Right now opinions are abounding from everyone. “Open up the country!”…”No, we should say at home yet.”…”Churches should be able to open up.”…”No, it’s too early to gather together in groups.” But what happens when you have all these contrasting opinions are silly arguments over semantics rather than what God’s Word actually says. In this Scripture, Paul is writing to the young Pastor Timothy, warning him to avoid quarrels of “words” that stem from either party’s inadequate training in and/or deficient knowledge of Biblical disciplines. So before we can express any kind of opinion, we must first know what God’s Word says about it…in order to handle correctly the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15). But to know God’s Word, we must first get into God’s Word and allow it to enlighten us.
There are many benefits to doing what’s right in the sight of the Lord. That’s because God’s commands and promises within the Bible are for our good…both morally and practically. For if we heed them, we will be known for our integrity and good character…not otherwise. And when we follow closely after the Lord and not our fleshly desires…we find His favor. For Psalm 84:11 tells us, The Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” NIV So ponder this…it will only profit us to obey God.
This verse speaks specifically to those within the Church-body that preach and teach the Word of God. They are to be compensated for their work. But I would like to take this idea of consideration a step farther. When was the last time you thanked that friend who spoke encouragement, hope and prayed for you during a hard time in your life? Or when was the last time you called a long-time friend who had been instrumental in your walk with God and thanked them for faithfully speaking the truth? We could all benefit from reaching out to friends today and just thanking them for sharing the Good News.
Our battle isn’t against this carnal world, so our weapon of choice shouldn’t be of this world. No, for spiritual warfare we need a unique and powerful weapon…a weapon straight from the most powerful source – God. Jeremiah 23:29 states, “Is not My Word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” God’s Word…His truth, is capable of destroying any stronghold that Satan has over a person’s life. So when you don’t know what to pray…pray God’s Word, the Scriptures, into the situation. By declaring His Word…all the power of heaven and earth is brought to bear by His authority.
This was one of Paul’s loveliest and most personal letters directed to the leader of the Colossian Church. Here Paul was encouraging Philemon to continue sharing his faith. For when faith is shared, the Word of God is unleashed to successfully accomplish its plan and purpose in people’s lives. Never be afraid to share the reason for the hope you have. (I Peter 3:15) For you may never know the impact it may have on someone. And the wonderful benefit of sharing your faith with others is that every time you hear it yourself…your trust and confidence in God is built up a little bit more.
In the presence of God, Isaiah realized instantaneously his sin of impure language. In that moment of God’s presence, there’s never any vague, broad sense of sin…rather the Lord will laser focus in on some specific personal area of your life you need to change. Your attention will be directed to it, followed by conviction to take personal responsibility and confess the sin to Him…followed by you acknowledging your need for forgiveness.
Our Lord is everlasting, eternal, and forever…and so is His Word. Every word, command, and promise within the Bible was true at its conception…is true today…and will remain true into eternity. The tremendous power within the Word is found in Isaiah 55:11 where it says, “So is My Word that goes out from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” So we can then stand firm, putting our faith and trust in His Word…knowing that His plan and purpose is being fulfilled in our life.
No matter how spiritually strong we are, anyone of us can stray from the will of God. Here Simon Peter, nicknamed the Rock, of which Jesus had said, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church,” caved under man’s pressure. Peter had been fellowshipping with Christian Gentiles until a group of Jews showed up and started pressuring him to stop. He was afraid that his reputation and standing might be questioned…fearful of what they might think of him…so he separated himself from the Gentiles…taking everyone with him, including Barnabas. Isaiah 51:12-13 asks this question, “Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker?” It’s a dangerous slippery slope when we start fearing man rather than God…afraid of what people may think of us rather than doing God’s will. Peer pressure can be tremendous, for we all want to fit in and be liked…but when it causes us to deviate from God’s plan…it effects everyone around us.