Never a Summer Soldier – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Never a Summer Soldier – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

In the early days of the American Revolution the cause of liberty was almost lost because the ranks of the Continental Army were filled with those whose dedication and service was only sporadic and on their own terms. They were called “Summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.” The war was won only as their numbers were replaced by others whose dedication was wholehearted and consistent. These were those willing to suffer the training they needed, the hardships required, and the dangers to which they were subject, and do it to the very end…However many “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots” may be found in the ranks of God or the pews of church, we must not be counted among them. For us it must be full devotion and sacrifice to the very end for the sake of the one who has called us

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Transforming Prayer – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Transforming Prayer – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Soren Kierkegaard said, “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” I would add that it also changes our experience of who God is. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same God who did not fail us on the cross will not fail us in the whole of our lives. But this does not mean that he will always answer us when and how we expect him to. Often times he does not—not because he is failing us, but because he is forming us and even healing us.

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Guarding the Gospel – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Guarding the Gospel – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Yes, we are to share the gospel, to witness and tell the story. But before we can do that we must guard the story and make sure it is told in our day just as Jesus, himself, told it and lived it…Perhaps this seems so self- evidently true that you wonder what the fuss is about. However, this has been the perennial problem of the church: in every age there have been those who would alter the message in one way or another to make it more attractive or palatable to their generation. So the Gnostics in the second century presented a Christ who was not human at all and Arius in the fourth century offered a Jesus who was not quite God. The church then, and in every age thereafter, has had to fight hard to preserve and protect its great treasure.

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Not Ashamed – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Not Ashamed – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

“As followers of Jesus we are called to live before one audience, the audience of One…There is only one voice that matters for us – the voice of God, and not the voice of the people or the voice of the times. And certainly not the warm embrace of popularity, the soft whisper of our own desires for comfort, the siren lure of being ‘on the right side of history’, or the mean faces of the bullying activists and the social media mob. Equally, there is only one judgment that matters and one word of approval that counts in the end: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”

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Compassion and Perfect Love – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Compassion and Perfect Love – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

We all implicitly know that Samaritan is the only one who exhibits the love of God in his actions and that, as a result, the religious figures are proven to be hypocrites in their inaction. We even know that we are called to be like the Samaritan by showing compassion to all those around us. But the text is not simply suggesting that because we are the people of God we should have compassion on people in need because that’s what our religion calls us to—whether as Jews or Christians. No, the text—Jesus—is making clear that this is how we are called to be and to act because that is who God is, and we are called to be the people of God.

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Following Christ – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Following Christ – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Towards the end of Luke 9 we are told that Jesus’ “set his face toward Jerusalem.” It is, according to Green, a phrase that evokes an austere determination to go to the very place where he would suffer rejection and ultimately [death]…But he did not go to Jerusalem to die; he went to fulfill with the whole of his life the divine purpose, which was to bring life, healing and redemption to the whole of creation (see Hebrews 12:2).

We are all called to set our face towards to Jerusalem—to seek to fulfill the divine purpose through the whole of our lives…But we do not do so for the sake of death; we do so for the sake of Life, and Abundant Life, at that.

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From Reluctance to Boldness – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

From Reluctance to Boldness – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Many of the great heroes of our faith were equally reluctant…The point is, though, that God let none of them off the hook. Not Moses, not Jeremiah, and not Timothy…Rather in each case God turned their minds away from their inadequacy and focused them on His ability. God would be the one who made them adequate. To both Moses and Jeremiah God simply said, “But I will be with you.” That is enough to overcome any inadequacy. To Timothy the message was a little more subtle but it was exactly the same: “Stir up the gift that is within you through the laying on of my hands”…And “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and of love and of self- control.” That is, it is the Lord’s Spirit that gives what you need.

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A Charge to Keep – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

A Charge to Keep – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Filled with pathos, urgency, and beauty, every verse of II Timothy is a reminder to Timothy that “the precious gospel was now committed to him, and that it was now his turn to assume responsibility for it, to preach and teach it, to defend it against attack and falsification, and to ensure its accurate transmission to the generations yet to come.” (Stott, 21) And now it is just as urgent a reminder to us, for now the precious gospel is committed to us.

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A Tale of Two Healings – Meditation of the Studies in Luke

A Tale of Two Healings – Meditation of the Studies in Luke

This is not just how Jesus is in this instance; it is how he is in all situations. He not only knows where we need physical healing, but also every emotional, psychological and spiritual wound and area of vulnerability we have experienced as a result of those situations, and he desires to bring healing to all of it. Sometimes the means by which he does so may seem to scrape at the wounds that run deepest, as with the bleeding woman who was called to make her situation known among the very people who would have rejected her; but the intention is never for our harm, rather for a more profound healing than we could ever imagine or hope for

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