“4 Ways to Make a Difference in Someone’s Life” October 31

 

4 Ways to Make a Difference in Someone's Life - The world is full of people who are caught in patterns of sin, who are without hope, who have been hurt or disappointed by others, or who are spiritually deluded. How can we make a difference in the lives of others? Our New Testament passage show us 4 ways.The world is full of people who are caught in patterns of sin, who are without hope, who have been hurt or disappointed by others, or who are spiritually deluded. How can we make a difference in the lives of others? Our New Testament passage show us 4 ways.

Today many call evil good and good evil. So many things that are advocated today would have seemed totally illogical 10 years ago. It makes us wonder how people don’t see the truth. But it’s not just unbelievers who can become deluded. How can we avoid spiritual delusion in our own lives.

Also read about overcoming evil and the only One who is “hope worthy.”

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 47 & 48
Psalm 119:113-120
Proverbs 28:5
2 Timothy 4:1-22

 

4 Ways to Make a Difference in Someone’s Life

 

2 Timothy 4.1-22:

Be Ready

Verse 2:

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

The world is full of people who are caught in patterns of sin, who are without hope, who have been hurt or disappointed by others, or who are spiritually deluded. How can we make a difference in the lives of others? Here are just 4 ways:

  • “Preach the Word!” We are to be prepared to share the gospel at all times, whether or not it is convenient, whether or not there is a personal cost, and whether or not our words are accepted. This isn’t just for those in full time ministry. It’s for each one of us (Matt. 28.19-20).
  • “Convince.” We are to do so lovingly and patiently without arguing or getting upset (2 Tim. 2:23-26).
  • “Rebuke.” At other times we must rebuke, especially with a sinning brother or sister in Christ. But again we are to do so lovingly and gently, looking first at our own lives (Gal. 6:1-2).
  • “Exhort.” We are to encourage others to act on their faith and when they do, encourage them to keep going.

Is there someone in your life to whom you have been unwilling to speak truth or to share your faith out of fear or insecurity? Remember, it’s not about us. We can’t save anyone. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. We just need to be obedient.

Is there someone caught in a web of sin that you need to lovingly and gently reprove or rebuke? Maybe you’ve thought, “Who am I to judge? I’m far from perfect!” While that’s true and we aren’t to come across self-righteously (Gal. 6.1-2), it’s not an excuse to disobey God. Proverbs 27.6:

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

When faced with a difficult situation, I sometimes start out, “I’m not talking to you because I’ve always done it right. In fact, just the opposite!” Then I might share a little of my own testimony.

Is there someone you need to encourage to step out in faith, act on what they believe, or stay the course? Do you know someone who is not using his or her gifts and abilities? Encourage them to take the first step. That might mean getting more education or being a helper in some ministry.

Or maybe they need to step out and grow more spiritually by joining a small group or attending a Bible study. Maybe they need a mentor to walk alongside them, read the Bible with them, or study a book together.

Or is there a single mom who faithfully brings her children to church after a long week of work? Or a single dad struggling to raise girls? Or a student who serves God instead of doing what everyone else seems to be doing? Let them know that you notice.

Preach the Word! Convince, rebuke, encourage … make a difference in someone’s life!

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Jeremiah 47 & 48:

Overcoming Evil

In these two chapters the Lord speaks to the Philistines and the Moabites and warns them of coming judgment. Even though God would first use these and other heathen nations as instruments of judgment against the nation of Israel, He would also judge them.

Sometimes, in God’s sovereignty, He allows people in our lives to sin against us, too, because He knows He can use it to grow us and help us to become more like Christ.

Romans 8.28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

When it happens, we are to respond with love and forgiveness and to trust Him to deal with them appropriately. Continue reading

“Chafing Against the Bible’s Teaching on Women” October 23

 

the Bible's teaching on women“If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” We’ve all heard that saying, but this time it came from a sister in Christ sitting in my counseling office. As we continued to talk about the role of women, this time about submission, she said, “I’m an educated woman! Why should I submit to him?” Since then I’ve heard even worse, but I’ve never forgotten how saddened I was by her statement and the awareness of how much feminism had infiltrated the church of the Living God.

But the truth is, many of us, though we want to live godly lives, chafe against some of the Bible’s teaching on women or passages on modesty or authority. We’re too often tempted to think, “That’s not fair!” or question why God would give us certain commands. So how are we to understand these things?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 31 & 32
Psalm 119.49-56
Proverbs 27.20
1 Timothy 2.1-15

 

Chafing against the Bible’s Teaching on Women

 

On Women Teaching, Modesty & Pearls

Verses 9-15:

9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

I once overheard a conversation between two women at church discussing their Sunday school lesson on the role of the wife and submission. One of them said about their teacher, “I think he actually believes that stuff!”

