Showing posts with label Encouragement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Encouragement. Show all posts

23 October 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of Titus Part 10

Titus 3:12-15 Final Greetings

Final Greetings

12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have determined to winter there.
13 Help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos in any way you can, so that they are lacking nothing.
14 Also, let ours learn to keep up good works for essential needs, so that they won’t be unfruitful.
15 All that are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

B1 Paul doesn’t mind asking for assistance. Asking God for assistance is the first thing we do, but asking help from fellow believers is good and right.
C1 Acts 18:27 NIV When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.
C2 It is fellowship.
D1 God desires fellowship: 1 John 1:3 NLT We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
D2 United into one family: 1 Corinthians 10:16-18 NLT When we bless the cup at the Lord's Table, aren't we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren't we sharing in the body of Christ? 17 And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 18 Think about the people of Israel. Weren't they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar?
D3 The whole church: Philippians 4:14-15 NLT Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. 15 As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this.
D4 In suffering: Hebrews 10:33-34 NLT Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
D5 In hospitality: 1 Peter 4:9 NLT Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
D6 In prison: Colossians 4:10 NLT Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas's cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way.
D7 Financially: 1 Timothy 6:17-18 NLT Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.
D8 Brothers and sisters in the congregation: 1 Corinthians 14:26 NLT Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.
D9 Help when tempted, in sin, and/or other burdens (spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, financial, etc.): Galatians 6:1-2 NLT Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
D10 We need each other: Romans 1:12 NLT When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.
D11 Our brother or sister should be a very high concern:
E1 1 Corinthians 10:24 NLT Don't be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
E2 Philippians 2:1-4 CSB If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
D12 Praying for one another. Many, many of our brothers and sisters are suffering in every area of the world. Come, Lord Jesus: James 5:14-16 CSB Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.
B2 Verse 13 is to help our brothers and sisters in any ministry they have:
C1 Acts 18:27 CSB When he wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers and sisters wrote to the disciples to welcome him. After he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.
C2 Romans 16:1-2 WEL I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a deaconess of the church at Cenchrea, 2 So you may welcome her in the Lord in a worthy manner as saints and assist her in whatever matter she has need of you, for she has been a helper to many including me.
B3 Verse 14 Encourages us to not quit doing good works to honor God.
C1 Matthew 5:16 CSB In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
C2 Praying for each other that God will encourage and strengthen us to do them: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 CSB May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.
C3 God’s grace enables, provides, and strengthens us: 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
C4 We do these because we love our God and our brothers and sisters: Hebrews 6:9-10 CSB Even though we are speaking this way, dearly loved friends, in your case we are confident of things that are better and that pertain to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you demonstrated for his name by serving the saints—and by continuing to serve them.
B4 Verse 15 deals with greeting one another and encouraging in the faith.
C1 When we meet in a foreign place or a familiar place, let us greet one another and assist as needed.
C2 In the faith is the Gospel, doctrine, and life God wishes for us to be consistent. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 CSB Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. 14 Do everything in love.

31 May 2018

With Eternity in Mind

Theme: The believer’s quest

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: We can persevere in living for and serving God, knowing glory awaits us in Heaven.
Think: I let an eternal perspective guide my attitudes, choices, and actions.
Do: Live for and serve God with integrity, proclaiming Christ as Savior and Lord.

