(for more devotionals see 2023) 
Hope you all enjoyed your family time and had Happy New Year's Day and ready to get back to a normal life schedule.  I am starting back into our verse by verse, book by book through Paul's epistles.
Today we start with Ephesians which is possibly next to Romans the greatest book of all in the bible. Ephesians tells us what Jesus did but more importantly who we are in Christ!
Who you are in Christ is more important than what you do for a living. Knowing who you are gives you identity and therefore meaning and purpose in life. Everything you do comes from the motivation of who you are!
Paul begins Ephesians by telling us who he is!  
Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is an Apostle of Christ! One chosen and sent by God! One who has the responsibility of leading the church and doctrine for the day.
Paul is the Apostle to the gentiles, and he is your apostle even if you didn't know that or believe it. He says this in
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
His office was magnified meaning of greater importance!
He writes this letter to the Ephesian church which is the same as writing it to you!
"To the saints"...
now if you are a Christian and you are saved then you are called a saint. That is who you are, and it means to be "holy, pure, consecrated and blameless before God"! It means to you are spiritually set apart in Christ!  You are "HOLY" spiritually speaking and your spirit alone has been filled with the Holy Spirit and with the Lord Jesus Himself with in you. This is the regeneration process, and you are now alive in Christ, spiritually speaking.
We Christians are a Spirit-Soul and Body, and your spirit is Holy, but your soul and body are not. Your soul is your mind-will and emotions and body are your flesh. It has the five senses and that is, sight, hearing, speaking, smelling and touch! Your soul and body battles with the spirit and desires to do what it wants but the Holy Spirit within desires you to follow Christ, this is why we must renew our minds daily.
So, you are not a sinner who is lost but a saint who is found and in Christ! Remember WHO you are gives meaning and purpose and it is important, you are either a sinner who is lost or one who is saved in Christ!
grace to you,
All spiritual blessings in Christ!
As a saved saint in Christ, you have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. Notice it says "spiritual" blessings and not natural blessings.
Eph 1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"
Our blessings are internal and, in our spirit, not external or in the flesh. We may not prosper financially and be wealthy or have great health, but we are spiritually rich and complete in Him.
Before the world was formed God the Father had already said that man would be saved by His Son Jesus! He had already decreed and ordered that man would be saved and have eternal life through Jesus. That we could be blameless and holy through Christ!
That everything was made by and through Jesus Christ and we are placed IN CHRIST!
Everything is about being IN Christ by faith! Without Christ we are dead fleshly beings but IN Christ we are an eternal living spirit in Him!  
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
The beloved is Jesus and we that are saved are accepted and received by God because we are in Jesus! We have been redeemed which means ransomed which means to be paid for by the sacrifice of Christ.
We are completely forgiven of all sins,
Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Not just those we know of or confess but ALL sins, past, present and future sins!
He has made His will known to us through His word, and that His great love for us and that because of that love He sent Jesus to the cross to die for our sins and to rise again to conquer death that we too may have eternal life in Christ.
He did all this and more according to His divine purpose! His purpose is that all man should be saved and given the opportunity to be reconciled to Himself!
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
So, God's divine purpose for you and I was that we could be totally accepted, completely forgiven and redeemed and reconciled to God by Christ!
Give Him the Glory and say Thank You Lord Jesus!
God's complete purpose is summed up in Ephesians 1:9-10!
Eph 1:9 "Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"

That those who believe and are saved will come together and be one In Him! There are two administrations you might say, a heavenly one which is called the Body of Christ and an earthly one through the nation of Israel. Both will be one Kingdom in what is called here "the fulness of times"! The time after the rapture and after the tribulation period and when Christ returns. This time is also called the "ages to come" but for now we live in the "But Now" period.
Eph 2:13 "But now" in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ".
The Body of Christ is a heavenly, spiritual Creature in Christ, so be comforted in Christ and in the fact that we will not see this tribulation period but someday we will all be one in Christ!
God's Purpose in Christ!
Eph 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Predestinated simply and always means to decree and God decreed that everything would be by, through and IN Christ from the beginning. It is not as many teach that God chose certain individuals to be saved and not others.
God 's purpose for man is that they would glorify Him through Christ! It was always God's "intention" that man receive eternal life through Christ. God's purpose was predestinated not individuals. Let's look at another verse which better describes what I am saying.
Eph 3:11 "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:"
You see God's eternal purpose was always IN CHRIST!
Now we who are saved first heard the truth, received the truth, believed the truth, trusted in the truth and then we were sealed by the Holy Spirit for eternity!!!! This sealing is a permanent deal as we might say OSAS which means
Once Saved Always Saved!
We are placed IN CHRIST and stamped "Eternally Mine" by Jesus!
Oh, how we should give thanks for all things always! Live a thankful life and it starts by being content in Christ!  
Eph 1:15 "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."
We are a part of His Body which is also to say His church! The wisdom, revelation and hope of all things are all found in Him! He is life and He is wisdom, and everything is In Christ, which is above all things in this world and in heaven!!!
Praise Him today and always be thankful!
Eph 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
In "time past" meaning from the beginning, we gentiles were all dead in sin and were children of wrath. There was a time when we needed Israel to show the gentile world who God was but after Israel's fall and the rejecting of Christ, we now may be saved though faith alone!
Give God the glory for YOU are NOW ALIVE IN CHRIST!!!!
But God who is rich in mercy and love!
Oh, what Love! Oh, what mercy and grace the Father has shared with us. Think about that love! Think how He sacrificed His own Son because He loved us so!
Eph 2:4 "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
He made us alive through Christ! He raised us to be in Heaven and In Christ! That is your home now and that is where you live! No longer in this world per say as much as you are in heaven and in Christ! Grasp that in your thinking and hold onto it daily! You belong to Christ; you are positioned in Him!!!!
When the word says "by grace are you saved" it means that God went around Israel and the law and offered salvation to a lost gentile world! He offered that salvation to us without law and without works but now only and completely by faith alone!
Renew your mind daily until it forms in your thinking that you are in Heaven and In Christ and that He loves you deeply!!!
With Love,
The Riches of God's Grace!
The riches of God's grace are found in Christ!
Eph 2:7 "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
God is rich in love, mercy, and forgiveness! God has put all things in Christ and therefore as it says in
Eph 3:8 "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;"
We too need to share the "unsearchable riches of Christ" with others! Share the cross, the blood the resurrection and the love of Christ with others.
