Changing our minds

2 Timothy 3.8 observes they are corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.

Paul describes what life in the church and outside the church will be like in later days – a description that appears eerily similar to our own times.

While most of his description concerns character and actions it can be summarized as a result of a corrupt mind and thus a disqualification of faith.

What leads us to a corrupt mind and a disqualification of our faith?

Practically in our case it is a belief from listening to news channels coupled with belief from listening to public teachers whose perspectives are contrary to the Scriptures which are generally ignored thus leading to corruption of the mind and a useless faith.

Our beliefs determine our actions therefore the Scriptures place great emphasis on setting our minds on Christ and not on things of the world.

God has revealed Himself, His will, and His ways for all people for all time through the Scriptures but our refusal to daily consume those Scriptures causes us to not know God and fail to obey His will.

While we attend church with other ignorant and disobedient people we deceive ourselves into thinking all is well when the reality is God will reject us as lukewarm adherents of His Son rather than welcome us as obedient disciples who have become useful laborers in His kingdom building work.

The fact that we have so little to show of eternal value from our time and treasure use is indicative of where our hearts, minds and hands are focused.

If we really want to be a people pleasing to God we will engross ourselves in the holy Scriptures in order to know God and do His will.

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Living Large

2 Timothy 1.1 invites us to the life that is in Christ Jesus.

Jesus said He is life and that He gives life to whomever He chooses.

This is the work and will of God that people should have life and have it both eternally and abundantly. How great is God Who desires such things for people and Who has made provision for people to receive such things.

Yet to receive this life that God desires people to have men must die to self: self-preservation, self-orientation and self-promotion.

Jesus gives us life as we exchange our dying life for His eternal life.

The life that is in Christ Jesus is both present and future. It is present in peace with God, in hope for eternity and in power for living rightly with our fellow human beings. It is future when we see God face-to-face, and are transformed fully with new bodies that live and act forever with and like Jesus.

Now the joy of the Lord is our strength in spite of our circumstances, then our joy in the Lord will be unbound and unbridled in heaven and upon the new earth as we live in peace with God and one another.

The life in Christ we have now sets us on our eternal journey of knowing and worshiping God.

It is purposeful now as we give ourselves wholly to knowing Him and to making Him known on earth.

The life we are to live in Christ is to look like the life of Christ as He lived here 2000 years ago; holy, loving, peaceful, purposeful and sacrificial.

We have already given our lives to God and we now give our lives for men that all may come to know Him and likewise receive this life abundant and eternal.

 

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Excercising our faith

1 Timothy 4.7 commands we train for godliness.

The Apostle Paul compares spiritual training to physical training: the former has eternal value while the latter has value only in this life. We understand the value of physical exercise and many Christians are dedicated to healthy living.

Regrettably the value and process of spiritual exercise is less appreciated or practiced among Christians.

Having received our salvation as a gift from God we neglect the working out of our salvation with fear and trembling as the Scripture commands. While God’s salvation is given and not earned it is developed in the life of the Christian through diligent practice of godliness.

Godliness is the being and doing of that which is reflective of the character and will of God.

Jesus is God visible so the way He lived and the things He did are instructive for developing godliness in our lives.

These things are Scripture study and prayer along with living with fellow disciples. In addition, works of service to the poor and needy along with the proclamation of the gospel to everyone are some of the practical works Jesus modeled and instructed His people to follow.

By seeking God individually and corporately then serving humanity physically and spiritually we practice godliness and become more godly in the process.

This is to be the Christian’s highest priority and certainly is to take more time and expense than our physical training.

The race Christians are to run is for the prize of God’s glory upon earth as it is in heaven and to receive his commendation upon judgment day. Those who are diligent to train for godliness will certainly be successful on that day when we meet God face to face.

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True Greatness

Daniel 10.8 observes my radiant appearance was fearfully changed.

Daniel was a great man of God because he earnestly sought God through prayer and obedience. Daniel searched the Scriptures to know what God required and what God was planning.

This pursuit of God first caused God to rejoice greatly in Daniel and then to reveal much to Daniel.

When God or His angel encountered Daniel, Daniel was not exalted nor glorified despite being told how much he was greatly loved.

Rather when holy messengers appeared to Daniel he was made less in appearance for their appearance was so brilliant. Daniel had no problem with his radiance being as nothing while standing in the presence of Him Whose appearance was like lightning.

Daniel well understood he was a man and that God and His angels are greater beings.

The purpose of man is to glorify God, it is not God’s purpose to glorify man.

Some in the Church think and proclaim that God is in the business of making men great.

God is actually in the business of restoring His greatness upon the earth which is currently full of rebellious men and angels. Men do become greater as they humble themselves before God and engage His work on the earth.

Man’s greatness is in his transformation into the image of Jesus and not in any self promotion.

God is to be worshiped and glorified among men; He does not worship or glorify man.

In our world where we raise children to believe the universe revolves around them we struggle to humble ourselves in order to worship God but God would be less than God if He required anything less than our complete adoration of Him.

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