B1 Integrity
C1 Hebrew words
D1 תֹּם, tome which means integrity, innocence, and completeness
E1 Genesis 20:5 NKJV - "Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister'? And she, even she herself said, 'He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this."
E2 Proverbs 10:29 NLT - The way of the LORD is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked.
D2 תֻּמָּה, toom-maw' which means integrity, innocence.
E1 Job 2:9 NLT - His wife said to him, "Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die."
E2 Proverbs 11:3 CSB - The integrity of the upright guides them, but the perversity of the treacherous destroys them.
C2 Greek word is ἀφθαρσία aphtharsía which means incorruption, purity, sincerity, honesty, etc. 1 Corinthians 15:53-54 CSB - For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality. When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory.
C3 Another Greek word translated integrity is ἀδιαφθορία adiaphthoria meaning incorruptness: Titus 2:7 (WPNT) in all things presenting yourself as an example of good works: showing integrity, dignity and incorruptibility in your teaching.
B2 2 Corinthians Chapter 4:1-6,
C1 What kind of man was Paul before he was born again?
D1 Acts 22:3-5 NKJV - "I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. "I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, "as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
D2 Philippians 3:4-6 NKJV - though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
C2 What did he do in the name of Judaism to the Christians?
D1 Acts 8:3 NKJV - As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
D2 1 Corinthians 15:9 NKJV - For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
D3 Galatians 1:13 NKJV - For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.
D4 Philippians 3:6 NKJV - concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
D5 1 Timothy 1:13 NKJV - although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
C3 How did God’s grace affect him at the time he wrote to the Corinthians?
C4 Why doesn’t Paul become discouraged?
C5 What are some things Christians hide?
C6 What is the main problem with deception in a Christian?
D1 It is listed as arising from the heart, the inner person of all humans: Mark 7:21-22 NKJV - For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
D2 It is incurably wicked: Jeremiah 17:9-10 CSB - The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? I, the LORD, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.
D3 God hates it: Jeremiah 17:9-10 CSB - The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? I, the LORD, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.
D4 False prophets and false teachers have:
E1 Jeremiah 23:26 NKJV - How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.
E2 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 CSB - For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no great surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their works.
D5 The Lord Jesus never did: 1 Peter 2:22 NKJV - Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth.
D6 How can we discern one is a false teacher?
C7 Name some examples of “handling the Word of God deceitfully?”
D1 1 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV - For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
E1 Does God desire all humans to be saved, or does He desire most to go to hell to be roasted, barbecued, and tormented forever?
E2 Calvinist: I have often times heard people quote 1 Timothy 2:4 to dismiss, out of hand, the biblical teaching on Sovereign grace or Divine election. In quoting the verse they have told me that God has no interest in electing certain people to salvation but that His desire is for every person to be saved. Yet, we must remember that the word "all" always has a context. It can sometimes mean all people everywhere - many times it does - but it sometimes means "all" in the sense of "all kinds" or "all classes, types" of people or at other times it refers to all within a certain type or class.. For instance, we do the same thing in our English language when a school teacher in a classroom may ask the question, "are we ALL here?" or "is EVERYONE here?" She is not asking if everyone on planet earth is in the classroom, but because of the context in which the question is framed (the school teacher's classroom) we understand she is referring to all within a certain class or type - in this case, all the students signed up for the class. (Source).
E4 Non-Calvinist: Jamieson-Fausset-Brown: Since He wishes that all should be saved, do you also wish it; and if you wish it, pray for it. For prayer is the instrument of effecting such things [Chrysostom]. Paul does not say, "He wishes to save all"; for then he would have saved all in matter of fact; but "will have all men to be saved," implies the possibility of man's accepting it (through God's prevenient grace) or rejecting it (through man's own perversity). Our prayers ought to include all, as God's grace included all. (Source).
E5 Even their interpretation works against them for all kinds would refer to everyone. God who inspired the Bible writers (overseeing them) knows how to communicate perfectly. Why shouldn’t we believe God and take the plain, normal sense. See here for further and more detailed information.
C8 How would satan blind someone to the Gospel?
C9 How do people preach themselves instead of Jesus Christ?
C10 Who sends the light?
B3 2 Corinthians 4:7-18,
C1 2 Corinthians 4:7-10—were the Christians having a good time? Why can the Christian life be rough? Should we warn new Christians?
D1 Jesus foretold that His followers would face this, just because they follow: Luke 21:16-17 NKJV - You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake.
D2 It is a condition of service: 2 Timothy 1:11-12 NKJV - to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
D3 What other reasons can you think of?
C2 Why are Christians always delivered into death? Who hates Christians? Why are Christians hated? The NLT has 2Co 4:11 NLT Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.
C3 Why are Christians still motivated to live and preach Jesus even when under constant danger?
C4 What power in 2 Corinthians 4:7 is Paul speaking of? Consider: Ephesians 3:20 NKJV - Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
C5 How does Paul not get distressed when the situation is very hard? Consider this encouragement from HandFuls on Purpose, Smith/Lee Psalm 27:13-14: A Threefold Encouragement.
1. TO BELIEVE. "I had fainted unless I had believed." Troubled on every side, yet not distressed (2Co 4:8-10), because our faith is in God. Peter fainted while on the water because he doubted.
2. TO WAIT. "Wait on the Lord." Wait on Him because the expectation of faith is from Him (Psa 62:1-5). All who truly wait on Him will yet be able to say, "Lo, this is our God" (Isaiah 25:9).
3. TO WORK. "He shall strengthen thine heart, be of good courage." "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it" (Ecc 9:10), for His strength is made perfect in weakness.
C6 Have you ever been perplexed by things happening in your life? How does Paul handle this?
C7 How can we survive persecution without feeling forsaken?
C8 How do Christians carry the death of the Lord Jesus in their lives?
C9 What hope does Paul have the 2 Corinthians 4:14? How does that give Paul strength and rest?
C10 How does the resurrection strengthen our spiritual life:
C11 How does God’s grace increasing more and more result in more and more thanksgiving to God?
C12 Why do some people give up the Christian faith?
C13 How do we keep our eyes on the eternal things of God? Consider: Matthew 6:19-21 CSB - Don't store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don't break in and steal. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
B4 Next week:
C1 Great Expectations
C2 Theme: The Believer’s Identity
C3 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21

