Bible Thursday – 2 Timothy 3

Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it. Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They’re as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse.

But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

2 Timothy 3:12-17

Ya’ll, I want to go to seminary and become a preacher just so I can talk about these verses.

Have you ever read so much awesome in one place in your whole dang life?  I know I said I wouldn’t put a bunch of my opinions in Bible Thursday but clearly I’m a big, fat liar so let’s take a look.

Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it.

This is just true.  I know you don’t like it.  I know you want it to be different.  I want doughnuts to be healthy but we can’t always get what we want, ok?   This doesn’t mean that your entire Christian life will be drudgery, turmoil and horror.  But friends… there will be trouble.  If there isn’t, I just assume you are doing it wrong.

One more thing here.  This is why I feel it is so dangerous to mislead new Christians about the reality of Christian living.  If you think this life is just going to be praise music and potluck dinners, Satan is gonna have a field day with you.

Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They’re as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse.

I’m talking to myself here.  It’s good to be reminded of this verse.  Now every time you see some random moron who calls himself a preacher or evangelist or whatever doing something real heathen, just remember that 2000 years ago Paul already knew about this mess.

But don’t let it faze you.

I’m trying but it ain’t easy.

There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.

Here’s the scripture that brought me to my current church.  Our pastor preached it the very first day we visited.  I really did plan to visit other churches.  But honestly?  God knows how important this verse is to me and I don’t believe in spiritual coincidence.

Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Can you even stand this?  I mean are you not just having a Jesus moment with this deal?

I claim to be ‘falling apart’ about 8 times per week.  Through the Word, I am put back together every time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Bible Tuesday – Revelation Part 35

Following this I saw another Angel descend from Heaven. His authority was immense, his glory flooded earth with brightness, his voice thunderous:

Revelation 18:1

I just really am curious about this particular angel, aren’t you?

Ruined, ruined, Great Babylon, ruined!
    A ghost town for demons is all that’s left!
A garrison of carrion spirits,
    garrison of loathsome, carrion birds.
All nations drank the wild wine of her whoring;
    kings of the earth went whoring with her;
    entrepreneurs made millions exploiting her.

Revelation 18:2-8

It’s all over for Babylon ya’ll.  You can read the whole chapter here.  But trust me when I tell ya, it’s nothing but doom.

But after all this doom, something interesting happens.

I heard a sound like massed choirs in Heaven singing,

Hallelujah!
The salvation and glory and power are God’s—
    his judgments true, his judgments just.
He judged the great Whore
    who corrupted the earth with her lust.
He avenged on her the blood of his servants.

Then, more singing:

Hallelujah!
The smoke from her burning billows up
    to high Heaven forever and ever and ever.

The Twenty-four Elders and the Four Animals fell to their knees and worshiped God on his Throne, praising,

Amen! Yes! Hallelujah!

From the Throne came a shout, a command:

Praise our God, all you his servants,
All you who fear him, small and great!

Then I heard the sound of massed choirs, the sound of a mighty cataract, the sound of strong thunder:

Hallelujah!
The Master reigns,
    our God, the Sovereign-Strong!
Let us celebrate, let us rejoice,
    let us give him the glory!
The Marriage of the Lamb has come;
    his Wife has made herself ready.
She was given a bridal gown
    of bright and shining linen.
The linen is the righteousness of the saints.

It appears that there is great rejoicing in Heaven when God finally issues His righteous judgement.  No one is questioning God in this passage.  It’s quite lovely, isn’t it?

Share

Bible Thursday – 2 Timothy

So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, his prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now.

2 Timothy 1:8-10

 

Share

Bible Tuesday – Revelation Part 34

I think if you’ve been with me on this since week one (and if so, God luv ya!) you can begin to understand why some people are just not big fans of the book of Revelation.  I can readily admit that this book has probably been more misused, mis-preached and misunderstood than any other portion of scripture.  But that’s no good excuse to give up.  So let’s keep going.

 

One of the Seven Angels who carried the seven bowls came and invited me, “Come, I’ll show you the judgment of the great Whore who sits enthroned over many waters, the Whore with whom the kings of the earth have gone whoring, show you the judgment on earth dwellers drunk on her whorish lust.”

In the Spirit he carried me out in the desert. I saw a woman mounted on a Scarlet Beast. Stuffed with blasphemies, the Beast had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, festooned with gold and gems and pearls. She held a gold chalice in her hand, brimming with defiling obscenities, her foul fornications. A riddle-name was branded on her forehead: great babylon, mother of whores and abominations of the earth. I could see that the woman was drunk, drunk on the blood of God’s holy people, drunk on the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

Revelation 17:1-6

Alrighty then.

 Astonished, I rubbed my eyes. I shook my head in wonder.

Apparently John and I are on the same page here which makes me feel a bit better.

The Angel said, “Does this surprise you? Let me tell you the riddle of the woman and the Beast she rides, the Beast with seven heads and ten horns. The Beast you saw once was, is no longer, and is about to ascend from the Abyss and head straight for Hell. Earth dwellers whose names weren’t written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world will be dazzled when they see the Beast that once was, is no longer, and is to come.

“But don’t drop your guard. Use your head. The seven heads are seven hills; they are where the woman sits. They are also seven kings: five dead, one living, the other not yet here—and when he does come his time will be brief. The Beast that once was and is no longer is both an eighth and one of the seven—and headed for Hell.

The ten horns you saw are ten kings, but they’re not yet in power. They will come to power with the Scarlet Beast, but won’t last long—a very brief reign. These kings will agree to turn over their power and authority to the Beast. They will go to war against the Lamb but the Lamb will defeat them, proof that he is Lord over all lords, King over all kings, and those with him will be the called, chosen, and faithful.”

The Angel continued, “The waters you saw on which the Whore was enthroned are peoples and crowds, nations and languages. And the ten horns you saw, together with the Beast, will turn on the Whore—they’ll hate her, violate her, strip her naked, rip her apart with their teeth, then set fire to her. It was God who put the idea in their heads to turn over their rule to the Beast until the words of God are completed. The woman you saw is the great city, tyrannizing the kings of the earth.”

Revelation 17:6-14

 The Great Whore is Babylon which may be a real place or may just be a symbol of heathen type behavior everywhere. As for the rest…Ya’ll, I just have no idea.  And, you know what?  I could find out.  I could research this and really get an informed answer for you.  But until we actually have a world leader that promises peace, gets killed and then COMES BACK TO LIFE!, I’m not sure it’s of utmost important to parse every detail of this paragraph.

 

Share

Bible Thursday – Jeremiah 18

God told Jeremiah, “Up on your feet! Go to the potter’s house. When you get there, I’ll tell you what I have to say.”

So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.

Jeremiah 18:1-4

 

See…I knew this would happen.  I post one small section and I’m ready to do a whole study on Jeremiah.

Lucky for you I don’t have time for that just yet.

Here’s what strikes me about these verses.  God can make me better without changing who I am or what I am made of.  Have you ever been through a  time when it felt like God was ‘smashing your pot’?  It’s not a speck of fun, I can tell you that.  But I love that God doesn’t throw the clay out.  He just starts over.

Share