Friday, October 21, 2016
178 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 1Ti 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. It was just a few verses back that Paul was addressing the matter of wealth and now he returns to it, but this time it is in an entirely different vein, and the difference is very important for us. A couple of verses back, Paul was talking about those who are driven to be rich and run the risk of shipwrecking their faith as their love of mammon replaces their love of God! “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil!” But what about those people who are wealthy simply because God has blessed them? What about those who are well off because they followed good biblical stewardship? What about those who come into an inheritance, or any other kind of windfall? This is good that Paul brings this matter up because he gives great guidelines for those who are wealthy in this present age! And guess what? That would be you and I, and so many others that have been blessed to live in the affluent U.S. of A! Notice a guideline that is missing? It's that one that Jesus gave to the rich young ruler in Mt 19:21, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." It's missing, because it's not necessary. Jesus used that extreme instruction for the rich young ruler because the rich young ruler foolishly thought he could obey his way into heaven. So take heart wealthy person. There is no need to give everything away. No need to take a vow of poverty! However, there are some things that the wealthy are commanded to do. We'll look at some of these things in the days ahead!
Thursday, October 20, 2016
176 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 1Ti 6:14-16, “that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” ( 1 Tim 6:14-16) The Holy Spirit speaking through Paul, reminds us that Jesus will be returning and that the time of His appearing is only known to the Father. The Bible tells us in Mr 13:32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Then He breaks out into this wonderful praise of God! God is the blessed, that is the fully satisfied, Potentate. By that we take Him to be the only Authority who has need of nothing. He is the King of all kings, and Lord of all Lords! There are no authorities anywhere that are not subject to Him! Once again we are reminded of the truth of Ro 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” This self sufficient God has been that way throughout all eternity. He alone has immortality, every thing and every other created being has a beginning, and their beginning was in His hands, and the timing of the end will also be in His hands! He abides in unapproachable light and any hint of darkness (sin) cannot stand in His presence. 1Jo 1:5 says, “ This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” No man, tainted with sin, can see God. God told Moses in Ex 33:20, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."But God put on humanity in the form of Jesus, (God in the flesh) to give us a view of the Father, as Jesus told Phillip in John 14:9, “ He who has seen Me has seen the Father;” The Father, who is worthy of all honor and has, and will, wield His power through all eternity. Amen, (truly truly!) As Paul describes the holiness of the Father, we can't help but wonder what will become of us? How can we possibly be in His presence? We are all sinners worthy of eternal punishment! That's where Jesus comes in! And this is the Good News, it is by faith in Jesus that we are saved. God looks at us having been clothed with the righteousness of Christ and therefore we are enabled to be in the presence of God for eternity. 1Co 15:53 says, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Our only hope is to be clothed with Jesus on That Day. Have you received Jesus as your Savior?
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
176 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 1Ti 6:14-16, “that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” ( 1 Tim 6:14-16) I love it when Paul breaks out into these magnificent doxologies! They are like spontaneous explosions of words of praise describing in greater detail the God who loves us. They are easy to recognize because most times you could delete them from the text and not lose anything in the translation. For instance, verse 15 could be eliminated here and nothing would be lost in the shuffle! But here's the thing, they are not eliminated! They are there for us to absorb in all their glorious words! Some have suggested that these outbursts are proof positive of the very presence of the Holy Spirit as the words of the Bible are being penned. It is as Peter wrote in 2Pe 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. I really like the thought of the very presence of God through the Holy Spirit prompting these outbursts. For one thing one of the duties of the Holy Spirit is to magnify Jesus! Jesus speaking of the Holy Spirit in Joh 16:14 says, "He will glorify Me,!” And when God the Son is glorified, God the Father is glorified! Joh 13:31,32 says, “ So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 "If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.” In my mind, these outbursts are helpful as we learn more about the qualities and will of God and help us to find those words that we often have a difficult time finding as we seek to adequately praise our Triune God! You know the One who is the only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, and everlasting power!.............. All praise to Him!
