Tag Archives: 2 Timothy 1

According to the Promise

In this day and age where promises are so easily broken, I can certainly understand the hesitancy of the unsaved to believe anything Christians say. Many Christians don’t have any more of a testimony of honesty and purity than the unsaved.

That truth was an “ouch” moment for me. I certainly haven’t lived a life above reproach. There are no stones in my pocket. If anything I’m forever in a state of waiting for someone to hurl one at me.

So on this Holy weekend I’m ever conscious of what my Lord has done, as well as conscious of my ingratitude and lack of understanding of the depth of His love.

Last night was our Good Friday Communion Service at Victory Baptist church. Lifting that bread and cup to my lips is difficult. I’m never sure that I even should. That’s the depth of failure I feel. But Praise His Holy and wonderful name He does not intend for me to stay in that state.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:1

Not your typical Easter scripture. But for me it reminded me of what the cross meant…

The Promise of Life

That promises is only found in Christ Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Not Shari’s work, not the preacher’s or the deacon’s or anyone else in this world, but Christ alone.

It’s the life that the unsaved long for but they don’t even know it. It’s a life that can only be experienced by accepting what the blood of Jesus did that day on the cross.

Red Makes White

As an artist I’ve on more than one occasion mixed a strong pigmented color in with a lighter color and ended up with a gallon of paint trying to fix it. Yes that’s an exaggeration. Red into white would certain cause that effect. But not with Christ.

In reading this scripture this morning that’s what happened with me. All my failures and sin were covered with that promise Christ made at the cross. And it’s what gives me the strength to go on. I understand Paul when he said that “by the will of God, according to the promise.”

It is God’s will that we continue on serving even on the days that we don’t feel worthy. It is His will that His children continue His work. The work that He died for on the cross.

Stir it Up!

That was Paul’s advice to Timothy in verse 6 of Chapter 1:

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.

Paul had laid hands on Timothy and ordained his service for the Lord. And while that is a wonderful testimony and service of the church, it doesn’t mean that we who have not had the hands of man laid upon us are not ordained for a work in Christ Jesus. Start searching your heart for the truth of what it is God has called you to do and you will stir something inside of you that you may or may not have felt before. But it’s the work, and it’s a specific work that God has called you alone to perform. I believe that.

I don’t believe there is anyone else who can or should do what I’ve been called to do. But I also am painfully aware that I have taken on other people’s callings because I was too impatient to wait for them to step out in faith and do it.

Don’t let me or anyone else rob you of the blessing that comes from serving Christ. Let God stir that gift up in you as He did Paul and Timothy!

Paint the Town!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

My tendency to fall into a vat of guilt keeps me from doing the work I’ve been called to do. It stops my productivity and creativity in the Lord. What a sad statement. But that’s Satan’s goal when he reminds us that we are unworthy. Which if it were only of ourselves would be a true statement; but not according to the promise of life which in in Christ Jesus!

In that promise we can paint the town red. By sharing what the blood of Christ has done in our life. But only if we ourselves believe it to be true, and live it like it is.

That Good thing that’s a God thing

good thing

I’m so happy I have the Holy Spirit within me, else, there is no doubt that the flesh would rise up in me and I’d say and do things that would not glorify Christ and could possibly get me arrested. If you’re a servant of God, you either fully understand, or you’re way better at dealing with the things of life than I, and it’s really not the craziness in the world that can drive me to the point of frustration. I expect them to be crazy. It’s the craziness in the church that can push me over the edge.

So I’ve had this illustration in my mind for a few days, I drew it yesterday, and had intended to blog about it. But alas, the Holy Spirit said “Chill, Shari. You’re going to hurt someone.” And so I put it atop my art box and waited for the Holy Spirit to tell me what to write. And this morning as I prepare for church, the words flow freely and the Spirit has said to me, “Encourage them.” I wanted to hurt them three days ago. Who are them? They who sit in church pews. That’s all they do. They just sit in church pews. At least from my perspective as someone in charge of the Sunday School and Youth program. Because when a teacher is needed, it’s like pulling hens teeth to get people to move. And our church is one that is relatively good at stepping up. When I go into other churches and see the frustration in the leader’s eyes as they beg and plead for help my heart breaks for Jesus. He didn’t die for us to sit in the pew.