Salvation is the gift, and we are saved by grace through faith! Grace is the offering of salvation without law and works! Faith is the means in which salvation is received but all of this is "the riches of Christ"!!!
Be thankful, blessed and walk by faith today!
Because we are saved through Christ, we have become God's workman. The good works were in Christ before He came and are for bringing praise and glory unto God!!  
Eph 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Now as workman we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us and to do the work of the ministry that God has given us. Every believer has a ministry. This may not be a public one such as a pastor or teacher, but you have a ministry. First and foremost is to your spouse and family. They should be of top priority as far as ministry goes. Serving them by teaching them the word of God and bringing them to Christ. Then providing for them in whatever way you can. Shelter, food and clothing as well as educating them to read and write should be most important also. All of these things are a ministry as the Spirit works through us!
These good works are always spirit driven and accomplished. You can do a "good" thing with the wrong motives, or you can fail at some work but have the right motive. The heart must be for the glory of God and what is in His interest for another person.
We do not work hard to do good works as some religions teach for a reward or to be appreciated rather, we serve, and the fruit of serving is called good works!
May the God who comforts you, comfort others through you!
The Gentile World without God, Christ, Promises or Hope!
In time past meaning before the cross and before the dispensation of grace, the Gentiles never had any hope of salvation without Israel! Under the Old Covenant Israel was a nation of priest and to lead the gentile world to the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.
Eph 2:11 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:"
We were lost and strangers to Israel and more importantly God! We gentiles would only learn of God through Israel. We did not have Levitical law or ordinances without coming to Israel.
This is why it is called "grace"! Grace is God offering salvation to the gentile world by bypassing Israel, law or works! This salvation is offered without works of the law, so it is called grace and accessed by faith! All that is needed now is to believe and trust in the works of the cross and the resurrection to have eternal life.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
We are "near" and placed In Christ! By faith we are alive in Christ and no longer separated from God!
Walk by faith in the "BUT NOW" and be Thankful!!!
Jesus is our Peace!
Jesus is our peace and notice I did not say that He only brings peace but IS peace!  
Eph 2:14 "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:"
You may be going through the worst time of your life but that does not mean you can't have peace! Anxiety, worry and fear are all internal emotions, but they can be overcome by renewing your mind until that peace comes.
Jesus is peace so He makes peace. He has made us one body without the law and ordinances of Israel. The cross has done the work that is needed so we can be one by His works and His blood! The book of Colossians is a great book that tells us that there are no ordinances for today for you are complete in Christ lone!!!
Col 2:10 "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
AND... 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"
So put on faith and therefore walk in peace today!
We are no more foreigners but fellow citizens in the household of God!
We are not strangers, foreigners or lost anymore but we are now fellow citizens of the household of God!!! Hallelujah!!!
Eph 2:17  "And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
We that are saved are now one and united in Christ! There is no longer a wall between jew and gentile but rather a unity in Him!
We are one household of saints in Christ! We are all saved by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!
That should excite you and make you want to shout "AMEN"!!!!
We are reconciled to God and therefore at peace with Him. Be thankful and excited for you belong to Christ!!!
Built by Christ for God by the Holy Spirit!
In yesterday's devotional I said that we are not strangers anymore "but now" we are fellow citizens with the saints in Christ, and today we continue with that thought as Paul describes us as being a building, built by Christ for God and by the Holy Spirit.
Eph 2:19 "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

When it talks about being built by the apostles and prophets it means that they were first to speak of God and to give direction to whom Christ was, yet don't make the mistake of thinking that we follow them OH NO, we follow Paul's pattern who is the apostle to the gentiles. They were apostles to Israel, but they did know Jesus first and told others who He was.
Now the Holy Spirit lives within each and every believer. He lives in your spirit and cannot and will not leave! You are sealed in the Spirit by the Holy Spirit therefore you have eternal life. Now the battle we all have is in our soul and body. Our soul is our mind, will and emotions while our body is our 5 senses.  
So, keep focused on the spirit and you will not follow after the flesh!
Praise the Lord your spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit!
The word dispensation is used here, and it means the dispensing of God's will! In the bible and throughout history God has dispensed or poured out His will.
Eph 3:1 "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)"
The dispensing of grace to the gentile world was not known before and this is why it is called the "MYSTERY"! Prophecy was always known and given to Israel and the prophets to tell of what was going to happen, but the mystery was hidden!
Eph 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:"
Our mission today is to make known the MYSTERY! Our mission today in the dispensation of grace called the mystery is to make all men see what is the "FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY" which is in Christ!!!
Eph 3:7 "Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"
Do you understand the revelation and fellowship of the mystery?
Rom 16:25 "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,"
Read and Study Paul's books and grow in the knowledge of the mystery and therefore,
be Forgiven, Free and Faithful in Christ!!!
There are 3 different time frames in the bible and all of them are found in Ephesians 2. The first one is called "TIME PAST", and this is where Israel is the issue and gentiles could receive salvation through Israel! Gentiles did not know God and were lost and without hope! Gentiles did not have the law and were called uncircumcision by the Jews which are called circumcision.
Eph 2:11 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
The next time zone is the "BUT NOW' time frame, and it is the time we are in today! The dispensation of grace to the gentile world without Israel, law or works. Paul's books Romans-Philemon are all written in this time frame, and they are our doctrine for today!
... 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
The last time frame is the "AGES TO COME"! It is in the last day and will include Israel's earthly Kingdom as well as the Body of Christ's heavenly one! This will complete God's plan for the ages!
Eph 2:7 "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Make sure you are reading Paul's books from the "BUT NOW" doctrine for today for it is under grace, liberty and victory for today!  
The church now knows God's eternal purpose for all things and that purpose is found in Christ!
Eph 3:10 " To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him."
Everything is by Christ, for Christ and in Christ! EVERTHING!!!! We now know the principalities, powers and purpose of Christ, and by all that we now know the wisdom of God! Predestination was about Christ and everything God has done is based off that! Man was to be saved through Christ and therefore God would be glorified!
Don't forget that it is God purpose that was predestined and that is all found in Jesus our Lord!
Paul's Prayer for You!!!
Paul hit his knees in prayer for the Ephesian church, but this prayer is really for all of us.  
Eph 3:14 "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Paul prayed for 5 things.
1. That God the Father would grant us to be strengthen by the Spirit in our inner man!
2. That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith.
3. That we are rooted and grounded in love.
4. That we know the love of Christ.
5.That we be filled with all the fulness of God!