12 January 2015

4 Things that are good for every person

  1. Hear
  2. Teach
  3. Deliver
  4. Wait

Psalm 27:7-14

Hear me

  1. Means to listen. He is asking God to please listen to my prayer. It is always good to pray when there is a need or not.
  2. Have mercy. Mercy is, even though we deserve punishment or the consequences of our wrong decisions, we do not get the punishment or consequences we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. We also need to show mercy to others since we have received mercy (Luke 10:37, Jude 1:23).
  3. Answer. He wants a positive answer from God. God always answers prayer. The answer might be yes, no, or wait. The yes may be different then what we are expecting. We may pray to be hired for a certain job, but we may not get it, for God knows it to be better to have another one, or He wants us to learn something.
  4. Seek. No human seeks God. Mankind as a collective or individually have no desire to seek God and do not seek God (Romans 3:11). God seeks us. He initiates the plan of salvation. He opens our eyes, mind, and heart to our true condition and the punishment for it. He then gives command to seek (Psalm 27:8, Mark 1:15). King David does, most refuse, resist (Act 7:51, 2 Timothy 8:8). In his seeking the Psalmist fears and so ask 3 things: do not hide from me, don't put me away in your anger, and don't forsake me. In faith he states that even if his parents forsake him, God will not.

Teach me

  1. He wants to know God's ways of doing thing, His lifestyle, and His rules, to that he may also live this way.
  2. He wants to be led by God so that he may know, understand, and obey God's rules.

Deliver me

  1. Not to my enemies. The Christian has many enemies. Many times Christians are harmed and killed. The main enemy is the enemy of our souls—the Devil. The Psalmist knows that only God can deliver (2 Peter 2:9) and that we cannot deliver ourselves (Psalm 34:4).
  2. Not to false witnesses. These lie so that the believer in God get in trouble Mark 14:56).
  3. Then he shows his faith in believing that God will deliver him. Even if God does not and he dies, God receives him into heaven (Daniel 3:17-18).


  1. We must wait patiently for answers to prayer and deliverance (Jeremiah 42:7, Acts 10:31).
  2. We are to have courage while we wait. This courage is that God will answer when the time is right (Acts 28:15).
  3. We need God's help to strengthen our hearts, for we need to be taught that His timing is best. It is God adding to our maturity as Christians (2 Peter 1.5-9).

26 December 2014

Will we fail?

The Bible has a lot to say about failure and people who started well but failed. We think of Adam, King Saul, King Solomon, and Judas.

We are saved by faith. Faith is believing God. All the above stopped believing. Adam either stopped believing or didn't care when he ate the forbidden fruit. King Saul repeatedly failed God's tests as to waiting, dealing with various enemies and so on. King Solomon started strong. At first he was seen in his love for God (1 King 3:3), but at the end it was his love of women (1 Kings 11:1). Judas was an Apostle of Jesus Christ but his love for the Lord Jesus was less than his love for money.

Will we fail?

We fail God when:

  • We refuse to call to God for help. We should always seek God's wisdom first then others. Isaiah 50:2 GNB "Why did my people fail to respond when I went to them to save them? Why did they not answer when I called? Am I too weak to save them? I can dry up the sea with a command and turn rivers into a desert, so that the fish in them die for lack of water.

  • We are tested and fail to do what God wants us to do. We may be tempted to lie to save ourselves, but it is wrong. The Lord Jesus does help us in these times. Luke 22:32 GNB But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers."

  • We grow weary of following God's ways as outlined in the New Testament and quit believing and acting as Christians. Hebrews 4:11 GNB Let us, then, do our best to receive that rest, so that no one of us will fail as they did because of their lack of faith.

God helps us. Consider:

  • He knows how to keep us from failing/falling. Jude 1:24-25 GNB To him who is able to keep you from falling and to bring you faultless and joyful before his glorious presence--- (25) to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might, and authority, from all ages past, and now, and forever and ever! Amen.

  • To do more than we can ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 EMTV Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly more than all the things which we ask or think, according to the power which is working in us,

  • We can have confidence and faith in God's ability to keep us. 2 Timothy 4:18 EMTV And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

Our prayer and hope should be as Paul's. We can have strong assurance of God's ever present help.

  • Philippians 1:20 EMTV according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be ashamed, but with utmost boldness, as always, now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.

  • Hebrews 13:5-6 EMTV Let your way of life be without loving money, being satisfied with what you have. For He Himself has said, "By no means shall I desert you, nor in any way shall I forsake you;" 6) so that being confident, we may say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"