Bible Study

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
How do you and I become veterans for “God and for country”? Here within our text we find four different ways to become such a veteran:

Prepare Yourself for Death 2 Timothy 4:6: “For I am already.”
As a veteran for God and for country, Paul faced death on many occasions. As a child of God, he was prepared to die.

Fight the Good Fight. 2 Timothy 4:7 “ I have fought the good fight.”
School fights, losers, legends and lies.

Finish the Course: 2 Timothy 4:7b “I have finished the race.”
Nov. 5, 2023 Who won the 2023 NYC Marathon?
Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia won the New York City Marathon men’s race on Sunday in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 58 seconds, breaking the all-time record.
New York City Marathon on Sunday was “one of the great moments” of his life.
By finishing the race in 8 hours 43 minutes and 34 seconds, 65 year old Joel Kaufman became the final official finisher of the 26.2-mile race. His rank among the runners: 51,258th place. (More than 100 additional wheelchair and hand-cycle competitors also competed.)

Keep the Faith.
2 Timothy 4:7: “I have kept the faith.”
April 19, 2023A record-setting ultra-marathon runner has been disqualified from her most recent race following allegations that she cheated by using a car for part of it.

Sept. 6, 2023 The Mexico City Marathon may have to start investing in some improved anti-cheating functionality.
A staggering 11,000 runners out of a 30,000-person field were disqualified after they cut some part of the course.

Wade’s Wednesday

A Sight To Behold
A sight to behold is God’s love Divine,
Knowing each day, He gives peace of mind;
His love allowed Christ to die on the cross,
For us to be saved, not forever lost!

A sight to behold is Jesus our Lord,
His sinless life, revered and adored;
His testimony proved faithful & true,
Anything He faced, He’d rightly do!

A sight to behold is the only Saviour,
Living in His Way gives loving favor;
He gives us more than we understand,
Blessing us by the power of His hand!

A sight to behold will be God’s own face,
As Christ returns to take the Bride away;
In a Land of no sin or sickness anymore,
We’ll be Home forever to worship the Lord!

KI

Tuesday With Karen

Alive Forevermore

Alive forevermore is what we become,
When into our heart, salvation will come;
By His blood, we are saved, and set free,
He gives a new life, lasting for eternity!

Alive forevermore, God’s Spirit will be,
Living in our heart, now and eternally;
The Alpha, Omega, Beginning, and End,
Is a rich blessing to know, living within!

Alive forevermore is the Father & Son,
It’s by His perfect will all things are done;
He listens to His own call upon His name,
His direction causes so much change!

Alive forevermore, amidst God’s love,
Is what we will be in Heaven above;
No sickness, sorrow, or trouble from sin,
Will be there as we honor & glorify Him!

God’s Amazing Grace


God’s amazing grace helps us live us day,
He leads our heart in what to do & say;
From the day He comes inside to abide,
He’s there with us, walking by our side!

God’s amazing grace is worth more than gold,
It gives peace of mind to our heart & soul;
We don’t understand all things taking place,
There’s nothing like God’s unending grace!

God’s amazing grace prompts us to do right,
Like Him, it’s with us every day and night;
It starts over as each new day begins,
Oh, how blessed we are, He’s living within!

God’s amazing grace with His special touch,
Knowing as we’re here, we need it so much;
He never leaves one deserted or alone,
It’s His sufficient grace helping us go on!

KI

Give Thanks

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”1 Thessalonians 5:18

I’ve been thinking about gratitude a lot lately. What is it? When should we show it? What does God say about it?

Paul wrote the Thessalonians, “Give thanks in all circumstances”. Most read that verse and think it rather nice. So we slap a sloppy coat of thanksgiving on life and go about our day. In reality, most of us are thankful for very little.

Notice the Bible doesn’t command us to feel thankful in all circumstances. Instead it commands us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” When I begin to praise God in a difficult situation, even if I don’t feel like it, many times the scales fall from my eyes and I begin to see glimpses of His glory sprinkled on the black backdrop of the situation like diamonds on black velvet.