WOW! We could pray that for every person we know couldn't we. If you run out of things to pray for and/or perhaps we should pray this for everyone regardless of their prayer request or needs!
Now look at #2, by faith we receive God's strength, love and filled with the fulness of God! By faith we are rooted and grounded in love! BY FAITH!!!
Be sure and take time to receive then give to others!
The phrase "unto Him" means unto God the Father, who is able to do everything! He is able to save, bless and comfort us through Christ Jesus!
Eph 3:20 "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Unto Him be ALL the glory in the church BY Christ Jesus for ALL ages! For ever and ever without end, God gets the glory and praise!  Forever He will rule and forever He will control ALL things! Forever He will conquer, and we will be with Him as He makes His Kingdom above ALL!!!!
Let us never forget the BIG picture and in HOPE of the promises of God through Christ Jesus our Lord!!!
Paul tells us to "walk worthy of the vocation" meaning godly and righteously. It means to do things for the right reasons while praising the Lord!
Eph 4:1 "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"
Our daily life shows our daily mind and heart! Our daily lifestyle is our greatest witness that we are saved and in Christ! That we are "Christians" and are obedient, loyal and loving to Him!
Vocation means the calling and that calling is not necessarily a position per say but a spiritual walk. It is the calling as a child of God and an ambassador of Jesus Christ. That calling does not mean your work yet at your place of employment you are called to "walk worthy". We should be humble, patient and generous with one another. We should be loving one another and submitting to one another. We should be edifying each other so that we build each other up in faith and be one with one another in Christ.
Let us pray for one another and walk worthy in love!
The problem with all of us in this world started in Genesis 3 and that is the fact that we want to be God! We want to do what we want to do without regard to God's ways. We want to live independent of Him, and this is called sin, and it affects every one of us.
Gen 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden."
First, we are born into this independent way called sin and then after coming to Christ and our flesh can still behave in the same way. We sin because we choose to still be our own god and do whatever we want.
If we read verse 6, we see sin is 3 ways, good for food, pleasant to the eyes and to make one wise. 1 John explains it this way.
1John 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
Lust and pride mean to covet, and it is self-serving. It is something that is self-centered, ungodly and unrighteous. It can be in doing anything even a good thing, because it is an inward self-centered heart and mind. Sin means to "miss the mark" which means to miss GOD! We miss the righteousness of God and His standards, and made His standards known through the law but even more so through Jesus Christ our Lord!  
Stop and think about your motives in life and why you do things is it for yourself or does it bring God the Glory! We may want to control others or circumstances because we fear people or consequences. We may fear rejection, failure or punishment so we try to control in these areas. We are prideful and always right yet fear being wrong. We talk to much or to little and always have to have the last word. We can do so many things that really is self-motivated and not Christ motivated. It is not loving God or others but is elf centered and seeking acceptance, attention or affection.
Stop and be honest with yourself and analyze your motives then go to God and just be real with Him and thank Him for forgiving you of your sin already!
There was a song back in the 70's that said, "one is the loneliest number", But it is really the greatest number! Paul says this in
Eph 4:2 "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
There is only One God and One Lord and One Spirit! There is only One faith, One hope and One body! There is only One baptism and that is a spiritual baptism, and it is NOT water.
1Co 12:13 "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
We are One in Christ and therefore One with God by the Holy Spirit. You are One with the creator and we are one with each other. We are in His body of saved, sealed, saints and we work together doing the same job in different ways and that is to teach others about Jesus Christ our Lord!
Leaders have names... Dad, Mom, teacher are all names we give to those who have authority. The church has leaders also and they have names......
Eph 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
They have what is called offices or positions but there are no more apostles, prophets or evangelist and some would even say there are no more pastor or teacher offices, but I don't agree with that thinking. But regardless there are those who lead and teach and take care of the Body no matter what their name is called.
Now most would say that pastor-teacher are one yet there can be teachers who are not pastors, but I think all teachers should be concerned with their students regardless of their title or position.
Regardless these leaders are too "perfect", meaning mature the body so that they can minister to the lost as well as love and edify each other. They are to teach the word and oversee the body and to protect, provide and persuade the body! They are to warn the body of wrong doctrine and to even confront others if needed. They are to exhort, encourage and establish the body in sound doctrine.
The pastor-teacher is no better or more important than the rest of the body, yet it is an important role also. They take on a responsibility that is noble and highly respected yet must be careful not to fall to temptation themselves. They are the spiritual leaders of the local body and do need prayer as they pray for the spiritual growth and heart of each person in the local church.
Pray for your leader and follow them as they follow Christ!
Tossed to and fro!
The biggest problem with the church today is that there is no unity. Now don't get me wrong all may believe in Christ and some may even agree with one another, but I am talking about ALL saints and ALL churches.  
Eph 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
We are called to be in unity of faith and not "tossed to and fro" which means if someone says do this or that and you will be closer to God or do this or that and you will be blessed. I have so many get caught up in signs and prosperity doctrine that they don't know what to believe. There are those who do everything "just" so they can have an experience with Jesus not realizing that Jesus is within them already. Many of the orthodox churches still have Jesus on the cross and are trying to work their way to Christ.
The one thing they all have in common is they place themselves back under law and therefore in some form of "works"! This is why I say over and over there are no ordinances for today, 0, NONE!!! We are under grace and justified by faith alone.
Don't be confused and tossed by every wind of doctrine, you are complete in Christ and therefore can edify one another in love!!!
Sadly, many in the church need to hear this and many walk just like the world. They walk in the vanity of their own mind and not in what the word says.
Eph 4:17 "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."
They may be saved but they have taken to such a liberal side of grace that they walk in sin! The world is lost and without Christ. Their minds and understanding are dark, and they are ignorant of God even though many non-believers will tell believers what the bible says and how to live it! Their hearts are hard, blind and past any emotional feeling toward God and others. They don't love others they love themselves and lust for affection, power and control. While they may say they fear no one they really fear everyone but God. They are arrogant and prideful and need to come o their knees in humbleness!
Let's not walk, behave and look like the world dear saints but let us look like the LIGHT OF THE WORLD so that all may know we belong to JESUS CHRIST our LORD!!!
One of the greatest teachings on how to walk after the Spirit are found here in these verses. Our daily faith walk is written out for us and how to renew our mind also.
Eph 4:20 "But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
We know that Jesus is true, and all truth is in Jesus. For that matter all "life" is in Him and so we want to walk in His life. Sin is death and just as Romans 7-8 talks about our flesh gets in the way but we can do something about that. We can put off that behavior and thoughts and replace it by putting on Christ.
