, spotless lamb, and die in our place. Wow. Read that again. Think about it for a minute. Can you imagine God coming down to take our place? That is so amazing! If God did not come down and die for us, then we would all go to hell, we would have no way to get to heaven. Or, if Jesus sinned one little time on earth, if He fell into temptation, then he would not be able to save us, because he would have to pay for his own sin. The verse says that not by works can we get into heaven, but only "according to his own purpose and grace."
Then the last part of the verse, "which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." So, God already had his huge, ultimate, plan ready long before he sent Jesus to earth. It was purposed, it wasn't an accident. It also says, by His grace. I had a children's church teacher once that told us the meaning of grace. He said it was: God's Redemption At Christ Expense. In other words, God redeemed us and Jesus Christ paid the price.
Well, that's all for today, at least for now. :) Feedback is very welcome, as usual!
*Philippians 4:13, by Paul.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Appeal for Faithfulness
3. I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4. Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy:
5. when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
In verse three Paul says that he thanks God "whom he serves with a clear/pure conscience." What does it mean to have a clear/pure conscience? It means that you know that you are clean, you know that you have done nothing wrong. But Paul was a sinner like the rest of us, how could he have a clean conscience if he was a sinner? Because he knew that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for his sins, that He died in his place. That is what Jesus did for everyone who believes. He died so that we could live forever in heaven! That is the reason why Paul can honestly say that he serves God with a clear/pure conscience. Paul also says that he serves God "from my forefathers," what does that mean? Well, in a different version it puts it as, "I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience, as my forefathers did before me." Who is he referring to as his "forefathers?" I think he might be referring to our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If not that, then maybe his father, grandfather, and/or great-grandfathers, believed in the Messiah. I am not so sure of this myself. Next he informs Timothy that he is in his prayers every day, night and day; without ceasing, Paul says, he remembers Timothy. That must have been really encouraging to Timothy to know that Paul was interceding in prayer for him.
In the next verse Paul makes it quite clear that he can't wait to see him! All of us have at least one person in this world that we love and care about so much that we just want to be around them, Paul was the same way. He and Timothy were so close that he called him "son," and really wanted to see him again. The next part of this verse is sort of confusing, it says: "...being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy." Why would Paul be happy if Timothy was sad? I was very confused about this 'til I read it today in a different version in the Barclay commentary, it put it this way, "remembering your tears when we parted, I never cease to yearn to see you, that I may be filled with joy." Do you cry when someone you love leaves for a long time? I do. I cried a lot when my Dad went overseas to fight in the war. It hurts to see someone you love leave you. It was the same with Timothy, he loved Paul so much that he cried when he left. But Paul says that he remembers Timothy's tears, and wants to be with him again so they can both be happy. So three times or more in the book of 2nd Timothy, Paul urged Timothy to come see him.
Paul next writes about Timothy's faith. He calls Timothy's faith "unfeigned." What does unfeigned mean? According to Dictionary.com unfeigned means genuine and true. So Paul tells Timothy that he has a genuine and true faith. If you had any doubts about your faith wouldn't you love for a strong Christian friend to tell you that they thought your faith was genuine? Paul says that he calls to remembrance Timothy's unfeigned faith that is in him, then he goes on to say that Timothy's Grandmother Lois and mother Eunice shared his faith. So most likely Timothy was brought up in a believing household. At the end of that verse Paul writes: "and I am persuaded that in thee also." In the commentary it is put, this faith, "I am convinced, dwells in you also." Paul clearly states that he thinks that Timothy's faith is genuine, that it dwells in him, that he really, truly believes it. Paul has that firm confidence in Timothy, he believes in him. That must have given Timothy an awesome sense of peace, and happiness, to know that his "father" Paul believed in him.
The last verse I am going to cover today is verse 6. In it Paul tells Timothy that "thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." In the commentary it puts it as: "That is why I send you this reminder to keep at white heat the gift that is in you and which came to you through the laying of my hands upon you." So the in the first part Paul reminds Timothy to stir up the gift of God that is in him, to use it for God's purpose. In the other version it says "to keep at the white heat the gift that is in you." Why "white heat?" White heat is probably referring to fire, a very hot fire, a white flame. So, Paul is telling Timothy to keep his fire burning, "to keep at white heat the gift that is in you." What do you have to do to keep a fire burning? Well, you usually have to tend it. You have to work on it so that it will keep going. I think that is what Paul is trying to get at, he is trying to tell Timothy to keep his fire blazing, to use his gift for good, not just let it sit around and go to waste. To "stir up" is the same thing, to stir something up what must you do? Move! Do something! If you are making a cake you can't just put the ingredients in the pan and throw it in the oven. yuk! You have to mix them up, to make one batter, not just a bowl full of ingredients. So Paul is telling Timothy to "stir up" his gift, to use it for the glory of God, not just let it sit around doing nothing. The next part of the verse says, "which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." huh? I don't know for sure what he means by that, but what I think is: Paul led Timothy to Christ, he was like his father; when someone puts their hands on someone else in church what are they usually doing? Praying for them. So, as his "father" Paul probably spent a lot of time praying for Timothy. But God gives gifts, not people. How could Paul have given Timothy a spiritual gift? He didn't. He asked God to grant Timothy a gift, because he loved him so much, but he knew that God loved Timothy much more than he ever could.
