2 Timothy

Men's Workout #14 - August 5th

Pastor Dan kicked off the devotion by opening us up in prayer, then leading us in singing hymn 129, Crown Him with Many Crowns


Next we opened up and read 2 Timothy 3, then each of us individually wrote down propositions to share with the group. Below are some of the propositions that the men made:

  • We see that all scripture is inspired by God to equip us for good works (vv16)
  • Godlessness is in our nature, but we who have been acquainted with the sacred writings shall be wise for salvation through Christ, and be equipped for every good work.
  • The Godly will be persecuted.
  •  God's inspired word is sufficient for the believer.
  • The love of pleasure is directly in opposition to loving God. (vv4)
    • Question - is Paul using a narrow definition of pleasure, because God gives us things to enjoy, doesn't He?
      • We certainly should enjoy what God has given us!
      •  However, we ought not to idolize anything or enjoy what God has given to us in a way that is devoid of giving glory to God
      • Reference Psa 16, 1 Tim 6:17
  • Merely holding to a form of godliness is not Godliness.
    • Question - What are some examples of a façade of godliness?
      • Rituals and vestments devoid of true Godliness
      • Being motivated by what others may think of you, or doing things in a way that is visible to others rather than doing things for God.
      • One practical example of that can be memory verses
        • However, we ought not to let our struggles with these things prevent us from memorizing, but always err on the side of memorizing rather than not because of all the blessings we open ourselves up to by memorizing.
      • We don't want to be showy, but we want to strive to be an exemplary model of Christ.
      • Our motivation should be, "what would really please Christ?"
  • Somewhat related to the point above about being motivated by what others may think of you…here's an example:
    • Imagine if a husband is only nice to their spouse when everyone is watching, but in private, he acts like she's not there.
    • This wrong marriage relationship helps us realize the folly of someone who has a relationship with God in public, but not in private.
  • We need to get away from ungodly men, and grow through God's word.
  • God defines what Godliness is.
  • The folly of men is obvious to all (vv9).
  • Something to note - while the pastoral epistles were addressed to individuals, it was fully understood that the entire church would read it.
    • This is why you find statements like, "grace be with you [plural]" at the end of 1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus.


Next we continued on to read 2 Timothy 4, and we had another round of individually writing down propositions to share with the group.

  • Sober-mindedness is Godly; all things should be done in a sober-minded state.
    • On one hand we can point to passages like Ephesians 5 that command against being drunk, but we need to also think about the positive benefits of being sober-minded.
    • An example: if you are so engrossed in a novel, or TV show, or hobby that you are not aware of spiritual reality, that is not pleasing to the Lord.
    • We can still enjoy things, but we need to maintain a level of control.
    • An example: thinking about fighter jets, when a pilot is in battle, he is making evasive maneuvers and firing missiles, but he always knows where the ejection button is. Why? Because he may need to use it at a moment's notice to spare his life.
    • Don't be so engrossed in one thing where you lose the undercurrent.
  • Men can desert us.
  • Brothers should support each other, but not count a lack of support for each other against each other.
  • The love of the world is at odds with the love of God, and you can only serve one master.
  • Be on guard against those who oppose God.
    • Paul names them by name (Alexander the coppersmith), in order to warn Timothy about how much harm he could inflict upon Timothy if he doesn't guard himself.
    • Don't see this as Paul putting someone down.
  • The time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine.
    • Related to 2 Timothy 3:1; the men of the world are embracing/will embrace falsehood.
    • Be on guard, ready in season and out of season, as we will have to endure hardship.
    • Hardship is not just something physical, but there is also spiritual hardship - false teaching, for example.
    • There is an urgency to preach because of the progression of religion and the spreading of false doctrine.
  • He who is accountable to Christ holds on to sound doctrine.
    • Without accountability to Christ one could teach whatever he wants.
    • There are many men who are only seeking those to tickle their ears.


After this Pastor Dan handed out a couple sets of illustrations for the children, and due to time constraints we only went through one of them - Abraham (part 1)

The acronym is BABE, and stands for:

  • Blessing (Gen 12:1-3)
  • Age: Seventy Five (Gen 12:4)
  • Battle (Gen 15:5-6)
  • Enslavement (Gen 15:13-14)

Next time we'll go through Abraham (Part 2), and the acronym for that is ABS.


We concluded the time by reciting our memory verses, Matthew 6:30-34. A few notes:

  • God knows how people are, and the world works - enough trouble of its own.
  • This passage should be of great comfort to us when we are worried about the things of the world.
  • However, this doesn't mean you can "rest in Christ" and do whatever you want, or be recklessly risky - this is not a license to disregard being good stewards of God's blessings.