Now we can think of it like this ...Just like our clothes and bodies get dirty and stinky we can go home and take them off and jump in the shower right. We don't just take off our clothes because WE are dirty and stinky too, so we need to take a shower. We don't just stand there naked because the elements of the world can attack us, like the sun, heat and cold but so can Satan and temptations.
We don't walk around naked or go outside either as that would be embarrassing and shame and guilt would come upon us too. No, we jump in the shower and PUT ON clean clothes! Now we don't want to put clean clothes over dirty ones either, they may look clean for a while, but they will smell yucky besides feeling heavy after a while, just like our burdens will feel if we don't take them off!
So, Put-off sinful thoughts and actions and Put on Christ love, acceptance and forgiveness and then LIVE THE VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIFE IN CHRIST DAILY!!!
After putting off and putting on Christ and His love we then are to give and comfort one another.
Eph 4:25 "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."  
A thief only covets and is self-centered. We can all steal and be thieves in some way. When we take from others emotionally and lust for love or don't listen to others. When everything is about us instead of others. When we just talk and talk about ourselves and never really listen to what others are going through or feeling. We don't care about others but only ourselves.
I always ask people when does a thief stop being a thief and the answer is usually when he stops stealing but that is not the answer Paul gives us. A thief stops being a thief when he has a heart to "give" and not "take"! Lots of people are in prison and can't steal (supposedly) but they still have a self-centered covet mind!
By not lying or getting angry or any other self-centered thing we are giving and being ambassadors for Christ. The world buys, sells and steals but God's economy is giving and receiving.
We are told to "minister grace unto the hearers", in other words we are to speak truth in love, tell others about the love and grace as well as the cross of Christ. We should share the gospel of grace and preach Jesus!
Eph 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
One of my pet peeves I guess it could be said is hating cussing. There should be no cussing coming out of the believer's mouth. Now I know that all of us may say a cuss word occasionally, especially if we smash our finger in the door or hit with a hammer or something but that is it. It destroys your witness if you have filthy mouth. The same goes for gossiping or always negative talk. We want to correct in love and then build up the body of Christ. Yes, we may need to discipline or rebuke at times but that is still ministering grace if it is for that person to come to Christ and grow in faith.
Some say we cannot grieve the Holy Spirit, or that it means something else there, but I think we grieve the spirit when we walk by the flesh and sin. Grieve means to make sad, offend or sorrowful and just to be clear we do not lose our salvation at all but it is just a grieving of the Spirit, much like a parent might feel grieved or sad by a child who disobeys yet never ever stops loving them.
As much as you can Minister grace which encompasses everything in Christ!
Just as Christ has forgiven you, you too can forgive.
Eph 4:31 "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
The forgiveness we have received is not based on whether we forgive others as it was under law to Israel. It is not conditional as it is in Mat 6:14 "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:"
The believer is completely forgiven of ALL sin!!!
Col 2:13 "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"
Col 3:13 "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."
We now have the power of the Spirit within us, as well as the blood of Christ which has taken away all sin so in turn we may "CHOOSE" to forgive others. We can Put off anger, bitterness and wrath and put on forgiveness. It is a matter of the will not feelings or as some say to me "God will have to tell me to do it or do it because I can't forgive" OH NO it is a choice we make!!!
Understanding how bad your sin was and experiencing God's forgiveness and Christ sacrifice for all your sins, will help to forgive others. Always remember forgiving does not mean agreeing or approving of the sin and offence others have made against you it is just forgiving them. We are to always extend forgiveness toward everyone, regardless of the offence yet we may need to also separate from them depending on the offence or persons heart toward Christ and others.
Paul tells us to not just be saved spiritually but to also follow God as children would follow their father.
Eph 5:1 "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."
This is an act of our will because our spirit is saved and set apart, but our daily walk comes through our soul which is our mind, will and emotions. We need to think and choose to follow God in all things.
And when we do that, we can love others just as Christ loved us. Notice this is not conditional but is a done deal as they say. Christ died for us because He loved us and therefore, we now can be secure and love others.
Christ GREAT sacrifice was well pleasing to God and was a "sweetsmelling savour" to Him! This means that it filled God's desire, and the heart of God was well pleased.
Follow God daily and love others just as you have been loved by our Lord Jesus Christ!!!
The Lord Jesus lives within us and therefore we belong to Him. We are His children and children of light. His light shines through our spirit so that others may know Him, and because we are "LIGHT" let us now act like it!!!!
Eph 5:3 "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:"
Sometimes it is beyond my comprehension how some denominations can allow homosexual pastors or priest to lead them. Here in these verses, it even says twice "fornication" which means ANY illicit sexual relations and then "whoremongers" which means male prostitutes or male homosexuality. This is beyond my thinking as to how you can justify this, and that people actually allow it.
There are other sins listed here and we should not do them either but only homosexuality is accepted by some churches and Christians, (that is if they are saved at all).
We are to be "LIGHT" in this dark world, not join it! Be LIGHT, be BOLD and be COURAGEOUS against this evil world!!!
The fruit of the Spirit means the bi-product or what manifest in daily life. It means that in all righteousness and truth which is in Christ is produced. Love, peace and discipline are all a part of the fruit, but Christ is the root!
Eph 5:9 "(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
We are told to walk by the Spirit, and we will not do the things of the flesh,
Gal 5:16 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh".
The flesh is all that is dark and is in sin! Sin is ugly, dark and offensive! It is always selfish and ungodly!
When walk in the Spirit we are also walking in the Light of Christ. This light is righteous and good and Godly!!!
Walk after the Spirit and let Christ light shine through you!
Paul warns us to walk circumspectly which means carefully, diligently and perfectly. Not perfect as never sinning (yet we shouldn't do that either) but rather faithfully. We should be aware of what is going on around us. We should know our own weaknesses and faults, as well as our strengths. We should be willing to admit to our sins and be aware of why we do sin in situations.
Eph 5:15 "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is".
We should try to redeem the time instead of watching T.V. or just staying "busy" just for busyness' sake. Sometimes being busy is a way of not dealing with our emotions or deeper thoughts and things that need to be addressed.
What is "the will of the Lord"? Well, it is always for us to be transformed spiritually, mentally and physically. It means we renew or minds and worship, praise and give God the glory!
Rom 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God".