He died for us to serve. And so this word this morning is for those serving, not sitting. Please, keep serving!

Apostle Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:13-14

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Hold Fast

That good thing is a God thing. Those sound words that Paul spoke was the inspired Word of God and he encourages Timothy and us to hold on to them. Keep holding on to the Word of God and using it to inspire others through your service. You are rare. I can’t get Matthew 9:37 out of my head that says the “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.”  We are a rarity, those who desire to teach and train disciples. We are few, but the field is full of people who need us. And while I get frustrated at those who sit, I’m learning that it will do no good to speak to the masses, I need to encourage the few. Because those are the days that we’re in. So if you’re serving God in any way… “hold on friend.”

Hold Firm

That good thing is a God thing that He’s given to you for safe keeping. Hold firm! Don’t let anyone or anything, including the frustrations of feeling unappreciated, un-noticed, unworthy, or any other “un” words that Satan throws at you to get you distracted from what you’ve been called to do. That little girl in my sketch… she’s no one in particular… she’s one in thousands that I’ve seen in the field and she need Jesus. She or he as the case may be needs you. If we don’t keep on teaching the word of God and telling others about that “good thing” that God has entrusted us with, then who will. There’s nobody beating down the door to get our job. Our job is secure. So please, if you’re in service to the King of kings, keep serving and living as an example to those around you. Tell everyone how awesome it is and encourage others walking in the field beside you. There’s not that many… it won’t take you long. I love you, and so does Jesus… and our reward is on it’s way!

Don’t Dis Appoint Yourself

chick appt

Last night I watched as 100+ Marietta Bible College students presented 100+ roses to Dr. and Mrs. Guiler as they sang the tribute song of Ray Boltz “Thank You.” Needless to say the tears flowed like rivers of grace down my face and this morning my heart is still full as I sit in Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio looking out the window of the lodge balcony. I too was an honorary mention last night at the annual Christmas event and my humility kicked in overdrive thinking of the unworthiness. God is so good… and I am so not. Yesterday’s drive up was filled with sermons from the podcasts of Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston, last night I was blessed by Dr. Guiler’s Christmas sermon, and this morning they’re all heavy on my mind. I’d  like to tell you each one and tell you that I’m that deep of a thinker, but you and I both would know that that’s not so. So likely some of each of those sermons will spill into my blog this morning and hopefully bless you the way it’s blessed me.

The year’s coming to a close and I don’t feel the least bit accomplished this morning. I feel undone. I’m nowhere close the caliber of Christian I should be for the blessings I’ve received and I feel like Isaiah did in Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

I’ve seen the King present in my life too as He laid purpose before me and I stepped around it thinking that surely God meant that for someone else. Not unclean, unworthy, unfocused Shari. So when I listened to Brian’s sermon yesterday on “disappointment,” I thought, “Wow, that should be the theme song of my life. The queen of disappointment.” I have the continual feeling of grief for being a disappointment to self, others and above all God. But as Brian unpacked the word disappointment, God opened my mind in a way it’s never been.

God’s only appoints… He never disappoints. Dis-appointment is the hindrance or prevention of an appointment. Therefore if I am disappointed I’ve allowed something to stand between my appointment (God’s purpose) and me. While saying I’m unclean, unworthy, and unfocused is true, it’s also true that those inadequacies have been covered by the blood of Jesus. By believing those things to still be the case in my life I’m “dis-appointing” myself from God’s purpose, thus denying myself the opportunity to be used and blessed by the God Who thought I was worth dying for.

I tell my youth every time we meet that I want more for them. I want God’s blessings and riches to be poured into their lives and for them to realize who they are in Christ and what potential they carry within themselves because they’re carrying the Lord Jesus himself within them… and then I don’t live it myself. Glory to God what a message for us all.

Moses tried to dis appoint himself when he told God, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

After Jeremiah wrote my favorite verse in Jeremiah 1:5 saying “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” He tried to dis appoint himself in verse 6 when he said “Ah, Lord GOD! behold I cannot speak: for I am a child.”

