Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Shipwrecked! Not good.

Scripture Read: 1 Timothy 1:18-20  This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

Application: There is much in this section we should consider. After Paul admonishes Timothy to fight the good fight, he turns his focus to warn about what some in the body have done. The description is difficult to take in. The outcome is even worse. We also need to take heed of these descriptions and warnings, because none of us are beyond falling into sin. The words Paul uses here bring a vivid picture of what they have done to the faith, they rejected:

Reject - ἀπωθέω apōthéō; to push, thrust, drive. To thrust away from oneself, cast off, repel, reject (Acts 7:27, 39; 13:46; Rom. 11:1, 2; 1 Tim. 1:19)[1]

They suffered shipwreck:

Suffer shipwreck:  
ναυαγέω nauagéō: one shipwrecked, which is from naús, a ship, and ágnumi, to break. To make shipwreck or to be shipwrecked, in 2 Cor. 11:25 Paul mentions among the many grievous sufferings and afflictions which he underwent in his work as an apostle the fact that he was shipwrecked three times

(τρὶς ἐναυάγησα). Acts 27:9 ff. refers to one such incident, though the apostle cannot have been thinking of this. We have no idea when Paul had these experiences; this shows how defective our knowledge of the details of his life in spite of Acts and his epistles, and it also shows how exciting the life and work of the apostle were.

1 Tm. 1:19 uses ναυαγεῖν figuratively. Timothy must fight the good fight of faith. Because opponents have not done this, their life of faith has suffered shipwreck. The apostle knows of no Christian life which does not involve serious and manly moral striving. Without this there is both theoretical and practical aberration. The life falls victim to both error and perversion of conduct, in other words: περὶ τὴν πίστιν ἐναυάγησαν.)[2]

Consider what they did to their trusting belief in God:
~ They thrust Him away, they repelled away from God.
~ They did not fight to keep their faith. We cannot trust and then go to sleep.
We must embrace You Lord and stay focused on You, fight off those things that would try to weaken our trust in You and Who we know You are. Proactive mistrust of You and passive belief in You will lead to us losing our walk with You. We need to actually do the opposite – instead of pushing You away, we need to embrace You even when we do not understand everything. Instead of accepting the worldly view of the way things are, we need to go deeper in our reasoning and learn to trust You is more than we do, this will cause a fight within our minds and flesh.

Meditation Questions: Are you happy with everything in your walk with the Lord? What needs to change or be improved? What are your plans? How have you fought your flesh when it comes to your faith? How have you fought the world to keep your faith? What does that show?

[1] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
[2] Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Peace in the midst of a war

Scripture Read: 1 Timothy 1:18-20 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

Application: It is no surprise that Paul brings up “conscience” when discussing “fighting the good fight”.  We allow ourselves to get so wrapped up in what everyone else thinks about us. It affects the way we look, the way we act, what we own; it even affects the way we smell! All these outside influences are trying to mold us into a different image than what God desires. Understanding that, is really the beginning of understanding the “fight” we are in. The world has an image of a “self made” person. One that is dependent on no one, self assured and gratifies itself based on it’s appetites. God has given several things to us to enable us victory in this fight. The first and foremost is Himself, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Yet, many of us under estimate another tool God has equipped all of us with: Conscience. Our conscience is our compass in life. Our Lord honors our conscience; living in a fallen world this is important! Consider:
Genesis 20:3–6 (NET)  But God appeared to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 5 Did Abraham not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience and with innocent hands!” 6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. That is why I have kept you from sinning against me and why I did not allow you to touch her.

Conscience is key in Salvation: After Peter preached the Holy Spirit pressed hard on the conscience of those listening and they knew they had sinned. We need this tool for God to touch in His gentle way, so we can know the direction we are in, including our teaching, is correct.

Acts 2:37 (NASB95) Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

Conscience is what keeps us in peace! If we stand for the Truth in this world, we can count on the world standing against us. Being sinners ourselves, we can begin to wonder if the world is right in it’s judgments of us. Our conscience is what vindicates us to ourselves, and more importantly, our God!

1 Peter 3:15–16 (NASB95) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

At the end of each day, the real issue is, am I at peace with God and the person inside? No matter the circumstances or accusations. It won’t matter how much you did or didn’t get done, if you are clear with yourself and God you will sleep well at night. To the dismay of this world and the prince of the power of the air, at the end of the day when you have kept the good fight, you will sleep like a baby!