So in your daily schedule make time to read and study the word, as well as pray and spend time with the Lord. Deal with your own thoughts and emotional things and Walk with a renewed mind and heart while giving Christ the praise and glory!
Paul tells us to not be drunk with wine or anything else that can take our mind off of the Lord. We should be filled with the Spirit and share with each other in hymns and spiritual songs of worship and make melody in our hearts to the Lord!
Eph 5:18 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God".
In other words, be one with the Spirit and with the body. Then he tells us to be thankful for all things unto the Lord and submit to one another.
In other words, we should be humble, loving and accepting of each other. We should be willing to allow others to have a say and to input and respect their thoughts. The body should help one another in whatever they can if possible. We want to edify which means to build up one another.
Now that does not mean we believe or accept everyone's opinion or religious views it just means to listen and hear those who we are one with and to serve each other the best we can.
This part of scripture is addressed to wives. The next part which I will get to in the next devotion is addressed to men. We both have a responsibility regardless of our spouses' hearts and works.  
Eph 5:22 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing".
Wives are to submit which means to "yield to", follow and obey.  The reason why this is so hard for many is because they don't understand their identity in Christ. They don't know "WHO" they are in Christ! They are insecure and needing to and trying to feel secure, so they try to control their husbands.
Jesus is God yet yielded to God the Father WHY? Because He knew who He was! He knew WHO He was and the power and strength of that.  Paul says it this way in Philippians.
Phl 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross".
Let this mind be in you he says.... to have the power of God within and able to stand on your own without "needing" someone else.... YET YEILDING to your husband or someone else is a FAR GREATER strength then demanding your own way out of insecurity and lust for power!
Renew your mind constantly and remind yourself you are a "child of God who is deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven in Christ" and that you can serve your spouse and others just as Christ served you!!!
Last week I touched on the "wives" role, now this week it is the "Husbands" turn. If you remember and go back to Ephesians 5:22-24 you will see only 3 verses for wives but now the men have 8! We have a great role and responsibility for the family. Unfortunately, we men do not always meet the standard that we should in society.  
Eph 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband".
We are to love our wives just as Christ loved the church. We are to be devoted to them and take care of them. We are to put everything on the line for them even death if necessary. We should desire what God wants for them which is always being saved and in Christ!  Men need to lead in bible study daily with their spouse. I always say the most intimate thing a husband can do for his wife is read the word of God to her.
The male is made in such a way to bring correction and discipline while the woman is to nurture, and both are to teach in different ways. Honor your wife always and respect her when others are around. Never make fun of her in public or talk behind her back with other men!
Notice it says in verse 29, that no one ever hated his own flesh meaning we already love ourselves, so we are to love her as much as we love ourselves after all you are already one!
Read the word, lead and love your wife and sacrifice your wants and desires for Christ's sake!
Family is so important but not as important as our Lord Jesus! Oh, how I wish I would have obeyed my parents better than I did. Oh, how wish that kids today would obey the parents.
Eph 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord".
It sems that rebellion against authority is getting worse although it has been around since the beginning of time. Even God had children who did not obey.  Adam and Eve disobeyed in the beginning and so it has been the same ever since.
Teach your kids to listen, obey and respect all authority even the ones you disagree with but especially you as parents. Respecting does not always mean agreeing with everyone.
Dads should love your children and don't antagonize them. Play with them but be firm with them. Laugh, teach and correct them but always be patient with them. Read the word to them and teach them how to live a Victorious Christian Life in Christ!
These two are to work hand in hand for a particular mission. The earthly mission is to make money to live off of, but that money should also be used for the heavenly mission.  
Eph 6:5 "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him".
We should work hard for our boss regardless of what kind of boss they are. Jesus is our boss and if we approach our daily work as if we are working for Him then we will work hard and do a good job. We shouldn't shirk our work and do our best at all times.
Those that are in charge are to treat those under them with respect, but we know that does not always happened because they are human and may not be a believer either, but this is God's design.
Either way we should give our all and not men please which means to work hard only when the boss is around, or to speak kind words and try to puff them up but talk bad behind their back when they are not around.
Keep focused and Work unto the Lord always and keep a clear and good conscience.
We are to take a STAND against evil by putting on the amour of the Lord! This means to be aware of what is going on in your mind and heart. It means to know your opponent which is 3-fold. 1. Satan, 2. the World and 3. your flesh!
Eph 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God":
We want to put on our defensive amour and also our offensive weapon and that weapon is the word of God! You need to understand that the amour is protecting your front, but your back is exposed. That means you can be attacked subtly from behind by putting your guard down. You need to realize that life is not just a playground but that there is a real life or death battle going on. Your enemy is not someone necessarily, but it is an evil spiritual and dark world that will affect you and others.
So, you need to read the word daily and study it often. You need to apply it to life constantly and renew your mind with truth. You want to walk by the spirit and know your identity in Christ!  
Pray for the Great Ambassador!
Eph 6:18 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak".
If Paul the Great Ambassador ask for prayer, surely, we can too, after all we are ambassadors also! He tells us to pray in the Spirit for all saints.
Now praying in the Spirit does not mean in tongues or some super spiritual thing but just as you walk after the spirit so pray after the spirit. This is not a repetitive prayer yet sometimes we will say the same thing in prayer. This is not a recited prayer but a genuine sincere prayer that comes from thinking about God's desire for this person.
Pray for those who know Christ and pray for those who don't know Him. Pray for the saints and pray for the lost. Pray continually for the authority that leads us in government, church and home! Pray for all of us to submit to that authority and especially for our kids. Pray for me and this ministry and know that I am praying for you! Pray for all and especially for the message of the mystery to be shared, taught and received!!!
Eph 3:9 "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"
Paul wanted to share life with the church. He wanted them to pray for him and know how he was doing. So he sent Tychicus to inform them.
Eph 6:21 "But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen".
We too should share life with other likeminded saints. We should try to be open, honest and transparent with them. I see way too many lone rangers who never socialize with anyone. No man is an Island we all share this thing called life.
Sadly, most of the time those who don't want to share life with others is because they set a lot of standards for them. They do this and they do that, and they never meet the persons standards.
Now doesn't need to be a lot of people and doesn't mean meeting with those who are not likeminded either, but we should strive to share life with people.
Paul ends this letter with words like peace, love and grace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and so I will do the same to you all in the faith, Grace and Peace with Christ Love!