Ladies, even though we might laugh about a conversation like that, we often struggle to understand and accept God’s Word in some of these areas. We’re a little like the king and the princes Jeremiah encountered (see our O.T. reading). Sometimes we don’t want to believe or accept God’s Word as being true or fair. We would rather lock up the prophet (Jer. 32.2) or cut that part of the scroll off and throw it into the fire (Jer. 36.20-26), at least in practice.

So how can we begin to understand, and more importantly embrace, a passage like this? I believe we need to start with some basic truths about God, His Word, and His character.

Jeremiah 29.11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Psalm 119.68 says, speaking of God, “You are good, and do good …”

And Galatians 3.28-29 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

But we must also realize that God is God! He is the all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful Creator of the Universe and everything in it, including us, and He gets to make the rules!

But if He is good—all the time—and if He loves us and calls us heirs along with men, (so much so that He tells our husbands in 1 Peter 3.7 that their prayers will be hindered if they don’t treat us as such), what does this passage mean?

First, God said to all of us, men and women, to be sure that everything we do points to Him and gives Him glory.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (2 Cor. 10.31).

 

Modesty, Gold & Braided Hair

braided hairSo let’s break down our 1 Timothy passage, beginning with “that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation.” The word “adorn” here means to arrange. So, we should arrange ourselves so that our clothing and manner is modest and respectful. That doesn’t mean we must look drab or unattractive.

“… not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” In the time period in which Paul was writing women would weave gold and other jewelry into their hair in order to attract attention to themselves. Others would wear expensive clothing to show off their wealth. It wasn’t the specific hairstyle or the fact that the clothing was expensive, it was the attitude of the heart Paul was addressing.

Today we might say, “… not with tattoos or designer clothing …” Again, not legalistically saying tattoos or designer clothing are sinful, but what is the attitude of the heart? Where is the tattoo and to what is it designed to draw attention?  Continue reading

December 23 “The Book of Life of the Lamb”

Book of life of the LambDuring the Tribulation the final Antichrist will rise to power. All those who want to buy and sell will be required wear his name or his number 666 on their right hand or foreheads and all who dwell on earth will be deceived into worshipping him, except those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.

Today’s Readings:
Habakkuk 1-3
Psalm 146.1-10
Proverbs 30.17
Revelation 13.1-18

Well, we are nearing the end of our reading for the year. I pray that you are already preparing to begin again in 2015 and encouraging others to do the same.

I read The MacArthur Daily Bible. You can purchase one by clicking on the link or read it online for free.

How has following along here impacted your Bible reading or your understanding of God and His Word?

What is your goal for Bible reading and study in 2015?

[Tweet “What is your goal for Bible reading and study in 2015? #bible #resolution” #2015]

I appreciate all the encouraging comments you have given me over the past 6 years. I love knowing how His glorious Word has impacted your lives!

Now on to today’s readings …

 

Habakkuk 1-3:

Are the wicked “getting away with murder”?

In chapter 1 Habakkuk has been crying out to God about the sin and wickedness he sees around him. He sees the righteous being mistreated and wicked people “getting away with murder,” as we might say today. God responds by telling him, he is going to judge the guilty in short order. But He will do so by allowing an even more evil government, the Chaldeans, to come in and take over as an instrument of His judgment.

The prophet is at first shocked and questions God’s method. He reminds God of His character and points out that the Chaldeans will take the credit and use their success to worship their own false gods and military might.

In chapter 2 God answers Habakkuk by saying Continue reading

December 19 “Hope in a lie & wishing to die”

hope in a lieJust as he did in Micah’s day, one of the devil’s oldest tricks is to get men and women to put their hope in a lie. But there is only one source of true hope … God and His promises.

And, as we’ll see in Revelation 9, there will be a time when men and women will be so given over to lies that they will still reject God after much of mankind has been destroyed by demonic creatures and others are suffering with such pain that they wish to die.