Pastor Dan will take a mini-vacation with his family next weekend, but the men agreed (by vote) to gather next week and have a Matthew 6 memorization cramming session.

Men's Workout #13 - July 29th


We began this week's Workout with a recitation of Matthew 6:22-29, after which we spent some time reflecting and discussing the passage together.

  • The obvious truth is that you cannot serve both God and wealth.
    • In a master and slave relationship, a slave can only have and serve one master.
  • For those who do not have to worry about basic provisions, such as food or clothing, what kinds of things could tempt us to worry?
    • Finding and keeping a job
    • Stability of the economy, and by extension, our own financial stability
    • Uncertainty in retirement
    • Personal appearance, other peoples' opinions, and social pressures
    • Natural disasters
  • The Lord tells us not to worry. Why?
    • God provides what we need, and He cares for us.
    • God cares for things in nature, such as animals and plants. If this is true, then how much more will He care for us who are made in His image?
  • In Matthew 6:23, Jesus says that "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" What does He mean?
    • The best way to understand this is that one organ can impact the whole body. By this, we can understand that whom we serve can impact our whole lives. Specifically, what we do with money and whether we deal anxiously about money can impact and take over our whole lives.
    • How terrible and tragic is the situation where the light in us is not really light, but darkness!
  • Sometimes we face occasions where we can't fully understand a hardship that someone is experiencing. We can try and imagine what it might be like to share in their hardship, but the reality is that many times we can never completely empathize. What do we do when we try to sympathize with someone who is going through something that we have never experienced before?
    • We should try and minister to people the best way we can with what the Lord has provided us.
    • Sometimes the best and only thing we can do is "weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15).
    • We should try to show great generosity to others. Think of how we can be channels of blessing in order to provide for someone in their time of need. We could very well be the specific means of how God provides for and blesses a certain individual. We must be careful not to give ourselves too much credit, though, as if we are so great or worthy.
  • Verses 25-29 deal with trusting God in daily sustenance and trust, rather than whether we can amass enormous amounts of wealth in this world to act as our security. Also, this truth applies not only to matters dealing with wealth, but also to what (or who) we trust in when it comes to all areas of provision in life.

Next week's passage for memorization is Matthew 6:30-34.

  • Jesus gives a negative command (do not worry) but contrasts it with a positive command (seek first His kingdom and His righteousness).
  • What is the kingdom?
    • Heaven!
    • For example, Jesus refers to heaven as a kingdom in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-5).
  • What is the righteousness?
    • The practice of God's commands for righteousness
    • Jesus refers to a reward for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness ("Beatitude #4", Matthew 5:6)
    • Jesus says in Matthew 5:20 that our righteousness must surpass that of the Scribes and the Pharisees.
    • Indeed, the entire Sermon on the Mount is one long sermon telling us how to live according to God's righteousness!
  • We are to seek first His righteousness and trust in God before seeking or worrying about things in this life.
    • The worries of this life can keep us from living in the Lord's righteousness.
  • Is there a specific definition or understanding for "worry"? Do we not worry at all, or does it speak to something more specific? For example, how do we separate the worry from the desire or fuel to work hard and get ourselves out of our situation of lack?
    • Jesus is not saying that we should exclusively seek to be involved in spiritual activity. He also does not say that we don't need to work at all, or earn our own living. On the contrary, God's will for us is that we all work hard and eat the fruit of our labors (ref. 2 Thessalonians 3).
    • We need to obey the Lord in all aspects and serve Him. When we do this, Jesus comforts us that we have no need to be anxious.
    • We shouldn't let worry drive us; but what should drive us is a desire to obey, serve, and follow Him. When we do this, we can be confident that He will take care of us.
  • Sometimes one may fall into believing in a false understanding between trusting in the Lord and doing hard work.
    • For example, it might be easy to think that "God will provide, so I will just not work and let His blessings come to me". This is unbiblical! Seeking His righteousness first includes working - it's not separate from that.
    • Another motivation to work hard and earn is to share with others and help provide for them in their times of need (Ephesians 4:28).
  • It's good to plan for the future uncertainties, (e.g. buying life insurance), but ultimately we should realize that these plans can fail as they are not invulnerable or guaranteed. Ultimately, our trust and confidence must be in the Lord and His assurance that He will take care of us.
  • Be carefree, but not careless (for example, don't drive on the freeway without a seatbelt!). Do not test God.
  • Seek God's ordinary means of provision, trusting that God is the one who provides through those means.
    • God is the one who has to orchestrate and sustain the order of things (i.e. economy, supply chain) in order for us to be able to work and buy and have our money be worth something to trade for. So even though we earn money and are able to buy things in an ordinary way, God is the one who orchestrates and enables all of these things extraordinarily "in the background". In other words, without God's sovereign care, even what we consider "ordinary things" would not be possible.