I always enjoy starting a new book! Philippians is another of Paul's prison epistles! The theme is found in,
Phl 2:5 'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus":
Our hearts and thinking should be the same as Christ! We are to have one mind and have His joy, unity, love and mercy! We are to be humble as He was humble before His Father! We are to know WHO we are in Him and walk with that same mind set! Because we know who we are, we can serve, love and minister to one another!
We should be as Christ, so we too can lay down our lives and say as Paul said
Phl 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain".
Put your mind on Christ today and be in unity as you receive from Him. Let His Joy be your Joy! Let His love, mercy and humbleness be yours today!
Grace, Peace and Prayer!
As we begin this new book study, we see that Paul give his usual greetings. But he first acknowledges who he is and that he is a servant of Jesus!  
Phl 1:1 "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now";
We should all know who we are and to whom we serve. People may ask you "who are you" and "what do you do"? Our usual response will be our name and then what we do for a living. But perhaps deep down in our thoughts and perhaps even out loud we should say "I am a child of God and a servant of Jesus"! I know that may sound corny or weird to say to someone, but we can still think it, RIGHT!
Paul then acknowledges the saints in Christ. Did you know that you are a saint also. YES, you are if you are saved you, are a saint! Saint means Holy and the Holy Spirit resides in you! God the Father and Jesus Christ live within your spirit and so Paul calls us saints! That does not mean sinless yet hopefully you sin-less, but it means that you are saved, alive and in Christ! Your spirit is set apart from your soul and body and is Holy, righteous and godly!
Then he addresses the bishops and deacons, the authority figures in the church. They are the preachers, teachers and counselors of the church! They are to serve the Body by teaching them not only correct doctrine but how to live this Christian life. What it looks like to live a godly, righteous and victorious life in Christ.
Paul then says that he always prays for them and has great joy for this church as it is a good, obedient and growing fellowship. They supported him financially as well as prayerfully.
Paul then gives his normal Greek and Hebrew greetings. The Hebrew word Shalom means peace and the Greek word Charis which means grace!
So, remember who you are in Christ and that there is no peace without God's grace!
God will do His job!
God has done His job and will always continue to do His work in You! He is faithful even when we are not!  
Phl 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
Paul loved the church meaning people. Paul loved the saints, and he was so grateful for their hearts. He wanted them to see them and share more revelation and teaching of this Great Gospel of Grace!
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
He wanted them to grow in love and be able to know and discern right from wrong, good from evil and the works and hearts of men! We should be able to not only know our own heart and mind but also that of the Body. Good works are different than bad works or maybe a better way of saying it is good fruit from rotten fruit.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment";
We too should grow in knowledge, judgment and discernment about these things and while we do, we should desire to keep growing in God's Love!!!
Paul is the Apostle to the gentile world and as our Apostle and teacher, he tells us that we are filled with the fruit of righteousness! God is Righteous! Jesus is Righteous! The Holy Spirit is righteous and all three live within us!!!
Phl 1:10 "That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God".
The fruit of a tree is the byproduct of the tree. It is what is manifested, such as an orange comes from an orange tree so then so does the fruit of righteousness. Because we have Christ within us, let us dwell on Him and let Jesus work through us to manifest His fruit! This fruit will also allow us to discern and know those things that are excellent!
Have you heard someone teach something and you say no I don't think that is right. Because what they said was not of God or excellent, but then someone says something else, and you go ok that sounds right. Now everything that is excellent is found in the written Word! EVERYTHING!!!
So read the word daily and then allow Christ righteous fruit to be picked!
Bad circumstances in life can lead to Christ!
Paul was in prison and while his circumstances were not great the gospel was still reaching others for Christ.
Phil. 1:12 "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear".
You see no matter what circumstances you are in you can still share the gospel. You can share the gospel no matter what, in fact I would say that the worst circumstances can sometimes be a good thing for Christ's sake. The more people suffer the more likely they will see their weakness and need for Christ. This is why I say don't rescue people let them sink into a deeper hole so they can see the need to come to Christ!
When our circumstances are at their worst, we tend to seek help in some way. Most seek help from people or an external worldly way, but some seek internal and eternal need for Life and that is in Jesus Christ!
Be prepared to share Christ no matter where you are at, for you never know where others are in life and their need maybe at the surface of receiving Jesus our Lord and Saviour!
Paul says that the gospel is spreading even though he is in prison. He says that some are preaching Christ out of envy and strife not with pure motives.
Phl 1:15 "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice".
Now we have many that do that today. They preach A different Christ or preach to gain. To gain power, prosperity and praise from man! They seek to "get" not give and we must speak out against them just like Paul did at times.
What Paul is saying when he rejoiced is that regardless of their motives for preaching, Christ is being preached. Bad doctrine is not good but if the person is preaching Christ with bad motives, yet good doctrine then let us praise the Lord!
Let us preach Jesus Christ with good motives and sound doctrine and ALWAYS REJOICE IN OUR LORD JESUS!!!
Phl 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice".
One of the greatest verses in all the bible is found in verse 21, "TO LIVE IS CHRIST TO DIE IS GAIN"!!!
Phl 1:19 "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain".
Paul was saying that he and we get LIFE from our Lord Jesus. Before our salvation we were dead in sin but when we are saved our spirit becomes alive and we are put in Christ by the Holy Spirit.  So, to have eternal life is unbelievable but it also says to die is gain.
In other words, it would be wonderful and peaceful to die and to be with Christ in heave forever! No more pain or suffering or unrighteous behavior but only the brightness and glory of the Lord!
Oh, spend time thinking about it and put your heart at ease over dying. We should look forward to it. We should not fear but rejoice in it. We are not to be morbid and want to commit suicide in fact while we are here let's share Christ and take some with us to that most GLORIOUS place called HEAVEN!!!
While Paul looked forward to being with the Lord he knew it was best for him to stay and edify the church.
Phil 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you".
This should be our attitude too, that while we are here, we have a job to do. Our job is to edify meaning build up the church. We can share the gospel to unbelievers. We can teach the revelation of the mystery, the freedom we have in Him and the love of God through Christ. We can correct bad theology and encourage others to know God and make Him known!
We are to Stand Fast in One Spirit and have One mind for the faith of the gospel!  
25 "And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. 27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel";
Sadly, we have so many denominations and perverted churches today! In the name of liberty, we have tainted the gospel by allowing so many to do their own thing which has destroyed unity.
Thankfully the gospel never changes, and the grace message is still God's dispensation for today, regardless of the law biding, bondage making churches today!
