Perilous Times

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Today’s Passage – 2 Timothy 3 – Titus 3; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 81 – 85; Proverbs 17)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 3:1

Read a previous post from this passage – “Sometimes You Have To Stand Alone

Read the “1217 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” – (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” – (Matthew 24:6-8)

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” – (2 Timothy 3:13)

Consider what our world has endured since the new millennium began over a dozen years ago: the terrorist attack on 9/11; several cataclysmic earthquakes; tsunamis that have wiped out hundreds of thousands of people; out of control wildfires caused by record drought conditions; economic disasters bringing record unemployment; the Middle East in complete turmoil; several hurricanes and cyclones, and even a new classification of storm called a “super storm”; and a senseless slaughter of children and adults in Connecticut, Las Vegas, and Texas. I do not think that I am overstating the condition of our world when I say that we are living in perilous times. These man-made and natural disasters have all been prophesied long ago by God in the Bible, so we should not be too surprised by what is taking place, though we are certainly grieved and impacted by these things. But we were warned, and we should have been prepared. We have also been given the principles that we need in order to live for the Lord in these perilous days, while continuing to reach people with the gospel.

The upside of all of this is that people are thinking about God. Unfortunately, many are blaming God even for the man-made tragedies, but at least they are thinking. This past weekend, we had several people show up at church who we haven’t seen in a long time. They are confused, and frightened, and I don’t blame them, because no matter how much we know from the Bible about the time that we are living in, there is still a lot of details that are left out. We do know, however, that God knows; and none of these events has taken Him by surprise, and they are all somehow part of His plan that will ultimately bring about the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. The Bible gives the illustration of birth pains, which (I’m told) are very painful, but also temporary; and these perilous days, though extremely trying, are also temporary, and will eventually yield to a time of greater peace, prosperity, and security. No pain, no gain.

We have established that the times are certainly perilous, and will only get worse; but what can we do? Just keep going. Keep going to church; keep going to the prayer closet; keep going soulwinning; keep loving people; keep standing for the Lord:

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;” – (2 Timothy 3:14 )

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Christian Growth

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Today’s Passage – 1 Timothy 4 – 2 Timothy 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 76 – 80; Proverbs 16)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 121

Read the “1216 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this morning’s reading passage – “Where Would Our Church Be Without the Young People

“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.” – (2 Timothy 2:2)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – (2 Timothy 2:15)

“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” – (2 Timothy 2:23)

I believe there are a lot of factors involved in the spiritual development of a Christian; but I think 2 Timothy chapter 2 shows us three keys to Christian growth:

1  A Christian must be steadfast in his faithfulness. (v 15) When we refer to this verse, we often use it to teach that the church must be concerned about teaching the doctrines of the faith, and training the disciples of the Lord. We would certainly not dispute that those are two very important functions of the local church. However, I would like to draw attention to the fact that the teaching and the training can only be done with faithful men. When I first trusted Christ as my Saviour twenty years ago, I did not need anybody to beg me to come to church and get involved in the things of the Lord. I had a desire on the inside to grow and serve. I certainly was not perfect by any means, but I was faithful. I just needed somebody to show me the way. We often blame the church for not teaching and training as it should, but I believe that if there is a hungry soul out there in the pew, that there God will supply someone to train them. The bottom line to this point is that if you are going to grow in the Lord, you have to stay faithful and thirsty for the things of God.

2  A Christian must be studious.  Studying is a lot of work, and it must be done on purpose. If spiritual growth is going to take place in the life of a believer, he must diligently apply himself to being a student of the Bible. Obviously, this will include attending all of the services and studies in the local church, but it also means that personal reading, meditation, and study must be done on a daily basis.

3  A Christian must not get sidetracked. On the surface this may not seem too important, but I have seen more Christians go down the tubes because of this than anything else. Lack of study will cause a slow and steady decline in growth, but getting sidetracked will bring about a swift demise. What do I mean by getting sidetracked? Well, it could mean getting distracted by something in the world, but it also often happens because the believer starts pursuing one particular issue of the faith. They become a one-issue Christian, and by doing so they lose balance, and balance is important to Christian growth. Paul said that he declared “all the counsel of God”. People who lose balance tend to major on minor issues and thereby lose sight of the bigger picture. They can become argumentative in their support of their pet issue. Be careful that you don’t get sidetracked.

It ought to be the goal of every Christian to continue to grow spiritually until the Lord takes him home to Heaven. By observing these three keys, you will find that growth will come slowly and steadily , which will result in a more effective and fruitful ministry for the Lord.


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Christian Growth

Today’s Passage – 1 Timothy 4 – 2 Timothy 2; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read –Psalms 76 – 80Proverbs 14)

Memory passage for the month of November – Luke 1:26 – 38

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 Timothy 1:17

Read another post from this passage – “Where Would Our Church Be Without the Young People

“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.” – (2 Timothy 2:2)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – (2 Timothy 2:15)

“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” – (2 Timothy 2:23)

I believe there are a lot of factors involved in the spiritual development of a Christian; but I think 2 Timothy chapter 2 shows us three keys to Christian growth:

1  A Christian must be steadfast in his faithfulness. (v 15) When we refer to this verse, we often use it to teach that the church must be concerned about teaching the doctrines of the faith, and training the disciples of the Lord. We would certainly not dispute that those are two very important functions of the local church. However, I would like to draw attention to the fact that the teaching and the training can only be done with faithful men. When I first trusted Christ as my Saviour twenty years ago, I did not need anybody to beg me to come to church and get involved in the things of the Lord. I had a desire on the inside to grow and serve. I certainly was not perfect by any means, but I was faithful. I just needed somebody to show me the way. We often blame the church for not teaching and training as it should, but I believe that if there is a hungry soul out there in the pew, that there God will supply someone to train them. The bottom line to this point is that if you are going to grow in the Lord, you have to stay faithful and thirsty for the things of God.