Arthur was selected to lead the group in a short devotion.

  • Hymn # 393 - Take My Life and Let It Be
  • 2 Timothy 2
    • Proposition: Serve Christ faithfully.
      • Verse 3 tells us to suffer hardship as a good soldier of Christ. Although we live life on earth, we ought not to become entangled in everyday affairs and thereby neglect our duties to serve God faithfully. We ought to live our lives in service to him, being loyal, humble, and faithful to God.
      • Warning: we should not go AWOL by pursuing distractions that hinder us from our first order of service toward Him.
      • We must be faithful to serve God and follow His commands, as a good soldier in any army would. While we are on earth, we are not to leave our post, but rather we must fully commit ourselves to His mission and glory.

Men's Workout #11 - July 15th


We started off today's workout by reciting our memory verses. Instead of just reciting vv7-15, to help us keep the previous verses fresh in our minds, we recited from verse 1 (Matthew 6:1-15).

Some notes on v.7-15:


  • Regarding verse 7, there is nothing wrong with repetition (some of the Psalms repeat the same words) but the key here is avoiding meaningless repetition.
  • When Pastor Dan was on a missionary trip in the Far East, he met a person with the erroneous belief that God will do miracles if he said the Lord's Prayer 1,000 times.
    • God is not going to answer someone just because he says the Lord's Prayer 1,000 times!
  • When we pray to God, we should pray with great mindfulness, consciousness, fully aware that God hears us, with His perfect mind, intelligent mind.
  • We ought to be conscious of what we say, and mean what we say.
  • Even children can tell whether what you are saying is rote or if you really mean it.
  • However, what God wants is meaning, not non-repetition.
  • Part of prayer is knowing God, knowing the fullness of Him
  • Think about the study on Psalm 19 we just went through, "the heavens are telling of the glory of God…"
  • In Luke 11, Jesus instructs his disciples to pray in a specific way, but Matthew 6 is different; in this passage, Jesus makes a contrast to how the Gentiles pray (note verse 1).

Give us this day our daily bread

  • God is teaching us to be humble, and dependent for daily sustenance
  • Here, the Bible is talking about physical daily sustenance (vs. general needs), like the manna that the Israelites ate when they were in the desert.
  • When was the last time you were not sure if you were going to have food when it came time to eat your next meal?
  • We can go to God with great calmness, knowing that He takes care of us, and we can focus on worshipping Him.

Forgive us our debts

  • The word for "debt" in v.12 is different from the word used in Luke.
  • The word for debt here (opheileta in Greek) is the same word as Romans 1:14 (obligation).
  • In Matthew 18, the slave owed something like $6 billion today. It would take something like 200,000 years to pay that off, assuming that you're paying back 100% of your earnings with zero interest!

Lead us not into temptation

  • In v.13, the word temptation (peirasmos in Greek) can be translated as "temptation" on one hand, and as "trial" or "test" on the other. While it is translated as "temptation" here (and has been traditionally translated as such), based on the context that we are delivered from them, it should be translated as "trials". This is because temptations come from us, not God (James 1:13-15).
  • Examples of deliverance from trials:
    • In Proverbs, Agur asks of God to spare him from trials (Proverbs 30:8-9).
    • Jesus exemplifies this in the garden of Gethsemane, when He asked God if it was possible to remove the cup (Matthew 26:39).
  • We ought to pray to God acknowledging that He knows our weaknesses, our frailty, and in humility ask that He would deliver us.

Forgive us … as we forgive …

  • God expects His people to be forgiving, and there is no way to trick God. There is no way to harbor sin or have an unforgiving heart while asking God to forgive us our sins.
  • Regarding debts (v.12), you could make someone pay for their sin every time and be exacting, pointing out what they say, how they look at you, and require an apology for every wrong thing. However, we ought not to do that, but to have a forgiving heart towards others.
  • When we go to God, we must continually have a heart and attitude of forgiveness.
  • This is a prayer that believers pray to maintain fellowship with God.