Don't get caught up in what you can see like the law and ordinances that so many want you to do, but rather stand fast in faith with one spirit and one mind OF CHRIST!
I don't know about you, but I don't like to suffer at all! I like my Lazy-boy recliner and T.V and comfort of a home. I like to eat well and have clothing and nice things, don't you! But Paul says we are called to suffer for Christ's sake.
Phil 1:28 "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me".
I don't think I have suffered hardly at all compared to many across the world. In some countries they will hunt you down and kill you for being a Christian. In communist countries they will put you in jail and for some it is a life sentence just for believing in Jesus!
That should tell us the power of His name, after all "what difference does it make if I believe in a God that you don't", we might say! "Does it hurt you in some way" OH NO they just fear the name of Christ! They fear death and they have no answer for it! It is fear that makes them kill and in prison others.
That same fear lives in those who scoff at you for believing in Christ! They laugh and make fun of you for believing in fairytales! But it is they who persecute you who are in bondage to fear and death, and they who will die in their sins!
So, keep on believing, sharing and claiming the name of Jesus and you too can be proud to suffer for Christ's sake!!!
Fellowship of the Spirit!
Paul is asking questions but really is he is saying "there is"! There is consolation in Christ, and there is comfort in love! We should be of one Spirit and loving one another!!
Phil 2:1 "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others".
We should be likeminded in one accord and with one mind! We should be humble and looking out for one another.
Sadly, this is not the case in many ways! First there is the disunity of doctrine in churches today. This brings law and works and therefore confusion which brings insecurity to the believer. If there is insecurity there will be defensiveness and strife. Everyone looks inward instead of outward. We go into self-protection mode. It also means that correction is not possible as the defensive issue comes up and cannot be overcome, and therefore sin and offences continue.
We need to be humble and know who we are in Christ! We need to renew our minds daily that we are God's children, and that we are deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven in Christ and then we can serve others as well as be served!
WOW!!! let this mind be in you which was in Christ!! In other words As Christ thinks you should think! As Christ was we should be!
Phil 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".
Notice that it says "Who, being in the form of God," in other words Christ was God and we too should understand that we too are a form of God! Our spirit contains God! We are in Christ and Christ is in us! The HOLY SPIRIT LIVES IN US! You're not just a poor dead sinner anymore YOU ARE A SAINT! ALIVE AND A HOLY ONE in the sight of God! God sees Christ within you! You are a NEW CREATURE that is HOLY AND PURE AND RIGHTEOUS!!!
Now because you are in a form of God and Holy and righteous humble yourself as Christ did! We can Humble ourselves to death if necessary. No, I don't mean we should kill ourselves or even let others abuse us, but we can take the insults and rejection and come out the VICTOR! We don't need the approval of others anymore. We do not need to live in fear anymore!
WHY YOU SAY? Because we know WHO we are IN CHRIST and WHO LIVES IN US!!!! We are accepted, approved and adored by our Lord and Saviour! We belong to Him and He has made our spirit HOLY and perfect in Him! HE LIVES WITH US!
Every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord even those who are not saved will say this is the KING OF kings and LORD of lords and bring GLORY TO GOD THE FATHER!!!
Phil 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure".
God is the one who has done the work and still doing the work within us! He did the work through Christ who did the work on the cross!  Really the work is finished but when it says to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" it means to put our mind on the things of God! To renew our minds and put on Christ! It means to be faithful and to walk by the Spirit and by faith! When we walk by faith, we are allowing God to "do" the work" within us!
This is not a works-based salvation but a heart that has positioned itself to receive! The only "work" we need to do is to receive by faith!
Perhaps nothing could be truer today then these verses!!!
Phil 2:14 "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain".
It seems we live in a nation and world that has become more perverse and crooked. The state of our political systems and governments may be just as crooked as in the ancient days and our moral decay certainly is as perverse as the Romans were back in Paul's day and that is saying something!
But just as Paul tells them to be, we too should be! We shouldn't join them in their perverse crooked and immoral ways, but we should SHINE AS LIGHTS IN THIS WORLD! Take a stand for morality and keep yourself from complaining, putting down and griping about everything in our government officials and candidates.
Pray for them and Put on Christ and SHINE SAINTS SHINE!!!
Paul's great love for the saints!
Paul so greatly loved the saints! If he could not be there to teach and encourage them, he wanted someone there. So, he sent Timothy and Epaphroditus and edify the church.
Phl 2:19 "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. 22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. 23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. 25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me."
Something we can learn from this is that we can be concerned about other believers. We too can care for them with the heart of Christ. We too are fellow soldiers in Christ. We too can share the gospel and teach and serve. We too can bring joy to others and exhort all to Christ. Don't be someone who always needs to be cared for but turn around and serve others in some way.
So, keep praying, loving and caring for others to come to Christ as well as serving the Body of Christ in whatever way you can!
Paul is constantly writing the same things over and over again. Sometimes they are worded differently but the meaning is the same. We are to rejoice in the Lord always and keep our focus on Him. When we rejoice, we are resting in Him and therefore not struggling with the day-to-day things.  
Phil 3:1 "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."
It is east to get caught up with wars, political and government stuff that goes on, but we need to keep focus on Christ.
Paul goes on to warn us of those exact people that are against us. Who do not believe or those who want us to follow law! I see this more and more and even a good friend of mind now is caught up in following Jewish traditions and law!
Paul says BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE! So be aware of who you are talking to and what is their agenda and if it is NOT in Grace thinking separate from them.
Now we are the circumcision who worship in Spirit and truth and who rejoice in Christ and notice it say NO confidence in the flesh which also means not doing the works of law to be justified in Christ!
You are saved by grace through faith and your daily walk is by grace through faith!
Phil 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Paul's greatest gift may have been his zeal! Whether his zeal for the law or his zeal in grace, he always had a great zeal for God!
Once he was saved and understood more, he then counted everything as a loss compared to Christ. He understood that none of those things under law were of value. This is why he writes in Colossians 2 that all those traditions and ordinances are but a shadow!
Have a ZEAL for Christ and don't get caught up in law, ordinances or traditions.
The righteousness which is of God by faith!
I am constantly seeing or hearing from those who want to follow the law. That put themselves under law and do works of the law and do the traditions of the law and of Israel.  