2  A Christian must be studious.  Studying is a lot of work, and it must be done on purpose. If spiritual growth is going to take place in the life of a believer, he must diligently apply himself to being a student of the Bible. Obviously, this will include attending all of the services and studies in the local church, but it also means that personal reading, meditation, and study must be done on a daily basis.

3  A Christian must not get sidetracked. On the surface this may not seem too important, but I have seen more Christians go down the tubes because of this than anything else. Lack of study will cause a slow and steady decline in growth, but getting sidetracked will bring about a swift demise. What do I mean by getting sidetracked? Well, it could mean getting distracted by something in the world, but it also often happens because the believer starts pursuing one particular issue of the faith. They become a one-issue Christian, and by doing so they lose balance, and balance is important to Christian growth. Paul said that he declared “all the counsel of God”. People who lose balance tend to major on minor issues and thereby lose sight of the bigger picture. They can become argumentative in their support of their pet issue. Be careful that you don’t get sidetracked.

It ought to be the goal of every Christian to continue to grow spiritually until the Lord takes him home to Heaven. By observing these three keys, you will find that growth will come slowly and steadily , which will result in a more effective and fruitful ministry for the Lord.


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Keys to Growth

Today’s Passages – 1 Timothy 4 – 2 Timothy 2; Proverbs 16

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 76 – 80; Memorize – Micah 5:2)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

Read last years’s post from this passage – “Where Would Our Church Be Without Young People?”

“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.” – (2 Timothy 2:2)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – (2 Timothy 2:15)

“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” – (2 Timothy 2:23)

I believe that there are a lot of factors that are involved in the spiritual development of a Christian; but I think that 2 Timothy chapter 2 shows us three keys to Christian growth:

1  A Christian must be steadfast in his faithfulness. (v 15) When we refer to this verse, we often use it to teach that the church must be concerned about teaching the doctrines of the faith, and training the disciples of the Lord. We would certainly not dispute that those are two very important functions of the local church. However, I would like to draw attention to the fact that the teaching and the training can only be done with faithful men. When I first trusted Christ as my Saviour twenty years ago, I did not need anybody to beg me to come to church and get involved in the things of the Lord. I had a desire on the inside to grow and serve. I certainly was not perfect by any means, but I was faithful. I just needed somebody to show me the way. We often blame the church for not teaching and training as it should, but I believe that if there is a hungry soul out there in the pew, that there God will supply someone to train them. The bottom line to this point is that if you are going to grow in the Lord, you have to stay faithful and thirsty for the things of God.

2  A Christian must be studious.  Studying is a lot of work, and it must be done on purpose. If spiritual growth is going to take place in the life of a believer, he must diligently apply himself to being a student of the Bible. Obviously, this will include attending all of the services and studies in the local church, but it also means that personal reading, meditation, and study must be done on a daily basis.

3  A Christian must not get sidetracked. On the surface this may not seem too important, but I have seen more Christians go down the tubes because of this than anything else. Lack of study will cause a slow and steady decline in growth, but getting sidetracked will bring about a swift demise. What do I mean by getting sidetracked? Well, it could mean getting distracted by something in the world, but it also often happens because the believer starts pursuing one particular issue of the faith. They become a one-issue Christian, and by doing so they lose balance, and balance is important to Christian growth. Paul said that he declared “all the counsel of God”. People who lose balance tend to major on minor issues and thereby lose sight of the bigger picture. They can become argumentative in their support of their pet issue. Be careful that you don’t get sidetracked.

It ought to be the goal of every Christian to continue to grow spiritually until the Lord takes him home to Heaven. By observing these three keys, you will find that growth will come slowly and steadily , which will result in a more effective and fruitful ministry for the Lord.


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Sometimes You Have To Stand Alone

Today’s Passage – 2 Timothy 3 – 4; Titus 1 – 3

“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” (2 Timothy 4:10)

“Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:” (2 Timothy 4:14)

“At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me:I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Timothy 4:16)

“Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” (2 Timothy 4:17)

There are not many people out there that enjoy being by themselves. I’m not talking about having some quiet time away from people for a short time: we all enjoy that, I suppose; but what I am referring to is living in the midst of people, but having none of them be in agreement with you when it comes to what you believe; what you stand for. The world, though filled with billions of people, can be a very lonely place.

Have you ever been the only Christian at a job; or perhaps in a school. I am not talking about someone who merely calls themselves a Christian, but someone who truly believes and lives what he believes. If you have been the only one, you know what it means to stand alone. Everyone else seems to be participating in the entertainments and morality that the world says is acceptable, but you live on a higher plane. They tell their jokes, go out to their bars for lunch, talk about the parties on the weekends, etc. Oh, they would love for you to go with them, they invite you all of the time; but you can’t or won’t. It is funny that when you talk to them individually, they never seem to oppose you or disagree with you. They may even talk about a church service that they attended once, or ask you to pray for a sick family member; but when they get together, either in your presence or not, you become the butt of all of their jokes. Have you ever been there? It isn’t fun, is it? But, remember you are not really alone. Christ is with you.

Sometimes, you may even have to stand alone in your church. I remember years ago my wife had a certain conviction that she was ostracized for by some of the other ladies in the church. How do you think she felt? Sometimes preachers have to stand alone in their fellowship with other churches, preachers, friends from college, etc. The bottom line is that there are going to be times when you are going to have choose between your peers and your Lord. It is not easy to stand alone. The easiest thing to do is to acquiesce and conform to the whims of the people around you. It is much easier to fit in than to stand out. But be assured, when you are standing for the Lord, the Lord stands with you. Remember the three young men in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace. They weren’t alone, the Lord was with them, and He will be with you too.


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