New Testament In a Year: October 31 – Titus 2

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Titus 2
(1-15) Teach Sound Doctrine
Titus is to teach sound doctrine. People of different ages – older men and younger men, older women and younger women – are expected to act differently and have different responsibilities; however, all believers in Jesus the Christ are to be models of good works and full of integrity. This type of behavior does not only bring glory to God, but it also gives us a good testimony before others so that no one will have anything evil to say about us.

Because of the grace and salvation of God, we are to reject all ungodliness and worldly passions. Instead, we are to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, always looking for the return of Jesus the Christ.

Favorite verse: (11) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.

New Testament In a Year: October 30 – Titus 1

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Titus 1
(1-4) Greeting
All those who believe in Jesus the Christ can have hope of eternal life because it is a promise of God. The promises of God can be trusted because He never lies.

(5-16) Qualifications for Elders
In 1 Timothy 3, Paul provided a list of qualifications for those looking to be overseers and deacons within the church. Now, he provides qualifications for those who would be elders. They must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain. They must be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. These are good qualifications for all Christians to follow even if they aren’t elders.

Favorite verse: (2) In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.

New Testament In a Year: October 29 – 2 Timothy 4

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2 Timothy 4
(1-8) Preach the Word
Paul encourages Timothy to preach the Word and always be ready to share his faith whether through a reprove, a rebuke, or an exhortation. God’s Word is truth, but there will come a time when people will no longer want to hear the truth. They will turn away from listening to Biblical teaching and will instead find their own teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. However, true followers of Christ are to always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist by sharing our faith with others, and fulfill the ministry which God has given us to do.

Paul writes that his time on earth is almost over. Soon the Lord will call him home to Heaven. He is confident that he has done his job for the Lord well and has kept the faith despite going through many trials and tribulations. Because he has finished his race well, he knows that a crown of righteousness has been set aside for him and will be awarded to him by Christ. Everyone who keeps the faith and faithfully finishes their race will be awarded by Christ when He comes.

(9-18) Personal Instructions
Paul gives some final words about people who have helped and hurt him in the ministry. 1 John 2:15 warns us against being like Demas and loving this present world. If we love the world and the things in the world more than we love God, then the love of God is not in us.

Paul doesn’t go into specifics, but he tells of how Alexander the coppersmith did him great harm. Paul is not interested in revenge of any kind because he knows that God will repay Alexander for his unkindness. Even though Paul has forgiven his harmful actions, he has not forgotten them, and is trusting God to right the wrongs that have been made against him. Even when everyone deserted Paul and no one stood by him, Paul continued to proclaim the Gospel fully and faithfully because God stood by him and strengthened him.

Favorite verse: (7) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

New Testament In a Year: October 28 – 2 Timothy 3

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2 Timothy 3
(1-9) Godlessness in the Last Days
In the last days before Jesus the Christ returns, many people will become as people were in Noah’s day and Lot’s day. They will engage in all sorts of evil and godlessness. They will hate good and only have love for themselves. We must be careful not to let this type of behavior define our lives, and we must avoid those people who do engage in such behavior. These are people who do not get very far in getting close to God.

(10-17) All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God
Because of his faith, Paul has been persecuted and endured much suffering, but he is also aware of and thankful for the safety and deliverance that God has never failed to provide him. He goes on to tell us that all who desire to live a godly life in Jesus the Christ will be persecuted. If we don’t want to experience persecution and suffering then there’s no need for us to follow Jesus the Christ. And suffering doesn’t always have to come from outside sources. Suffering on account of Christ can also include denying ourselves things that we may really want or giving up our comfort zone in order to go someplace where God has called us.

While evil people and impostors will continue deceiving and being deceived, those who follow Christ must continue in the Word of God and hold firm to our faith.

Favorite verse: (16) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

New Testament In a Year: October 27 – 2 Timothy 2

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2 Timothy 2
(1-13) A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus
Whenever we feel weak, we should remember the grace that is in Jesus the Christ and depend upon Him for strength. His grace will help us be faithful and good soldiers for Him. We are good soldiers or followers of Christ when we suffer without complaining, and refuse to get involved with pursuits that do not help us in reaching our main aim which is to please the One who enlisted us in Christian service.

Even though Paul is bound in chains like a criminal for preaching the Gospel, he knows that the Word of God is not bound. It is liberated and has the power to liberate all those who read it and believe it. Regardless of what we are going through, we should always remember that the Word of God does not change based upon our circumstances. It remains alive and active, and remains the same just as Christ remains the same.

If we die with Christ to sin, the world, and our flesh, we will also live with Him. If we endure down here, we will also reign with him up there. If we deny Him, He will deny us eternal life with Him in Heaven. But if we lose faith and are unfaithful in the work He has given us to do, He will remain faithful. Faithfulness is a part of God’s character, and He cannot refuse His character even when the behavior of His creatures is contrary to that of His character.

(14-26) A Worker Approved by God
We should do our best to live in such a way so that we will not be ashamed when it comes time to present our work before God. We are to avoid fighting about words and disrespectful talk because it does no good and just leads others into ungodliness. All those who belong to the Lord and name His name are to depart from iniquity. We are to cleanse ourselves from what is dishonorable and set ourselves apart for holy use, so we can be ready for every good work.

