Wednesday, September 9, 2015

THE WORD

Today’s Reading: 2 Timothy 3-4

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Celsus Library – This library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 AD as a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor across the entrance, and there was a statue of Athena over it because she was the goddess of wisdom. The Celsus Library facade has two-stories with Corinthian-style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. They used an optical trick. The columns on the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size. The statues in the niches of the columns today are copies of the originals. The statues symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and valor (Arete). These are the virtues to which Celsus aspired. No doubt at some time Celsus had heard the message that “In Whom, (Jesus) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). The library scrolls and the manuscripts were kept in cupboards in niches on the walls. There were double walls behind the bookcases to protect the scrolls from the extremes of temperature and humidity. The capacity of the library was more than 12,000 scrolls.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

 

What was to be the substance of Timothy’s message? Firstly, The Holy Scriptures (3:15). Secondly, “all Scripture” (3:16). Let us remember that the New Testament had not yet been compiled. “The parchments” to which Paul refers in 4:13b were probably portions of the Hebrew Bible. “The books” Paul asks to have brought to him may have been writings of general knowledge, such as those found in the great library of Ephesus. Even back then, “readers” were “leaders.”

A background reading today might be Acts 19:23-41. As Paul writes what may have been his final letter before his beheading in Rome, he challenges Timothy to concentrate on using Scripture to fight against doctrinal error and moral evil. This is vitally important for us, as it was for Timothy. Paul had the credentials to say these things. He had proven himself by demonstrations of faith, such as found in 1 Corinthians 15:32, “I have fought with beasts at Ephesus.” Paul may have indeed been placed in the arena for the entertainment of the people of Ephesus. God must have shut the mouths of lions once again as He had done to protect Daniel. The book of Daniel may well have been in the parchments Paul wanted. We may want to read Daniel 6:10-28.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, we are living in perilous times right now! Therefore, I pray that, as never before, I will effectively “convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” May I preach the WORD everywhere in messages in the pulpit, in the media, as well as in personal one-to-one witnessing. I make this request through Jesus, the One who is in Himself the full Expression of Your WORD! I ask for Your grace that I may fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

From my earliest days of public preaching, I sought to fill my speaking with “The Word of God,” the Holy Scriptures. I reached the conclusion that when I did this faithfully, I saw results. God has not promised to bless my verbal wanderings, but He has promised to bless His Word!

I want to thank all who gave me your input for my great-grandson, Myles Neilson.  For readers who may not be aware of what happened on this blog, click here for Myles’ question (in my “100 Personal Words”). If anyone else wants to have a word for Myles, it’s not too late. You can attach your advice to that blog and I’ll read your thoughts before I retire this evening. Thanks so very very much for participating with me in the blog and in Myles’ life.

Yours for the greatest possible effectiveness of God’s Word in our lives and in the lives of everyone we meet,

David

P.S. Those parchments which Paul wanted brought to him may have included “The Psalms.” God willing, we’ll start these Scriptures in tomorrow’s reading.

Ruins of the ancient Celsus Library in Ephesus (described in the photo caption above). In the second century after Christ, the gods and godesses of ancient Greece and Rome were still prominent, but as a result of Paul’s three years here, as well as the ministry of Timothy as Pastor and others, the Church of Jesus Christ was growing stronger all the time.

27 thoughts on “Wednesday, September 9, 2015

  1. Thank you for your prayers, I just came home yesterday at 3:30 p.m. During surgery my bone cracked and was wired, the only problem is I am only allowed to put 50% weight on it for 6 weeks. I had a pain in my thigh for years, no one knew what caused it, but after surgery that pain became unbearable. So I have not been able to get in or out of bed without help. They put me on a pill for nerve pain and it’s helping so far. The hip surgery had never been painful!!! I have been relying on God’s promises, ” I will never leave you or forsake you,” and. “I will not give you more than you can bare ” yesterday I was reading 1 Peter 1 verse 7 –” That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
    I was given a book ” One Thousand Gifts.” By Ann Voskamp. I don’t know who put it in my mail box at church. But it is about giving thanks , and I really believe that as I was thanking God for all things, I recieved answers to prayers.
    One of my poems, given by God, has these verses, ” May I always embrace the plans You have for me, Plans of hope for my future or plans of adversity. For You, alone are Sovereign, You set limits on suffering and pain, and I know that because You love me, You work all things for my gain.” I am able to give thanks that God is still Sovereign, in all things. Thank you again and I would like you to continue praying as, because of pain, I still cannot get in or out of bed one my own, it is just too painful. I thought of Job a lot, also, and all his pain!! So, now I have to get back to reading the last 9 days of blog. God Bless you all.