Gideon who was told by God that he was a mighty man of valour then tried to dis appoint himself from the task laid before him by telling God how disappointed he was in Him. Gideon said “Did not the LORD bring us from Egypt? But now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

Moses said “I can’t talk.” Jeremiah said “I’m too young,” and Gideon complained that God had left them in a bind. None seen the potential that God had placed within them. But thousands of years later, we read of them and their miraculous purpose.

What has God written in my book that I’m trying to un-write? That’s my question for us today… how have I “dis” appointed myself from God’s purpose?

Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

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Eternal Security: Praise God He Has the key

There is much debate of eternal security, and while I’ll not debate it with you, I’m persuaded to share it with you today. Turn me off if you will, it’s okay, we’ll talk to God about it later. I was reminded last night that salvation is in the heart of the believer not in the mind of the conceiver. It doesn’t matter whether or not I think you’re saved, it matters whether or not you are, and that, my friend, is between you and Almighty God.

I only know what I know… Satan is a liar and a loser! If he tells me once a day, he tells me twenty that I’m lost. He’ll discourage me at every turn because I fall to the flesh and am not what I should be, so how is it that I know that I’m so certain I have an eternal home in Glory? Because as Paul wrote to my Brother in Christ Timothy in his letter:

2 Timothy 1:12 King James Version (KJV)

For the which cause 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 that which I have committed unto him against that day.

It would be a sad reality if I were in charge of my destiny, I can’t even keep track of my car keys! I know that I’m a child of God because He bears witness to my soul, speaking great peace in the hour of struggle, bringing His word into my mind as if it’s on a flip chart in my head… “This is what you need today, Shari….” And it always is! We walk and talk just as sure I do with co-workers and friends, He’s very real. So how do I justify in my head that a blatant sinner is saved?

It’s tough. I’ll not lie in that regards. My only solace is that I know what I did to get saved… I accepted what Christ did so that I could be saved. That’s it. I did nothing, He did it all. I know I’ve sinned since that day of salvation and yet He still loves me. Yes I’m repentant, but I’m still a sinner saved grace though I have no desire to go back into the life style for which He saved me out of. So why do other’s choose to? Because Satan’s good at his job.

Did they really get saved? I don’t want to give a lost soul an easy out by believing the lie that you can say a few magic words and all is right with God. It truly does take a repentant heart; one that has discovered they’re a wretched sinner in need of salvation that only Christ can provide. It takes believing in sincerity that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, that He rose again the third day and is now in Heaven, making intercession on our behalf with God the Father. I don’t claim to know it all, but I know that and that’s all that matters. Creation itself testifies of God the Creator, but knowing that God created the earth, and accepting what He did on the cross is two different things. Creation is beautiful, and while the end result of salvation is beautiful the price our Lord paid was ugly and not to be taken lightly.

So can a man (or woman) that’s lived the last ten years of their life as a drunkard go to Heaven? Did they at some point in their life in all earnestness, even as a child, believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ… if so, then yes? How they got to the drunkard stage knowing what the Lord did for them, I don’t know. But I know this, scripture doesn’t lie…

EVERLASTING LIFE DOESN’T END

John 5:24 (KJV)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

ETERNAL LIFE DOESN’T END

John 10:28 (KJV)

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

EVERLASTING LASTS FOREVER

John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

NOT OF YOURSELF – GRACE ALONE

Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

IN NO WISE CAST OUT – NO, NOT EVER!

John 6:37

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

That my friend is just a few of the verses from the divine, inerrant Word of God that proclaims it is God Who takes man to Heaven, and not we ourselves. If He was great enough to save us, He’s certainly great enough to keep us.

Creation not only testifies of the greatness and vastness of God, for which our finite minds cannot possibly comprehend, but more importantly His Holy Spirit testifies within us that we belong to Him.

You must ask that question of yourself. Do you remember the time He saved your soul? Was there a definite change in your life at that time? If you’ve back slidden, turn around; if you’re unsure turn to Him, but make sure that you know that you know!