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
175 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 1Ti 6:13,14 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, (1 Tim 6:13,14) As we have been saying, this is very important stuff? What stuff? The commandment! What commandment? The word commandment here means “authoritative prescription.” The authority here of course is Jesus Christ, our Great Physician.” His prescription is the Word of God! And this should take us back a couple of verses to 1Ti 6:3, “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,” So this commandment or authoritative prescription, is to continue to teach and consent to the wholesome (health giving prescriptive) words of Christ AND to the doctrine of Christ, (or what we are to believe about Jesus!) When your doctor prescribes medicine for you, he doesn't seek to dilute it, or taint it with other compounds. The medicine he prescribes for you is designed to work with your body and restore your health. So it is with the doctrine of Christ and all other wholesome words of Jesus. The Word of God and the teachings of Jesus and about Jesus are not to be tampered with. Timothy is charged here with keeping the medicine of the Word of God pure and unadulterated, and in 2Ti 2:2, he is charged with passing it along to those who would follow, and that includes us today! This command is for all for all time! In 1982, seven people died in Chicago from ingesting Tylenol tablets that had been tampered with. This tragedy resulted in the packaging that we use even to this day to prevent a recurrence. How much more should we resolve to keep the Word of God pure and unadulterated because what we believe about Jesus determines whether we spend eternity in heaven or hell! Jesus said in Joh 12:48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
Monday, October 17, 2016
173 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 1Ti 6:13,14 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, (1 Tim 6:13,14) How does Pontius Pilate manage to wriggle his way into this portion of Scripture? This question is more important than one might think. I hate to keep bringing it up (not really) but the mention of his name ought to cause us to think of the Apostle's Creed. You know that part in which we declare that Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried! This was the witness, (the Greek word here is martyrdom) of Christ, which was ordered by Pilate. It is the baptism that Jesus spoke of in Mr 10:38,39, that we are all to be baptized with. “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" 39 They said to Him, "We are able." So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;” His crucifixion, ordered by Pilate is the basis of the good confession of our faith, that confession of Timothy's “in the presence of many witnesses,” mentioned in the preceding verse, namely baptism! The Bible tells us in Col 2:12) that we are “buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.' It is in our baptism that we are martyred without necessarily having to endure the physical aspect of what some disciples have endured, and certainly not enduring the extent of what Jesus endured on the cross for us. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:3,4) And so the actions of Pilate are a very important part of our faith story, for as we enter the waters of baptism, we put on Christ and enter into all that Jesus has done for us: Ga 3:27 says, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Friday, October 14, 2016
173 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 1Ti 6:13a I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, (1 Tim 6:13a) This is the second time in this portion of Scripture, that Paul has called upon God as his witness, so what he is about to say must be important stuff! And don't overlook his statement about God “who gives life to all things!” God gives physical life to all things and spiritual life to all things! Let's look first of all at the physical aspect of God-given life. It seems like a no-brainer, but abortion statistics tell a different story. If we REALLY believed that God is the giver of life, then we would not end the life of unborn children via abortion. In fact this truth should cause us all to rethink our attitudes about who determines what children should come into this world and when. I want to call your attention to an incident recorded in 2Sa 6:23, “Therefore Michal (mih' cal) the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.” Wait a minute, God had taken it upon Himself to close the womb of Michal! Are you kidding me? God can open and close wombs? Yes, He has the power to do this. He is the Creator (or as Paul states here in this letter to Timothy, the giver of all life!) Some examples: He opened the womb of the aged Sarah, and she gave birth to Isaac. He opened the womb of Leah and she gave birth to Reuben. He opened the womb of Hannah and she gave birth to Samuel. He closed all the wombs in the house of Abimelech (Gen 20:18) It is as He says in De 32:39 'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.' God knows life. He knows when to bring it, and He knows when to end it. Ps 139:16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. He has purposes for the shortest life and the longest. The sooner we learn this truth and live it out in our own lives, the sooner the scourge of abortion will end in our land! Let us never forget, in the matters of life and death.....Father knows best!
Thursday, October 13, 2016
171 - Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 1Ti 6:12, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Tim 6:12) Timothy, you, and I, and all believers, are called to eternal life by the gospel. Ro 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,” but we do more than believe, we make a public profession of our faith in the presence of many witnesses. How did Timothy do that? How do you and I do that? We do that by submitting to baptism. It's what we Christians do. Mr 16:16 says, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. You see baptism always requires a witness. You cannot baptize yourself! And even if there be just the baptizee and the baptizer as was the case with Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunich, there still are many witnesses at our baptism as we read in Col 2:12-15, “buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” Baptism is among other things, a public spectacle, it is visible God-given proof to the invisible principalities and powers that the one being baptized is now all in with Jesus! It tells the angels, (good and bad) that the battle is on! That's why the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostle Paul reminds us and encourages us to “fight the good fight!” Because like it or not, he who believes and is baptized is entered into a lifelong war, the noble battle of faith. The Good News is we enter the battle with the Son of God in us and on our side. And He defeated the devil when He rose from the dead. This same resurrected power is available to us as we fight the good fight of faith!