Meditation Questions: Do you take time each day to do a conscience check? Do you let what the world thinks affect you? How? In what way should we let it affect us? In what way should we not allow it to affect us? Do you get anxious? What about? Why? What does that show? Do you ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your conscience? How much noise do you keep in your life? Where and when is there a time for you to be quiet? Do you have such a place and time? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Scripture Read: 1 Timothy 1:18-20 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

Application: Fighting the good fight involves how we use our faith. Trusting God for whatever we need. Believing He is committed to His Word and to us. So how do we fight the good fight? 2500 years ago Sun Tzu taught in the “Art of war” that to properly fight war is simple. In fact the more complicated you make it the better the chance you have to fail. He boils war down to 5 constant factors. 2000 years ago Paul wrote on this same topic, except this time it was about spiritual warfare. Yet, he makes it clear that even here we must KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid! J While watching a show on WWII paratroopers, I noticed something. They would jump with a lot of equipment on their back, their chest and even on their legs. However, when it came time for them to move into battle their platoon leader would say “guns and ammo only gentlemen”. They kept it simple

Paul teaches the KISS principle also. The first aspect noted is the terrain. As in physical warfare, terrain is important, we better know about the landscape. It’s not what we see in the physical world but in the spirit world. Today, many in the church expose their ignorance to where our spiritual warfare is actually is. Often, they think through intimidation and positive thinking upper ground will be taken against the enemy. The words they use betray the wrong thinking: “loosing the spirit” (as if the Holy Spirit obeys our commands), “binding” (as if the enemy can be bound by us, even an Arch Angel never tried something so foolish), “demanding”, (Commanding in Jesus name what we do not know is really what Jesus desires) and challenging (Speaking to demons as if we were the Lord). Yes we have power but it is in Christ to stand. Paul spends most of his time showing us that the real battle is in our heart.  The lies the devil wispers to us (God is not real, He won’t save us, we’re alone).  vs The Truth of God, Who He is, His love for us, will always defeat the lies of the enemy Do we arm ourselves in our thought life to be ready for the enemy? Look what Paul states:

1 Cor. 3:18-19 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. [19] For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness";

Ephes. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Col. 2:8  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

* 2 Corinthians 10:4 -6 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Paul encourages very proactive thinking:

Romans 13:11-14 And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. [12] The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. [13] Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. [14] But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

When was the last time you thought about how you are NOT going to live?

Meditation Questions: when something or someone causes you to doubt God, what do you do? What is the difference between reactive living and proactive living?  If you took the time to evaluate your life right now, would there be a way to simplify it? How would that look?  Do you spend time thinking about how NOT to live? What would that do for you?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fight yourSELF

Scripture Read: 1 Timothy 1:18-20  This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

Application: How do we fight the good fight? What does that mean and how do we do it? The fight we are to fight is nothing like the fighting that takes place in this world. Firstly, when there is a fight in this world the person who is fighting does so against a foe that he feels is a threat to him. He wants to live and believes that someone is trying to interfere with that. Our fight on the other hand is quite different. We fight a foe that we KNOW is out to dominate us, control us and in time destroy us. The most interesting difference is that our foe is not someone else – it is us, the old us. We don’t realize it but we are not trying to live, but to die. It is the old self that is fighting to live apart from what you intended for us. Let us surrender to You Lord, and allow the new man You have regenerated in us to live through us, keeping our body as a slave to righteousness. Our body desires to be the master, but it is a terrible master, yet a wonderful slave. Paul speaks a lot about the fight that rages within our flesh. He equates it to the entire focus of his existence, which we would call our “mission”. What does mission means?   

Defined: Mission - a specific task with which a person or a group is charged.

Paul wrote much on mission and how to approach it. His own personal mission was a driving force as we see by his last words to the elders at Ephesus as he prepared to go to Rome and die.

Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

Paul as our example was driven to fight this fight. Motivated by his love for Timothy he encouraged him to do the same. As he closes the letter to Timothy he reminds him of his deep desire, to see the disciple he loves so much, finish well.

1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

In the last letter he ever wrote, he wrote again to Timothy, knowing he was soon to die at the hands of Nero, he uses the terminology of one in a victorious battle.

2 Tim. 4:7  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.

What does it mean to fight the good fight of Faith? Believing – did we believe what Your word said Father? Knowing, what You commanded and promised Father, did we trust in it until the end? Denying what our flesh would cry for; doubt, fear, anxiety, whispering to us to “walk by sight”, did we hold our ground and trustingly believe, no matter the circumstances, in You?

Meditation Questions: Do you ever blame others for your sin? What does that show? What or who do you think is your greatest enemy? When you fight against sin, what do you believe you need? How do you control your flesh? How do you think you learn to trust the Lord? If you know that someone is out to hurt you, what should you do about that? How should this change how you view your flesh?

Monday, November 7, 2011


Scripture Read: 1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Application: How many times Father do we read portions like this in Your Word and just pass them by? Perhaps, if we would slow down and contemplate what they are communicating we would appreciate You that much more.

King: No thing and no person is above You. You are The Sovereign, possessing supreme and ultimate rule and power, over us and everything in the world. You set all the standards and make all the rules in nature and all the universe. Your word is the final authority over all matters!