Sometimes I don’t see glory in tragedy, but I still can praise God because I know He is there.

Gratitude changes the lens through which we see the circumstances in our little slice of time. Thanksgiving changes our perspective despite broken dreams, broken relationships, tumultuous circumstances, and unfulfilled longings.

As you praise God for who He is and thank Him for what He’s done, your perspective of Him grows larger and your problems grow smaller. As a result, you will experience a deeper sense of intimacy with God as the emotional gap between what you know to be true and how you feel at the moment closes.

On many occasions in the Psalms, David complained about his circumstances (Psalms 42; 57; 62). But more often than not, about midway through David’s laments, he begins praising God for who He is and thanking God for what He’s done. And you know what happens? All of a sudden David starts feeling better! Life isn’t so bad after all! His problems grow smaller as his perspective of God grows larger, and he begins to see God’s glory shining through the situation.

Why is that? In the writing of one little Psalm, David shifted from depression to rejoicing. He didn’t wait until God changed his situation, solved his problem, or made him feel better before he began thanking Him.

When we stop complaining and grumbling and begin speaking God’s love language of gratitude, our perspective will change as well. We will begin seeing moments of sudden glory through the lens of praise and thanksgiving—glory moments that were there all along, but hidden from the grumbling eye.

Thanksgiving: The Power of a Thankful Heart

imagesDebbie Przybylski

Rejoice evermore.17 Pray without ceasing.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

It is not always easy to give thanks, but this is the very thing we must do in order to see God’s will accomplished in our lives. This is how we move into higher realms of faith for ourselves, for our city, and for our nation.

Thanksgiving has great power to bring joy and break the power of the enemy. Whenever you give thanks to God, despite the most difficult circumstances, the enemy loses a big battle in your life. When you give thanks in the midst of difficulty, you bring pleasure to God’s heart. He is looking for Christians who live in a realm of praise and thanksgiving where the enemy no longer has an ability to hold or manipulate that person. Satan is defeated when we have a thankful heart because thankfulness during difficulty is a sacrifice pleasing to God.

Are you thankful? Are you thankful for your present circumstances?  Are you thankful for your salvation, your friendships, and your job? Thankfulness is a key to your life. It is the key that turns your situation around because it changes you, your outlook, and your attitude. There is power in a thankful heart.

Thankful

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
”   Hebrews 13:15

Giving praise to the Lord is one of the best ways to express our thanks to God for His blessings and yet how many of us do it on a regular basis? Yes, we normally go through our routines of thanking God for our food before we eat, sometimes we even thank Him for the clothes we wear and praise Him for the sunshine. Around the Thanksgiving holiday we may even list out our blessings and reflect on what God has done, but to do we really “offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually” as our theme verse, Hebrews 13:15, states?

Continual doesn’t just mean once a year or even once a day for that matter. It implies that it is repeated without interruption. David said in Psalm 34:1, “…His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” He also said, “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.” (Psalm 119:62)

When’s the last time we found ourselves up at midnight thanking the Lord? Later on in that same psalm David says, “Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.” Do we stop seven times a day to praise God? Do we even stop once or twice to praise Him?

Now that we know that we need to praise God continually, how do we do it? If you think that all praising God involves is sitting in a small group in a quiet place, whispering quiet praise songs–think again! Praising God is an active thing.

The Bible says the following about praise. “shout for joy” (Ps. 32:11) “O clap your hands” (Ps. 47:1) “sing” (Ps. 47:6) “make a loud noise” (Ps. 98:4) “lift up your hands” (Ps. 134:2) “with the sound of trumpet” (Ps. 150:3) “upon the loud cymbals” (150:5) “make a joyful noise” (Ps. 98:4) “rejoice” (Ps. 98:4) “with harp” (Ps. 33:2) We are not to keep praising God to ourselves. We are to “…make known his deeds among the people.” (Psalm 105:1) In other words if you receive a blessing–tell someone about it.