Well, that wraps up part two. I would love to hear your opinions on this set of four verses that I wrote about today! I am human, you are human, I am definitely not always right, even though I sometimes think so. :P Thanks for reading! God bless! ~Buttercup
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
2nd Timothy, chapter one, verses one and two, being the introduction.
- Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
- To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
The second verse tells us to whom Paul the apostle is writing, Timothy; or Timotheus. Paul says next: my dearly beloved son. Did he have a son? No. Was Paul even married? No. Then why does Paul say: my dearly beloved son? It was probably because they were both followers of Jesus Christ, and felt like family, and/or because Paul was kind of like a father to Timothy. He had probably taught him a lot about God, and encouraged him to come into the ministry. (I know that some people have studied Timothy and found out more about him, but I don't know much of anything about him, so please just bear with me!) Next, Paul says: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Note that Paul says, our Lord. So, it shows that they have a common faith. That they both believe the same things. What are your thoughts on this verse?
What I would advise y'all to read is Acts 9:1-22, the conversion of Paul. Paul had a unique experience in being introduced to his Savior. The first 22 verses of Acts 9 tell how Paul was showed mercy by God, and went from a big persecutor of the Church to someone who died for God. Really an amazing story of transformation!
This afternoon, for my Bible reading, I read 2nd Timothy. It is only four chapters long, but really awesome! It tells us not to be ashamed of God, to be an example to others, that God has not given us a spirit of fear, and much more! I have been wanting to do a study on a book of the Bible on here for a long time, but I did not know which one to do first. Now I know, and I think this will benefit both me and you all.
I hope to do one chapter a week, in one or more posts, but with school and just random things that come up, I don't know if I will be able to do it every week. But, we will see. :) I will be using and quoting the King James Version of the Bible, and probably using Bible Explorer, which is a computer program. Another thing, is that it probably won't be too deep, I mean, I don't have all the time in the world, and I have not gone to seminary or anything! Y'all have to understand that this is coming from a regular teenage girl! lol
And, please pray for me, as I study this book, and try to get my thoughts on it down on here; I decided that I would do this in the last few hours, so I am jumping in pretty fast, but I think that God had me read it today for a reason, for His ultimate purpose. Thanks, y'all!
Oh, and btw, please tell me what you think about this! I love to hear from my readers! As if y'all didn't know that already! :P
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
4. my own ranting =P
7. evidence for creation
8. puzzles and riddles
9. Any other. If you pick this one, please tell me what exactly you like best. :)
I would really appreciate if y'all did this! It will help me decide what to post.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
The 4th of July is the day that we not only play with and/or watch fireworks, eat watermelon, and have fun; it is a day to remember the our forefathers, and when the United States broke away from the rule of Great Britain/England. On July 4th 1776, we, the United States of America, declared our independence! We were one nation under God! Independent from England. Free to worship our God!
Why did we want to be independent? So we could freely worship God. Who came to America? Only English? No. America is made up of English, Polish, Germans, Italians, Africans, Indians, Norwegian, Russian, etc, etc, etc. But, even though American is made up of people from all ends of the earth, we became one people....
What are we free to do that some people are not? Well, there are a ton of answers to that question. We are free to decide for ourselves, chose our own education, raise our own families the way we feel right, decide our own futures, free to express our own opinions, to live where we want, and most importantly, free to worship God, read and study the Bible, and tell others about Him. In most countries, you can't build/go to a church, you can't own a Bible, you can't witness freely to others, without going to jail or getting killed. In America, we are free to go to church, there are churches everywhere here! In America, we are not only free to own a Bible, we can own as many as we want! In America, we are free to witness to others, without getting killed or thrown in jail, but do we use that freedom? Do we fellowship with other believers on other days than just Sunday? Do we read and study our Bibles daily, or even weekly? I know I can't say yes to those questions truthfully. Can you?
Independence Day, the 4th of July, in 1776 we declared our indepenence, we were independent from England, we wanted to be independent so we could worship God, but do we? Do we use the freedom that our fore fathers fought with their lives for? They said "In God we Trust," but do we? In my opinion, God should not only be in the center of our lives, our homes, and our schools, but God should be in the center of the hearts of Americans.