A Bold Night before Christmas

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:7-12 NKJV

Verse 8 starts with the word “therefore” – so what is it there for? It is there continuing verse 7 which we have isolated and quoted to the point that even the world can quote is – but no one believes it. Or they falsely understand it.  This may not be the typical “Christmas” post – but it is the PURE GOSPEL TRUTH OF CHRISTMAS. Look it up for yourself and see.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the Second book of Timothy chapters 1 through 4 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). The last words penned out by Paul is this book – and it is a summary of all the things he wanted to impart to Timothy before he passed away.

Thank you Jesus that this section of the Bible lands on a day I write the devo’s on it – because you all know how much I LOVE 2 Timothy 1:7 and 2 Timothy 1:12. And to be able to run with the verses in between and preceding and proceeding!!!! Do yourself a favor and soak in this book for a little bit! So good! So very good!!! I think we have already discussed Timothy – a young man with a Jewish mother called to pastor a church and a disciple of Paul. Timothy first traveled with Paul until he was placed as a shepherded a church. But Timothy was not mature enough as we saw in First Timothy which essentially said: Get your act together.  But this book, there is no time left for that – there is only time left for the passing of the mantle.

Speaking of – It isn’t published on this site – but once I did a paralleled study of this passing of the mantle and the one of Elijah to Elisha. There are some interesting and subtle similarities.  Someone remind me to someday upload it here.

But today is Christmas Eve and no one needed to pass a mantle to our Creator who came to us as a babe in the manger. So with just deciding to believe and follow like in Hebrews 11 – and understanding the beginning of Hebrews – that Jesus was both 100% man and 100% God. Let us not ever stop telling the story – sharing the gospel. It is within that gospel story that the spirit of fear is overcome with power, love and a sound mind.

Verse 7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Not a mind that is trusting and at peace with a lie – but one that heard the voice of the spirit and headed it. A mind sound in gospel and sound and sturdy in doctrine. A mind that knows the Bible and how to rightly divide it. A mind grounded in LOVE knowing God IS Love. And it is in the establish love – that Paul warns Timothy and I warn you – it’s getting bad out there. This is not going to be easy – we are not called to easy – we are called to be blessed.

Verse 8 & 9 – “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” 

Prisons. Suffering. Having to be saved. Sacrificing our own purpose for ourselves for His! But, there is grace. Grace that is sufficient. Grace given to us before time began. We are able because grace transforms us in the revelation of our Savior Jesus Christ – Born a man and died to, as God, abolish death…

Verse 10 – “but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”

As grace transformed Him into our propitiation for our crimes and sins, a sinless man. Yet as God then brought life and immortality to light! Paul wrote, “Through the Gospel” But it was the Gospel that the transforming power of Grace made for our way. Just like it is through Jesus – but it is Jesus who is the way the truth and the life.   

Verse 12 – in sections because each is so perfect alone and the put together with Love, Power and a Sound Mind it is the Grace and Power of the Gospel and our fulfillment of “overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony and loving NOT our lives:
“For this reason I also suffer these things;” I suffer – I count it all joy to participate in the cross – the suffering is direct reference to the part of the Gospel which is the cross, the death and the overcoming of death!
“nevertheless I am not ashamed,” – do not be ashamed, embarrassed, inhibited, oppressed by the pressure to be liked (see suffering above). As we are locking down everywhere – who really cares anymore what anyone else thinks – we do not even see them. Be bold and empowered to overcome shame and fear.  Lord – fill us with the holy Ghost Boldness! We ask in the name of Jesus.
“for I know whom I have believed” – Do you? DO you know Him. I know Him. I know when it isn’t Him. I know when it is Him. I know His voice – John 10:27-28.
“for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded” I am persuaded, confident, I know that I know that I know, that I know!!! You cannot convince me otherwise!!
“for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able” HE IS ABLE> No matter what we face or will face or have faced – HE is able. He is able to do whatever He needs to do to be glorified in our weakness, in our sickness, in our pain, etc.  He is able to intercede in situations and change both me and the others in those situations. He is able to do what He is famous for. He is able to keep us from covid. He is able to eliminate it from Earth. He is able to overthrow these evil governments, and even though He will not – but He is work it for His glory and for a great revival to turn the hearts of men to Him!!!
“for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” I have committed it all to him.

This is the gospel story. That Jesus came to set us free from sin, save us from hell, and transform us into something blessed and new and amazing. All because God wants to restore what He originally intended – us to have a personal relationship with HIM.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse – this one will give you peace that passes understanding as the world around us spins out of control we know our sovereign God still has a plan! We may not be able to comprehend, but hang in there His way is better!!   

Isaiah 55:8

NIV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
NLT – “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
ESV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
KJV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
NKJV – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.”
NAS – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
AMP – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: 2 Timothy 1-4 NKJV

Greeting

Paul, an apostle of [a]Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, a beloved son:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Timothy’s Faith and Heritage

I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the [b]genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher [c]of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Be Loyal to the Faith

13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16 The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered [d]to me at Ephesus.

Be Strong in Grace

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure[e] hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and [f]may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the [g]elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

11 This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

Approved and Disapproved Workers

14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to [h]strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and [i]idle babblings, for they will [j]increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of [k]Christ depart from iniquity.”

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, [l]sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

But know this, that in the last days [m]perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, [n]unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

The Man of God and the Word of God

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [o]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Preach the Word

I charge you [p]therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead [q]at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Paul’s Valedictory

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.

The Abandoned Apostle

Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. 12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. 15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.

16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.

The Lord Is Faithful

17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

Come Before Winter

19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.

21 Do your utmost to come before winter.

Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.

Farewell

22 The Lord [r]Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Timothy 1:1 NU, M Christ Jesus
  2. 2 Timothy 1:5 Lit. unhypocritical
  3. 2 Timothy 1:11 NU omits of the Gentiles
  4. 2 Timothy 1:18 to me from Vg., a few Gr. mss.
  5. 2 Timothy 2:3 NU You must share
  6. 2 Timothy 2:7 NU the Lord will give you
  7. 2 Timothy 2:10 chosen ones
  8. 2 Timothy 2:14 battle
  9. 2 Timothy 2:16 empty chatter
  10. 2 Timothy 2:16 lead
  11. 2 Timothy 2:19 NU, M the Lord
  12. 2 Timothy 2:21 set apart
  13. 2 Timothy 3:1 times of stress
  14. 2 Timothy 3:3 irreconcilable
  15. 2 Timothy 3:16 training, discipline
  16. 2 Timothy 4:1 NU omits therefore
  17. 2 Timothy 4:1 NU and by
  18. 2 Timothy 4:22 NU omits Jesus Christ

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