If we are going to develop a lifestyle of praise to God continually we need to put things in perspective. Realize who God is and we who are not. “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3,4) We need to recognize that all of the things we find in our blessing basket come from above.

Better Thanksgiving

the story of Miles Standish
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
“Then the sicknes begane to fall sore amongst them,
and the weather so bad …. the Gov/r and cheefe of them,
seeing so many dye, and fall downe sick dayly,
thought it no wisdom to send away the ship….”
Capt. Miles Standish had been much at his wife Rose’s bedside. As much time, that is, as he could spare from stalking game, guarding against savages, and felling trees to construct crude homes on shore.
A bitter wind whistled through chinks and cracks in the Mayflower, anchored in Plymouth harbor that winter of 1620-21. Rose’s chills would turn to uncontrollable shaking. Then just as suddenly, her body would be ablaze with fever. Herbs from the surgeon’s chest did little to relieve her. By spring only five wives remained out of the eighteen who had sailed to Plymouth. Rose was not among them.
Thanksgiving? What was that? The golden dreams of a New World that Miles and Rose had cherished together had evaporated into hollow hopes. And yet that fall Capt. Standish joined other bereaved Pilgrims in the first Thanksgiving celebration.
The real test of thankfulness is whether we can give thanks from the heart for what we do have, despite the wounds and pains of yesterday’s struggles. Ours is not some fair-weather faith, but a resilient trust in in the midst of pain. The Pilgrims lived close to the edge of survival. Perhaps that is why they were so thankful.
How about you? Does your material bounty cause you to neglect thanks? When your clan gathers this Thanksgiving will a prayer of thankfulness be forgotten between moist turkey and pumpkin pie? Will your children see you bow your head to give thanks, or merely ask for another helping of dressing and cranberry sauce?
Children will be watching, you know. And their little faith is being formed by what they see. Your family’s Thanksgiving celebration will instruct them about thankfulness, for good or ill.
Will they see you too wealthy to be thankful? Too independent to need God any more? Too bitter, perhaps? Or will they watch you truly give thanks for God’s blessings on this special day? And maybe as they watch, they’ll catch a hint that mom and dad and grandmother, in spite of painful seasons they have faced, have seen these bitter winters bear fruit in better thanksgiving.
Copyright © 2018, Ralph F. Wilson

Wade’s Wednesday

Where Is Your Trust?

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. —Jeremiah 17:7

Let’s be honest. Are we always able to trust ourselves in everything? Even the apostle Paul said emphatically about himself, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27). He wouldn’t trust himself to do the right thing unless he kept his body under strict discipline.

Jeremiah reminds us that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9.) It is not possible for any of us to fathom the extent of the deceptions of our heart. How then can we ever trust ourselves or anyone else completely?

Jeremiah warned the last Judean kings against placing their trust in earthly kings (Jeremiah 17:5-6). But they continually sought help from Egypt. How foolish they were! They should have repented of their wickedness and returned to Almighty God for His help.

Where can we put our trust for help in difficult and uncertain times? God’s Word tells us that those who place their trust in God are like trees planted by the waters. Even in drought they will not cease to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

Let’s trust God to produce fruit in our lives.

— Albert Lee

Tuesday With Karen

God’s Unending Love

God’s unending love comes into our life,
The moment we ask Him to come inside;
He saves our soul & forgives all our sin,
Becoming our Guide and faithful Friend!

God’s unending love never goes away,
He lights our path, & shows us the Way;
He says Peace, be still to a raging storm,
He does so many things out of the norm!

God’s unending love gives our life so much,
There is nothing like the love in His touch;
He’s not like men, who get so perplexed,
God’s wisdom knows just what to do next!

God’s unending love is so sweet to know,
It will be there with us, wherever we go;
He saved us when we gave Him our trust,
His love then became a blanket for us!