“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10 NKJV
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.
If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the First Book of Timothy chapter 4 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
The Great Apostasy
4 Now the Spirit [a]expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is [b]sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
A Good Servant of Jesus Christ
6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end [c]we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.
Take Heed to Your Ministry
12 Let no one [d]despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, [e]in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to [f]doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
a1 Timothy 4:1 explicitly
b.1 Timothy 4:5 set apart
c.1 Timothy 4:10 NU we labor and strive,
d.1 Timothy 4:12 look down on your youthfulness
e.1 Timothy 4:12 NU omits in spirit
f.1 Timothy 4:13 teaching
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
First we are all called, like Timothy, into His (God’s) service. Each of us with our own special place and task, some janitors and some preachers.
Second, Paul told us how to behave – like a good parent overseeing a car full of their children and their children’s friends. He clearly states what is expected of us.
Third, Paul shows us we have fruits to bear, fruits of maturity – and when we accomplish these qualifications we are ready. Now, realize – it is a list of minimum qualification that all adults should reach within a relatively short time (a few years) if walking out the faith. And know he is not talking about maturity in the spirit, where you learn to walk and stay in the spirit and change the spiritual atmosphere, and receive revelation of the deep mysteries.
Paul may be hopeful that his imprisonment in Rome will be short and he’ll be able to see Timothy soon, but this is starting to look like “here is everything I need to tell you, in case I don’t see you again”. And it is starting to look like a letter to each of us, and not to Timothy.
Paul says, once you get that – let me tell you what is coming.
But before you and I dig into that – let us rewind to chapter one and take a moment on a verse I failed to give enough time to:
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Tim. 1:17 NKJV
And today I am unable to give this enough time – but I am asking God to speak into each of you and that you are open to receive what He is saying. HE IS AN AWESOME GOD. Awe is a level of reverence, fear and amazement.
When Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, was confronted with the glory of God he cried out in terror: “I am undone!” Immediate conviction and realization of all of His sins – he gladly took coal to burn this lips to clean and consecrate his mouth for God.
Moses stood on a mountain top, in the storm of blackness with terrifying thunder and flashes of lightning; and the people cried out that God was too frightening and begged for Moses to go between them and Him.
Elijah walked in the fearful presence of the Lord and could call down fire and raise the dead! (But God did not show up in the storm for Him. God showed up in the still small voice. God does not always walk in the storm.) None the less it is a terrifying thing that God, with little effort and even some jest, shows up in fire from heaven instantly consuming the offering and the altar.
My point today, is to repent for not understanding the full magnitude of God and His glory. Not one of us does. It is too great for our finite minds – nonetheless, we are in a relationship and we take His holiness, purity, love and goodness for granted – because this glory is too much – so we put it from our minds. As scary as it is we should think on it and ask for revelation as much as we can handle and press in and not turn away. Repent more and press in more. Jesus died so we can have a relationship with God – he is our mediator and intercessor, but we can go to God direct if we understand HIS GLORY! It is a time to restore reverence and fear to our worthy God. It is time to know our place, which we cannot know if we have yet to meet our God. It is not time for our corrupted idea of a daddy and projecting it onto the HOLY HOLY HOLY.
I have been saying for 2 years that judgment is coming. Well our Father has stood up and the heavens and earth have shook and He is gently moving his finger and our world has been shaken again and again. Everything that is shakable, shakes. Those that cannot be shook are being tried by fire. We are in the time of judgment and it is a fearful thing!
You and I look around and see so many people living life as if none of this is happening around them. We aren’t crazy, they are blind. And my heart breaks because those blind people who fail to see, refuse to see, and try to look away, will all fall under this same judgment. The difference is we are tried to come out holy and pure and like cleaned gold. And they will get to the end of this season and face wrath.
The judgment of the Lord is a fearful thing because it is more honest than we are with ourselves. But Judgment is just the verdict. It is just the review of each of us and the decision as to if our faith is counted righteousness and we get blessings and crowns. Or if we are found lacking and then His wrath comes in equal measure. During the time of judgment we can repent – once He has a verdict nothing will stop or sway His hand. He has shown us this over and over throughout the Bible.
I took the time to explain all that (and all the supporting verses, I have shared so many times over the past 2 years, feel free to go back and look) in order for us to come to this chapter in the right, humble, repented state of mind – so the Lord can speak more clearly into our daily lives and what more is coming upon us.
Paul had a vision of our world and shares as much as he can.
“1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,”
Jesus spoke to His own disciples warning them that they could be deceived. Paul himself fell for a demonic agendas and though he attended temple and prayed, he still was deceived into killing Christians. So Paul often warns of this tricky, these ploys are subtle and muddied truths and so we are to stay humble – any one of us can fall for it. Test the spirits. Test the word of others to the Word of God. Make sure they are pointing to Jesus – not to a weird watered down fake Jesus they dress up to mock God. Keep the Word Clean. Watch out for those who try to offer God at a price. Freely they received and freely they shall give.
This is a great place to take note – I will not ask for money. If you get messages from me asking for money in exchange for prayers, it is not me. I have done my best not to permit ads or other intrusions that can distract from the word of the Lord. Do I need money? Yes. But God Himself provides. NOT His gift to you through me. Some pastors and preachers have alternative convictions – I do not judge them and do not want you to. Let the Lord Judge in this season. I just find it unbearable to watch a preacher and in the middle of the spirit moving, an ad pops up and something worldly tries to infiltrate while I am open and receiving. Guard your receiving to be sure not to receive deception, lies or evil.
We understand deceiving spirits. We have seen the fake news. We have heard the “conspiracies”. We have prayed diligently for discernment and help from God to clean things up so we do not fail in this time.