Eternal – The one that has no beginning or ending. This does not fit into our finite brain, but that makes it no less true. Before there was a universe, You are! After all is gone of this universe we know, You will be! You do not think ten years ahead, not twenty years ahead, You are over time and Your thoughts penetrate past, present and future!

Immortal – All life is in You. You devour death and end it’s threat. The life in You is not only never ending, it is all consuming! When You share Your life with us, it regenerates our being and brings abundant living to all that we do.

Invisible – You are the One there even when no one thinks You are. You are the One working even when it is completely behind the scenes. You are the One that refuses to allow us to walk by sight, because our eyes can deceive us so easily, so You teach us to walk by faith. All that You are and all that You do is very apparent though we do not see You.

The only God – Enough Said!!!

Father we cannot nor will we ever be able to fully explain, comprehend or appreciate You. We can though by choice give You all that we are and learn to love You more everyday! Thank You for never giving up on us and allowing us to know You and the depth of Your love!

Meditation Questions: How often do you think of God in terms of what He does for you? When was the last time you thanked God “just because”? How often after you praise God do you then ask Him for something? How often do you spend time only praising God? Why do so many find this hard to do? Could it be the “flesh” does not like it? Try reading a Psalm of praise back to God. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

God’s model should be our standard

Scripture Read: 1 Timothy 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Application: Paul, after making it clear that he was the worst sinner he can think of, he shares with us the incredible truth of how long suffering, merciful and forgiving Christ is using himself as the example. Paul is loved by believers of all ages because we see what he became, but how would we feel toward Paul if he had not turned into who we know because of Christ? What do you think Stephen’s parents and friends thought of Paul when he was still Saul? (Read Acts 9:13, 26) What did the Lord Jesus Christ feel when He watched this man Saul kill many of our Lord’s brothers and sisters? Those that had trusted in His saving grace, picked up their crosses and followed Him, only to be tortured and put to death by this Pharisee. What do I feel toward those that murdered 3000 people in the twin towers for their cause? On my own I can tell you frankly it is not love! Father, I do not possess within myself the capacity to love people like that. If they repent, come to Christ and become new creatures, I have no problem when I meet them, to forget their past and loving them as brothers and sisters. I have experienced this many times while working in the prison, meeting men that had done terrible things before they came into a relationship with You. I had no problem expressing love to them, not thinking of what they use to be like at all. Your love Father is different than that! You love NOW! Just as we are. Not after we become lovable, but even while we are in rebellion and even when we attack You! (Acts 9:4-5) You have made it clear Lord, no one is beyond Your mercy! Lord, I want to love them as You do, before their change.  Paul makes it clear that he is the example of Your love:

Demonstrate: ἐνδείκνυμι endeíknumi; from en, in, to, and deíknumi, to show. To point out or show in anything.  (Sept.: Josh. 7:14ff.). In the NT used in the mid. endeíknumai, to show forth, to manifest in connection with anything relating to or depending on oneself

Perfect: ἅπας hápas; from háma, together, and pás, all, but stronger than the basic pás. In 1 Tim. 1:16 we have hápasan makrothumían, The literal translation would be “the all long–suffering.” Long–suffering is not exactly the same as patience. Long–suffering is one’s attitude toward humans while patience (hupomon ) is one’s enduring attitude toward things and circumstances. Paul refers to the demonstration of Christ’s long–suffering, first of all to Paul as a great sinner and then to all humanity. In Christ’s long–suffering we have the ultimate demonstration of long–suffering, all of the virtue in its various aspects fully demonstrated. The adj. “all” here should be taken as the virtue in all its inclusiveness, therefore, the ultimate long–suffering.
Example: ὑποτύπωσις hupotúpōsis; to draw a sketch or first draft as painters when they begin a picture. A delineation, sketch, concise representation or form; a pattern, example  [1]

Thank You Lord for making Your long-suffering the standard of love for us to follow. You showed such long-suffering toward Paul as a pattern of Your love toward all mankind! In spite of all those that deny Your existence, mock You, falsely accuse You of being unloving because there is sin in the world, or belittle our belief in You as a mere superstition, the fantasy of immature people that can’t face that we are nothing more than a cosmic accident. It is not worth listing all the many ways people have demeaned You because, You still…STILL extend mercy and grace to anyone that will come. Oh my God please fill us with the same kind of love and long-suffering You have!

Meditation Questions: Do you think there is anyone that cannot be saved? Are there people you know that do not deserve to be forgiven? Does anyone deserve to be forgiven? When you meet someone, how much does their past impact your feelings toward them? What does that say? How much grace and mercy do you think extended to you? How much are you willing to do the same for others? What does that say?

[1] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.