2 Timothy

Time, Talent, Treasure, Trust, what are we doing with ours?

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2 Timothy 4

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

God gives each of a measure of life. He alone knows when we will be born and when we will die. Along with our lives, God gives each of us the four T’s in different measures.

We all have:

  1. Time – v.6 “the time of my departure is at hand.”
    1. The amount of time we have is the amount of time we are accountable to God for.
    2. This is a measurable amount though we do not know the measure. Some live longer, some not very long at all. The amount of time we have is all that we have.
    3. Matthew 20:1-16 The laborers in the vineyard were called to work for the master with the amount of time that they were in the vineyard.

 

  1. Talents – v.7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
    1. Each of us have different abilities from birth.       All of these abilities need to be developed and matured until we can use them fully for God’s glory. Hebrews 12:1 We each are assigned a race that we are to run. You cannot run any race except the one God has given you.
    2. God gives us abilities and then tells us to develop and use them until He comes.   Matthew 25:14-30 Each servant was given different amounts of money to invest according to his own ability.

 

  1. Treasures – v.8 “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day”
    1. Most of us do not have treasures of gold hidden in a vault.
    2. All of us have treasures that we place value in.
    3. Jesus calls us to seek, as our priority, as our treasure, His kingdom and His glory. Matthew 13:44-46 – Jesus is the pearl of great price, our greatest Treasure.

 

  1. Trust – v.8 “not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
    1. This might be the most difficult of the T’s.
    2. Trust is based on previous experience. The disciples were afraid of the storm based on being in previous storms. But they had never had Jesus in the boat with them before.
    3. When we feel we have been mistreated trust becomes difficult. Mary and Martha were disappointed that Jesus let their brother die. They both corrected him when he arrived.
    4. Whatever God brings into our lives, He brings it for our good and for His glory. Romans 8:28 & 32, Luke 15:11-21 – The prodigal son trusted that his father would receive him.

 

As the church of the redeemed, we live in two worlds. We have one foot in this life and one foot in eternity. We receive stimulus from both worlds and decide which to follow more intensely. In his final words of this life, Paul looks back and looks ahead. We must ask ourselves how we are doing with all that God has given us. When we, like Paul, look back and look ahead, what will we see, what will we say? Let live in such a way that we too will love the literal appearing of Christ, whether here or in eternity.

The three weeks of Christmas and New Years have given me more wonderful opportunities to preach God’s goodness and grace as well as His plans for us. I apologize for not keeping up with these devotionals, but my days have been filled with preparations for speaking as well as for a class I am taking next week. Today’s devotional was yesterday’s message at JIBC. One of our members asked if I would preach these four T’s as he was preparing the song service and wanted to incorporate them into the whole service. We are thankful God who uses us as His ministers of His truths.

We have had several people that we met in 2019 and have sought to spend time with them for Christ’s sake. Pray that in 2020, as we continue cultivating these friendships, that we would see some come to Christ. We realize that the harvest here is plenteous. Pray with us for a harvest of souls.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

 

Prepared for every good work

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This was the result of my personal reading this morning. A little different but something for you to consider.
Prepared for every good work

2 Timothy 2:21
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. –

What prepares me to be ready for every good work? The next verse tells me to flee youthful lusts and to follow after righteousness, faith, love and peace.

Looking for Christ’s second coming prepares me to be ready.

A Christ focus, dying to the flesh makes me ready.

Submitting constantly to Christ’s lordship makes me ready.

Fighting the good fight of faith, 2 Timothy 4:7 makes me ready.

The greatest challenge in this life to always being ready for every good work is the constant temptation to sins of the flesh, eyes, and mind. I really need to keep before me that God, the God of heaven and earth, the Savior of my life, the indwelling Holy Spirit, wants me to always be ready for His leading, His opportunity, His immediate placement of me into a situation of doing a good work for Him and His kingdom. If my focus is wrong, if sin has led me astray, if I am at all distracted, then I am not ready for every good work.

While being busy for God, I cannot say that I have always been ready for every good work that He has placed before me. From this point on, I want to follow this admonition of Paul to Timothy and I want to be ready for every good work that God has for me. This is not about what I might get to do so I can become someone for my pride has also caused me not to be ready at times. No, this is about being ready to quietly do what God places before me as His good work.

Thank you for your prayers for my trip. The memorial service went well and I was glad to be able to support my friend and his family. Death is always a reminder that one day all of us will succumb to it. It is a reminder that I never want to be far from as it keeps my focus where it needs to be, that is, on the eternal.