After going through Matthew 6:7-15, we looked over the passage that we were to memorize this upcoming week, Matthew 6:16-21.

  • Looking at v.19-21, it is opposite logic compared to what our society wants to tell us – you should only give when your heart is "in it.” However, Jesus tells us here that our hearts will follow where our assets go; there's a real truth to that.
  • As you generously give, your heart comes with the doing. There is no limit to our generosity.
  • Your heart and your treasures will always go hand in hand. For example, if you put a lot of your money into investment accounts, you will find your heart going there.
  • It is a great practice to commit ourselves long-term to giving and being generous. We will find that as we do this, our hearts will continually go towards things of heaven, the things of God's work.
  • Is v.21 cause and effect or correlation? The emphasis here is cause and effect.
  • Why store up your treasures in heaven? Because where your treasure goes, there your heart will. It is NOT "follow your heart." The heart is wicked above all things (Jeremiah 17:9), so don't follow your heart.

Building on Matthew 6:16-21, we all turned to 1 Timothy 6:17-19 to continue the discussion.

  • Wealth makes some people think that they are more valuable.
  • Do not find security in riches, because riches are uncertain. Rather, fix your hope on God, and be rich in good works.
    • For example, in the movie “Schindler's List,” Schindler regrets not liquidating his ring so that he could have saved one more Jew. While in the world's eyes he did great in saving Jews, he regrets that he wasn't more generous
  • Paul is talking about looking to the life we have ahead of us, so as a result we ought to look at our lives on earth with that perspective.
    • The "life" is not retiring at 40 and just playing golf for the rest of your life.
    • The "life" is finding joy in people coming to know God, using your resources to bring about that kind of fruit.
  • How can we be generous?
    • Sometimes it's taboo to talk about our needs (e.g., “I need money”).
    • In 2017 in America, it can be hard to tell if someone is truly in need. Some people have a lot of money but are miserly, while others are living on credit card debt.
    • The key is to get to know people.
      • People's needs may not be monetary, but our attention and courage to bring things up in their life (sin, areas of sanctification) where we can help them.
      • Keeping a list of people who are under a poverty line and need help is unbiblical and un-dignifying.
    • As we give, we should not expect anything in return.
      • We may give and people may not show gratitude, but when you're giving to them, you're doing it to serve them, not to earn their thanks.
      • Give in wisdom and discernment (don't want to butt in).
  • How else can we store up treasures in heaven?
    • Pray for others - that takes time!
    • We should be open to making sacrifices, and forego maximizing our incomes, finances.
    • The church is made up of volunteers; people's time and energy is not free. They are sacrificing - either their current finances or future finances (raise, promotions, bonuses, etc.) - and that’s honoring to the Lord.


Pastor Dan led us in a devotion.

  • We sang Hymn #176, "Be Thou My Vision.”
  • After we sang the hymn, we read 2 Timothy 2 together.
  • Proposition: God's useful servants are holy and prepared
    • Note that “prepared” is a more appropriate word here than “trained.”
    • God's servants are prepared to hand out the truth that has been passed on to them (v.2, v.15).
    • v.20-21 talks about how we can use our lives for honor or dishonor.
      • v.22 mentions fleeing from youthful lusts.

Discussing further in depth, some men brought out some observations:

  • God's workers know God's word so they can accurately and precisely use it.
    • We're not just talking about apostles, but any Christian who is willing and committed.
  • Entrusting things to faithful men, who find their strength in Jesus (rather than in themselves)
  • The words are taken from Ephesians, but is applicable here, "we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works"
  • God's servants suffer for the Word of God, but not in a masochistic way.
    • So many died for the word of God
  • We ought not to "wrangle about" by getting involved in worldly, empty chatter (v.14).
    • In v.18, Paul mentions two specific men as examples of men who have gone away from the truth.
  • There is perseverance needed in long term ministry. Making disciples is an ongoing work.
    • Obtaining salvation goes beyond just hearing the truth and believing, but involves coming alongside believers, teaching them to observe all that the Lord has commanded them.
    • When thinking about the strengthening gospel vs. saving gospel, it's not so clear cut - it's fluid. A biblical basis for this is found in the account of Philip and his sharing with the Ethiopian eunuch - he shared the gospel, but not the whole counsel of God.
    • There isn’t a clear distinction between evangelism mode and follow up discipleship mode - it's one fluid process.
    • Even among us today, we strive to help each other to endure day-by-day, and we ought to be doing more of that.
  • Looking at v.25, how do we approach people who have differing views?
    • One example: we don't want to support people going to Catholic church.
      • It's wrong, and some Catholics don't even really know what they believe, but we don't want that to be the first thing we tell a person.
      • You don't have to talk too much about Catholicism, but can simply talk about what the truth is.
      • While we must be kind, we also must not compromise the truth. This may lead to persecution.
      • Pray for those who persecute you (Luke 6).
    • As Christians, we ought to be kind to all, patient when wronged; instead of hurting people with your words or attitude, find ways to show kindness.
  • How do we deal with someone who disagrees with us when we share the truth?
    • Our objective should not be to convince them on the spot with eloquence or rhetoric, but to plant the seed. We're not going to change anybody, but if we plant the seed, God's word will change them.
    • Getting people to face the wrath of God may not be in your place; we can press an issue with someone out of love, but we shouldn't badger them.