Instead of pursuing our own passions, we are instead to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. We must have nothing to do with controversies and quarrels, but practice kindness and gentleness with all people.

Favorite verse: (13) If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

New Testament In a Year: October 26 – 2 Timothy 1

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2 Timothy 1
(1-18) Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You
Lois was the grandmother of Timothy and Eunice was his mother. Both of these women had sincere faith in God and they passed that sincere faith onto their grandson and son. Paul is sure that this faith dwells in Timothy because Timothy took it and made it his own, which is something we all must do. The faith of our fathers and mothers and grandparents will never mean anything to us if we do not make that faith our own. In order for Christ to be real to us, we must believe in Him for ourselves. We must come to know God for ourselves. No one else can know Him for us.

Through faith, God has given each of us a spiritual gift. We must not be afraid to use this spiritual gift, but should use it with power and love.

Paul went through much suffering because of the Gospel which he faithfully preached, but he urged Timothy not to be ashamed of him and not to be ashamed of the testimony of Christ. Christ is no one to be ashamed of and His Gospel is nothing to be ashamed of, because Christ was not ashamed to die on the cross for us and for the entire world. We are not saved as a result of any works which we have done, but as a result of Christ’s own power and grace. Through the Gospel, Christ sent death into darkness and brought life and immortality to light.

Favorite verse: (10) And which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Women of the Word: Lot’s Daughters

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The story of Lot’s wife gets a lot of attention. She is the one who looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah as it was being destroyed, even though she was told not to. As a result, she was turned into a pillar of salt. But the story of her daughters receives a lot less attention, though their lives are just as tragic as their mother’s.

Genesis 19:12-17 tells us that Lot’s daughters were engaged to marry two men before Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. The angels warned Lot about the coming destruction and told him to get his family out. Lot went and told his soon-to-be son-in-laws to get out of the city before it was destroyed, but his soon-to-be son-in-laws thought he was joking. They didn’t listen to him and continued on living the way they had always lived. When the angels saw this, they were like, “Forget them, Lot! Just get your wife and daughters and get yourselves out!” When Lot hesitated, the angels took him by the hand and took his wife and daughters by their hands, and led them out of the city to safety. Once they were outside of the city, the angels let them go and told them, “Flee for your lives!” The angels also warned them not to look back. We all know that Lot’s wife did look back, but Lot and his daughters did not. Can you imagine how they must have felt when they finally stopped and discovered that Lot’s wife was not with them? In one day, Lot’s daughters lost both their mother and the men who they were planning to marry.

After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his two daughters went to Zoar. Because Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar, they soon left that city and went to live in a cave. It is then that the two daughters wrongly conclude that no other men are left alive on earth for them to marry and have children by, so they come up with a plan to have their father impregnate them so they can continue the human race. The entire unfortunate account of this event is told in Genesis 19:30-38. The daughters eventually give birth to two sons named Moab and Ben-Ammi.

We do not know how Lot reacted when he found out that he was not only the grandfather of his daughters’ firstborn, but also the father. And we do not know how the lives of Lot and his daughters ended. Did they stay in the cave until they died? Were they ever reunited with Abraham and his household? We do know that the sons, Moab and Ben-Ammi, returned to civilization and found women to marry because they became the fathers of their own races, the Moabites and the Ammonites. Whatever the ending of Lot’s daughters may have been, their lives were marked with disgraceful behavior and marred by destruction and death. Continue reading

New Testament In a Year: October 25 – 1 Timothy 6

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1 Timothy 6
(1-2)
Christians who are working for someone, must regard the person who is over them with honor and set a good testimony for God by doing good work. If the person in charge is also a Christian, then the worker should serve in the same manner and offer good service.

(3-10) False Teachers and True Contentment
Those who teach things that disagree with the Gospel of God and go against godliness, are to be disregarded. These are teachers who seek controversy, are full of conceit, and crave to quarrel about words that only produce envy, slander, suspicion and the like. We do not follow Jesus the Christ and strive after godliness in order to gain money and material wealth. Those who think Christianity is about acquiring a lot of stuff have the wrong idea about faith. Christians are content with how little or how much they have because they know that they already possess everything through Christ. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with money. But if we pursue money more than we pursue godliness, we will soon find ourselves sliding off the straight and narrow. If we desire to be rich more than we desire to know God, we will soon find ourselves plunging into ruin and destruction. If we love material wealth more than we love Jesus, we will eventually wander away from the faith.

(11-21) Fight the Good Fight of Faith
There are more important things to pursue than money. Among these things are righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. Despite false teachers and temptations on every side that seek to draw us away from God, we must stand fast and fight the good fight of faith.

Those who have been blessed to be rich, are not to be haughty about their riches and they are not to set their hopes or place their trust in riches. Riches are uncertain. They can be here one day and gone the next. But God is certain. Our hopes will not be dashed when they are set on Him and our trust will not be disappointed when it is placed in Him. Christians who have many riches are to do good, be generous, and always be ready to share what they have. In doing this, they are actually sharing their wealth with Christ and are storing up eternal treasure in Heaven.

Favorite verse: (16) Who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.