But the ‘doctrines of demons’ part is harder for us to understand. The term conspiracy theorist has been weaponized. But to learn some of the dark demonic doctrines being spread you’d have to be somewhat of a conspiracy theorist. But once you look at those evil people’s websites, they literally have it spelled out on their websites. I do not wish to go down that rabbit hole. But if I am to discuss scriptures with you, I must make you aware that the days we live in are dark, and much more evil than you think. We have all been desensitized so much that it is difficult to discern. I am sitting on my porch in the sun as I write and with the beauty of today, it is hard to understand how dark it is. We look at Lot and his family in Sodom and Gomorrah and think we would never stay in a place that evil. Yet, two doors down on the left was just a domestic dispute and police came. Across my street to the right I see a family of addicts come out to smoke cigarettes on their porch and whatever it is they are smoking in that strange pipe, while their yard is littered with alcohol cans and the needle marks on their arms are so bad I can see them from here. And this is a small town in upstate New York – it is so much worse in and near cities.
“2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”
This alone is proof that Paul speaks of our time. They say: Masks work. Masks don’t work. Masks do work. Masks don’t work. And then get mad at the people for questioning them. But their conscience is seared – they cannot even see the error of their ways.
“3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”
I was a paralegal working family/divorce law for many years. So when I see articles on the changes of the law and legal things, I often read them. I saw one just the other day and I was shocked! Because of the high divorce rate and the expense, time and resources it draws from the courts. They were talking about abolishing legal marriage. They are saying people can still have weddings. And people can have religious marriages (thinking it will quiet the Christians, maybe it will).
Canada’s Prime Minister and Green Initiative has waged a war on beef. If you want a juicy steak or a juicy burger in Canada, in many places you will find a chemically created alternative or locust and mealworms.
“4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
There are way too many good things in this chapter to get hung up and confused as Paul is making one point – Paul is speaking to this time, to the year 2022. Paul is saying we (you and I) have liberty and grace. Now, there are still some Jews who keep the covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They cannot eat all foods. They would NOT be confused and start eating ham. Paul said “I am a Pharisee”. Paul was under the covenant. Paul could NOT eat certain things. So, we should understand Paul here and know the heart of what he is saying.
“6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.”
Paul praises Timothy here saying he has carefully followed these things. I love the word carefully. I know we have profane, fables, and deception all around us and we must follow the word of God CAREFULY and let God reveal and work within us to make his word new and fresh to our hearts.
The word does not change, but our eyes are opened and our understanding enlightened. The word of God is fresh manna, new food for us daily. The times are different and the word hits a little different in this darkness – besides He is doing a new thing!
“8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
Paul is NOT telling young Tim to skip the gym. Paul IS telling him to keep the priorities in line – stay focused. And HOW RELEVANT IS THIS TODAY! Everything has the potential to be a distraction, even good things for taking care of ourselves. But God needs us to stay focused on Him.
It is like the “self-care” thing. People obsess with self-care rituals and buying all the bath stuff, lotions, candles, and stuff – having to take time away to do these extra things, calling it self care when it is really a trap and a distraction and they would feel better if they just washed their faces, anointed their heads with oil and got busy, being focused on the task the Lord has for them to do.
The Egyptians may have the first recorded self-care routines which seem to be enjoyed by the wealthy, but the Romans made it common to the people and were the first to market frivolous extras to pamper yourself to the common person. Paul was speaking to the very same distraction that catches many of us today. It is not bad to take time for the gym or a fragrant bath with candles – but our godliness comes from being in His will. Do that first and stay in His will. And when He says to take a break and jump in a bath or go to the gym, obey Him there too.
“9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach.”
I can fulfill verse 11 right now. I command you and teach you to trust God and obey the word of God (the stuff in bold on this page)! Everything else, even my words will fade away. Know the word of God and keep it.
“12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
We painted this on the youth group’s wall at church when I was a teen. He is a 40 something year old man. But like I explained earlier in this study. He joined as the kid and was type casted as the kid ever since.
You and I should learn from this that we should never say you are doing a god job for your age. It is a good job. Period. That is it.
I am 10 years or so older than a friend of mine who was a youth when I met her. And she is reading this and shaking her head at me for using her example. She is a strong woman of God and hears from Him. She also reminds me of me when I was a young. I am a bit protective of her like she was a child. And sometimes I even mother her. I correct her. I lead her places and let her figure it out. I trust her words from God and I rely on her prayers. I utilize her discernment to confirm or deny my insights from God – so she is definitely not a child. But to me she is young. She hates to be treated like a child – and I try not to. I shall not despise her youth. But as I mentor her, and she is younger, it sometimes appears to be. But I rely on her strengths and giftings – and I respect her as a woman of God.
So I feel like I get it when Paul says to not so young Tim:
“13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
And I can understand if Timothy feels like Paul is Fathering him a little here. All it is missing is: Don’t forget to brush your teeth before bed!
So Paul starts out with telling Timothy how bad it will be. And you and I know it will be worse than this and we are not afraid because we also have the end of the chapter when we know if we keep going, keep growing, keep our eyes on Jesus, and if we fear the Lord – then we will be ok.
I have a friend who professes Christ. He is “saved” because he has a profound fear of hell. Although hell is terrible, fear more God. People who fear hell do just enough to, in their minds NOT go to hell. People who fear hell do not strive to get to know God with reading the Bible and pressing in and understanding. My friend needs to learn to fear God, or he may land in hell.
I conclude with this idea, today so you can reflect on yourself. Think about your understanding of the terror of God and if you really fear him, or are you here because you fear hell. Maybe you fear a godly person in your life who pushes you to be a better Christian – but it is not driven by love and fear of God.
We all can use a refreshing of our Love of the Father! Fall in love all over again. And remember how big and powerful He is.
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!