Men's Workout #7 - June 17th

In today’s workout, we were joined by Pastor Dan’s friend from LA – Pastor Mike and Pastor Mike’s son, Micaiah. We dove straight into leading devotions, with the same structure of praise, reading of Scripture, propositional statements and application. During devotions, Pastor Dan also encouraged us to not always hunt for the main point of the passage, since that could be more difficult depending on the passage. However, there will always be obvious truths that we can reflect on.


James lead the first devotion.

  • Hymn 176 – Be Thou My Vision
  • Passage: 2 Timothy 1:1-12
  • Observed propositional statements and accompanying application / reflection:
    • Paul encourages Timothy to be a faithful minister. Timothy had a spirit of timidity, for men it can be a struggle. However, God didn’t give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and discipline. It is good for us to be that kind of men.
    • Gospel is worth suffering for. This occurred throughout church history. This is the reality for us, that we will suffer for the Gospel. We must be courageous and be willing to lay down our lives for His Word.

Ming led the second devotion.

  • Hymn 162 – Wonderful, Merciful Savior (note that we have replaced “embrace” with “obey” in the second verse)
  • Passage: 1 John 2:1-5
  • Observed propositional statements and accompanying application / reflection:
    • Encouragement to not sin, Jesus Christ is the Advocate who can plead our case to the Father. When we sin, we still have an Advocate.
  • We also covered the meaning of propitiation – appeasement of God’s wrath. This is what was achieved through Jesus’ work on the cross.
  • Additionally, we discussed the delineation of “not for ours only” and “the whole world.” God’s mercy in Christ is enough even for the whole world. There’s no one who can say, “I’ve sinned so much, I can’t be saved.”
  • Pastor Mike then asked us to walk through how we would explain this to kids. The group discussion as follows:
    • Definition of sin: God has a standard as defined in His commandments. Anything that goes against God’s commandments is sin.
    • Expectation of obedience: God expects us to not sin (disobey God’s commands).
    • Penalty for sin: When we sin, there are consequences of that sin – a penalty is required.
    • Substitution of penalty: Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin on the cross. His sacrifice in our place is the only way to be saved from the penalty for our sin.
  • Pastor Dan also related a personal story – that kids will sometimes feel the weight of their sin, and as parents, we need to explain to them that Jesus sacrifice is big enough to cover their sins.

Nick led the third devotion.

  • Hymn 154 – Oh the Deep, Deep Love
  • Passage: Mark 1:1-20
  • Observed propositional statements and accompanying application / reflection:
    • Connection between repenting and the forgiveness of sins, repentance and belief going hand in hand. One cannot follow Christ until they leave something. These men aren’t just following Christ physically, but leaving a different master for Christ as the new master.
  • Pastor Dan encouraged us to look for obvious truths, as identifying the main point can be a real challenge (often requires an in depth study). For example, Jesus is greater than John is an obvious truth in the text. And we can then reflect on this by asking ourselves: Is Jesus greater than me? My boss? Someone I look up to in history and want to imitate?
  • Other observations:
    • Jesus is God’s beloved Son.
    • Repentance is tied to the forgiveness of sin.
    • John looked funny and ate funny food.
    • A lot of people went into the wilderness to listen to John.


We didn’t have time to recite last week’s passage, but we did walk through the crux of each of the antitheses of Matthew 5:

  • 5:21-26 Christians are peacemakers.
  • 5:27-30 Christians are pure.
  • 5:32-32 Christians don’t divorce.
  • 5:33-37 Christians speak truth. Main contention is speaking truth. Pharisees took oaths because their words couldn’t trusted.
  • 5:38-42 Christians don’t take vengeance or demand restitution. In the words of Paul, why not rather be defrauded, why not be wronged?