    • Oh Mary, you are so sweet and have been constantly on my mind and in my prayers, this week. God bless you and continue to heal you, in Jesus precious name. Amen, amen and amen!

    • God bless you Mary I am a little confused however, you have more pain than before the surgery? Is that right? Lord God You know exactly the whole situation that Mary is in and I pray Lord that You lead and guide the doctors to make sure that Mary will be okay, that her hip will heal, I pray Lord God that You give Mary the strength and wisdom to be her own advocate and that You will give her the right words and time to discuss any concerns she may have with regard to her surgery! Thank you Lord! Thank You that Mary is at home, please provide her with the help that she will need and the grace and mercy to communicate her needs! I pray this in Jesus Name AMEN

      • Thank you for you prayers, yes, I did have pain in my thigh for over 10 years, but it wasn’t bad. I do not have pain where I had the replacement!! Yet this other pain became burning, stinging,and quite unbareable. It only lasts a few minutes, but I cannot stand it, it is so painful. Medication for nerve pain is helping, but full effect won’t come for a few weeks.

    • Hi Mary
      Just to assure you that my prayers are with you.
      I like the quote from your poem. I am often reminded of Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; and all we are the work of Your Hand.” There is a beautiful illustration of the Potter perfecting a vessel of his choosing. With one hand within the vessel, he ‘gently’ applies pressure to the inner way…and with the other hand, he is applying more pressure to form the type of vessel he has in mind. The inner pressure is to assure the vessel will not collapse when the eternal pressure is applied. May the inner strength of the Holy Spirit help you through these next few weeks. Ephesians 3:14-20. This is great in the Living Bible Paraphrase. Kind regards, Samuel

  2. Pastor David, for someone who has just spoken in my home church, the key verse and your words are very meaningful to me. Thank you for your blog and your prayer which I prayed. I pray I will be a mentor to our young pastor couple(they take turns preaching) and they seem to want to stay close to the Lord. Please pray that if it be the Lord’s will that I will have other opportunities to speak as well, at least when they need a fill-in. Do we have to have 100% approval to do a work for God? I would like bloggers’ opinion on that. I am being very transparent here. Thank you for the opportunity to speak into Myles’ life. Blessings!

  3. Praise God Mary that you have come this far by faith and we know He will be faithful to the end. Will pray for you as I go out in the car today. God bless you dear sister and thank you for sharing.

  4. Ger, I know that we must be ready at any time (in season and out of season) to let God speak through us. Keeping close by prayer and worship is like keeping a car oiled and filled with gas for any emergency trip. I might be wrong in this but I believe, if God opens an opportunity and you are prepared, (with prayer) “go for it”! I hope I am correct on this assumption.

    • I agree Doreen HOWEVER if an opportunity comes up and I don’t do anything about it, I don’t beat myself up either, because if I recognize the situation and didn’t do something, I tell God that I am sorry I did not catch the situation, however I pray that someone else did!
      I TRY each day to pray tht if a situation arises that I am to act upon, dear Lord, let me know or speak ot me or also tell me if I am to keep quiet!
      Blessings

  5. Dear David and wisest saints! I need help in discernment. Is anyone familiar with Dr. Wayne Dyer? In his book “Wishes Fulfilled” he insiststs it’s not blasphemous to say I AM GOD and references Philippine 2:5-6, and John 10:33-35. Please help me divide the Word of Truth in this !???