Today’s Readings:
Micah 1-3
Psalm 144.9-15
Proverbs 30.10
Revelation 9.1-21

 

Micah 1-3:

The danger of putting your hope in a lie

Like many in our culture today, the people in Micah’s time rejected God’s truth as spoken through His prophets (2.6). They dismissed them as “prattlers” or babblers. But God said, the real “babblers” are those false prophets who tell people what they want to hear (2.11). Furthermore God warned them of a time when their false prophets would be exposed for the fakes they were and discredited, leaving the people with no hope, because they had put their hope in a lie (3.6-7):

6 “Therefore you shall have night without vision,
And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
And the day shall be dark for them.
7 So the seers shall be ashamed,
And the diviners abashed;
Indeed they shall all cover their lips;
For there is no answer from God.”

Deception is one of Satan’s oldest tricks. Jesus said he is the “father of lies” (Jn. 8.44). Just as he did in the garden where Eve put her hope in his lies, he first plants seeds of doubt by implying, “Did God really say …?”

“Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Gen. 3.1).

But sooner or later he simply calls God a liar:

4 “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’.” (Gen. 3.4-5)

There is no end to the lies people place their hope in today: Continue reading

October 31 “Make a difference”

counseling comforting convinceAs believers, we are part of a family. And as a family, we have responsibilities to one another. We also have a responsibility to lovingly speak truth to those who are lost. Each of us can make a difference.

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 47 & 48
Psalm 119:113-120
Proverbs 28:5
2 Timothy 4:1-22

 

Jeremiah 47 & 48:

Overcoming evil

In these two chapters the Lord speaks to the Philistines and the Moabites and warns them of coming judgment. Even though God would first use these and other heathen nations as instruments of judgment against the nation of Israel, He would also judge them.

Sometimes, in God’s sovereignty, He allows people in our lives to sin against us, too, because He knows He can use it to grow us and help us to become more like Christ.

Romans 8.28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

When it happens, we are to respond with love and forgiveness and to trust Him to deal with them appropriately. Continue reading

October 23 “On women teaching, modesty & pearls”

tattoosLadies, do you ever chafe against some of the Bible’s teaching on modesty, authority, and the role of women?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 31 & 32
Psalm 119.49-56
Proverbs 27.20
1 Timothy 2.1-15

 

Jeremiah 31 & 32:

“Is anything too hard for Him?”

Chapter 32.17, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You …

And verse 27, “‘Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?’”

Do we even begin to understand who God is?—the omnipotent creator of the universe! He is not only omnipotent (all powerful), but He is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), and sovereign (totally and completely in charge and in control! Add to that—the fact that He is good (Ps. 119.68); He is love (1 Jn. 4.8); and He is holy (1 Pet. 1.15). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Continue reading

August 7 “Why work?”

work work, businessman work, housework

Why work? Whether in your home, on your job, or in your business, why do you work? Do you work merely because you don’t have a choice? Do you work to gain wealth? Or do you see a higher purpose in your work?

Today’s Readings:
Job 5 & 6
Psalm 92.1-7
Proverbs 22.16
Romans 8.22-39

Job 5 & 6:

Suffering and sin

In chapters 4 & 5 Eliphaz has implied there must be some sin in Job’s life to cause all this destruction to come on him. Job responded by defending himself and saying he had not asked anything from his friends (vv. 22-23) all he wanted was their kindness (v. 14), and while he defended himself, he did remain teachable, “Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong” (v. 24).

headache, tragedy

While we understand there are times when our circumstances are consequences for our own choices, there are other times when God is pruning or they are merely the result of living in a world devastated by the fall. We, like Job’s friends, need to be careful with our judgments. We must be careful not to assume that tragedy in a believer’s life is a direct result of his or her own sin.

John 9.1-3 says, “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ (this was a common though incorrect assumption) Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.’” Sometimes we suffer because God has some higher purpose in it all. Continue reading

June 23 “One way to peace & hope” & LINKUP

What do you rely on for peace today? Where is your hope for the future? There is only one way to have both.

one way

Today’s Readings:
1 Chronicles 9 & 10
Psalm 77.10-15
Proverbs 19.15-16
Acts 6.1-15

1 Chronicles 9 & 10:

Failure to trust in the sovereignty of God

If you think of the Bible as being written chronologically, today’s reading and much of what follows may seem confusing. But the Bible is not put together chronologically, as far as the various books go. And at times, as in Chronicles, it repeats things that were previously recorded with a slightly different perspective.

It may help to remember that Chronicles was probably written by Ezra. He was a priest who came back to Jerusalem after they had been in Babylonian captivity for 70 years. So he was writing from the perspective of the return and how life was so dramatically different from how it was during the reigns of David and Solomon. This portion covers the genealogy of the people who were returning and emphasizes the reign of David.

The last two verses of chapter 10 are worth meditating on:

Continue reading