Pastor Dan kicked off the devotion by opening us up in prayer, then leading us in singing hymn 129, Crown Him with Many Crowns
DEVOTIONS - ROUND 1
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.
DEVOTIONS - ROUND 2
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.