      • We are not God and any teaching that says we are is false. We must remember even the Devil used Scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin when he was in the wilderness 40 days. Also just based on the title of the book, I wouldn’t be reading it. Wishes are about self, and for those who know the Lord what we want is what God wants and what God wants is plainly spell out in Scripture. That is the our real fulfillment, so there is no reason for a born again Christian to be reading a book about Wish Fulfillment, because your true Fulfillment is in Christ, nothing else, so why waste your time, looking for something you already have–

        • Amen Donna M! Iput the book down because it didn’t feel right but I do believe in the power of the spoken word and naming and claiming Scripture such as I am powerful, I am loving, I am sound-minded as these are Jesus’ words. That’s what drew me to it in the first place. I’m so thankful for your response Donna M. I knew I would find the answer here! BLESSINGS!!

          • Just to be on the safe side, when claiming those statements, I would add In Christ; In Christ I am powerful; In Christ I am loving; In Christ I have a sound mind. A lot of new age stuff uses the I am statements, so to avoid attracting those type of spirits to you by using I am statements, just add In Christ, so there will be no spiritual confusion, and they won’t be able to draw you to false teachings like they did with this book. I hope that helps.

    • In Isaiah 41:23 God challenges the people of Israel to prove they were gods. Then is verse24 he says “ye are nothing.”
      Also read the 1st several verses of Ezekiel 28′ especially vs2
      The matter of we being gods is a quotation from Psalm 82:6. The Hebrew word used here for “gods” is “Elohim,” That is the “judges.” This was spoken in a derisive way as if to say, you act as if you are gods(judges), but in vs 7 it says, “But you shall die as mere men.”
      What you are referring to is the false teaching that we as Christian are little “gods.” The bible is very clear that there is only one God. We are not little gods. That false teaching come from the Gnostics who taught that we could become gods. Whether is is taught by well known charamatic TV evangelist today or not, it is not true. Having the “mind of Christ” means we are to have the same attitude as Christ. This passage is talking about humility. We are to be humble like Christ, who though he was God was so humble that he did not consider equality with God was something to be grasped. No we are not gods who can create our own reality. To believe so, in my opinion, is indeed blasphemy. I am sure those who teach this false doctrine are sincere in teaching this, but they are wrong. I trust that God will not hold this
      against them.

      • Very awesome Donald! I have an opportunity to witness to this friend as I return the book. I’m praying so fervently for Jesus to fill my mouth with the right words!! I haven’t brought anyone new to Christ yet.

  6. Amen again Donna M. I am IN CHRIST JESUS! I’ve started reading ‘The Three Heavens’ by John Hagee. WOW! Right from page 1 WOW! Glorious day to all IN CHRIST!

  7. Great response to Kathie…in helping her get on track…I’m in agreement with your wise words Donna and Stubbs and Donna M. We are children of God not His little gods. And out trust and guidance is His Word, the Bible.

    As Rev. David Mainse put it “the Apostle Paul challenges Timothy to concentrate on using scripture to fight against doctrinal error and moral evil. This is very important for us as it was for Timothy.”

    Compare scripture with scripture to find the true meaning!!!

  8. Good to hear from you Mary Stewart and pray the Lord Jesus Christ release the pain and that you will be able to walk without pain again. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

    As I understand it the Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide and gives us Peace of mind and heart in all things. Our source is Jesus and it is His approval we seek.

  9. I want to say thank you David for this blog, for faithfully rising at 4 every morning to prepare it! I’ve been enjoying it for months now, and recently my husband began to read it each morning also, and one of my sons. Praise the Lord! Regarding little Myles. Proverbs 2 says we should cry out for insight and for understanding, and God will graciously supply this to the one who sincerely seeks. In my experience with the Lord, we are to remain in that attitude of seeking His insight and wisdom, like the persistent widow, we ask not just once, but until we receive the answer. And we may grow progressively more insightful and wise, not all at once. Little Myles will surely receive help from the Lord as he keeps seeking. Even so, most of us still may ” mess up” occasionally. Sometimes insight comes from the lessons we learn when we mess up!

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