Philippians 3:9 "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"

ANY and yes, I will say it again, ANY form of works of the law is "SELF RIGHTEOUNESS"!!! YES I SAID IT! You may think you are doing something for Christ or doing the law brings blessing or whatever reason you pick but it is nothing more than self-centeredness and self-righteous behavior that is attempting to be justified and righteous before God!
Paul says this in Galatians 2:21 "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Did Christ die in vain NO OF COURSE NOT!!! Then stop trying to find righteousness by the law!
Paul says this about Israel in Romans 10:1:1 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
You see Christ has done all the works and our faith is shown in HIS WORKS not ours! When we do the works of the law in order to be righteous, we are saying we are better than Christ and that He died in Vain, COME ON SAINTS let us not fall back into our own efforts but let us enjoy the rest, freedom and joy of being in Christ righteousness!
Forget your past and reach forth into the future in Christ!
Shame and guilt can keep us in bondage forever. We all have something we regret doing or have lived through and we just feel bad about, but we can move on in Christ!
Phil 3:11 "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Realizing WHO we are in Christ now can change everything. We are accepted in Him therefore we do not need to seek others acceptance. We do not need to fear punishment for He was the propitiation for ALL sin. We do not need to walk in shame for we are made a NEW Creature therefore our old shameful self is gone.
Live by faith in Christ and that is in the present. Live in the present and you will have Joy and Peace!  
Walk by the same rule and mind!
Sadly the church today does not walk by the same rule or mind set.  
Phil 3:15 "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."
One church adds this, and another adds that and before long we have all kinds of different rules, traditions and ordinances. This is why I have said over and over, take them all out and then we are all one!
It is not hard to do but you can't do it if you live under law! We need to be in grace follow grace and walking by faith. The perverted gospel is living by the law so live by faith and receive what Christ has given you as you walk by the Spirit!
Follow Paul!
Paul says to follow him as he is our apostle AND he is the one to who Jesus gave the revelation of the mystery too!
Phil 3:17 "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample."
While I am going through the book of Philippians, here are several other verses that Paul says to foolow him.  
1Co 4:16 "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me."
1Co 11:1 "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
1Th 1:6 "And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:"
The reason we follow Paul is that the doctrine he was given by our LORD JESUS CHRIST is the doctrine to the Body of Christ! It is the doctrine to the gentile WORLD! It is the doctrine for today, under grace and by faith alone. It is the revelation of the mystery, and we are to tell everyone about the fellowship of the mystery in Christ!
He then says to mark those which means to take note or to separate from those who cause divisions and offences to the doctrine that was given to Paul. Those who teach law and pervert the grace message.
Rom 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
Read Paul's books over and over! Romans through Philemon and then Follow Paul and then you will be following Christ!
Your Home is in Heaven!
There are many who are enemies of Christ cross! They not only reject Christians they boldly say there is no God! They serve only themselves and are self-centered, but they will perish into hell. As it has been said those who are lost are dead already!
Phil 3:18 "(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
BUT NOW we are in heaven as our Home is there NOW!!! Take comfort in knowing this and have no fear of your place in Christ in Heaven!!!
20 "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
Our hurting disfigured, and "old" bodies will be made new, strong and vibrant as we worship our Lord Jesus Christ!!!
So keep your heart and mind on Christ in Heaven and do not fear but STAND STRONG IN CHRIST!!!
Paul tells us to do 3 things here.
1.STANDFAST which means to be immovable, persevere and persist! It means to not give in to the world but to stand strong in Christ!  
Phl 4:1 "Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."
Notice the love that Paul has for the saints. He calls them his beloved, joy and crown! Oh, how he loved the church, and we should too. The church and by church, I mean people not buildings, are so very important. They are to be valued above all else because of Christ!
2. Then he says to REJOICE! Rejoice always he says. We are to be constantly renewing our minds and focused on Christ not this world's problems. Now that doesn't mean we are blind but not focused or overwhelmed with the world's problems.
4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
3. We then are to not be anxious but think on WHATSOEVER is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtues, praiseworthy to think on these things! Think on what Paul teaches, Think, Think, Think!!!!
4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
Jesus is all of those things! He true, pure and lovely! He is good, virtues and praiseworthy! JESUS, JESUS, JESUS!!!
While I wrote on the verse below yesterday I wanted to go back and share some more.
Phil 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
The words "careful for nothing" is talking about Anxiety. We all have anxiety because anxiety is fear of the future. We all have some fear as it is part of the flesh and sinful part of us. BUT it is getting worse, and Anxiety is rampant among us today. The reason for the anxiety is that there are more ways of showing us and the world how bad it is and the fear of the future is scary. It doesn't matter if it is your family, neighbor or wars in the middle east or Europe. It doesn't matter if it is in our streets or in our houses, we see more and more violence. But we also see things that bring on more rejection like on T.V., movies or social media. Lusting for something or someone causes anxiety. Lusting for affection, acceptance and applause brings more and more anxiety! Success seems to be the goal these days in whatever you do and striving for it brings more anxiety.
The world says take this pill it will calm you down. Or do this or that and you will get rid of anxiety and have peace of mind, but it is not true. It is like putting a band aid on cancer. The cancer needs to be cut out or destroyed.
When we have a relationship with Christ and go to Him and share our heart, our request, our needs and then realize that He IS the answer we then can have peace. Seeking peace in the wrong places doesn't give peace it only "calms it down for a while"!
With Christ we know the past, present and future is taken care of. We know that death is not the end and we do not need to fear it!
We know that no matter what is going on in our present circumstances nothing is greater than Christ Love which brings security in an unsecure, rejecting world!
1Jo 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
Jesus is the answer, and His love takes care of fear and anxiety away! So, keep renewing your mind and by standing on the "whatsoever's" and peace will come into your heart and mind through Christ!
Paul tells the church that he has been full, meaning having everything he needs or hungry, meaning without everything he needs.
Phil 4:10 "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
We too need to have the attitude of not holding on too tight to the things of this world. I have seen over and over in couples who for 1. live way above their means. and 2. they can't handle having nothing, while some have nothing and quite content.
Sadly, to many believers want wealth and health above Christ. I have seen some believers divorce over their monetary problems. Trying to control life will not help the situation in fact trying to control everything will get you in worse trouble as well as it is sin!
Don't lust for more and when you are mad, upset, frustrated or fearful just remember that this is your flesh crying out. Turn to God and admit your heart and then walk by faith. Whether full or hungry, be content in Christ alone and you will have peace regardless of your circumstances.
You can do all things through Christ which strengthens!
Verse 13 gets thrown around a lot in Christendom. "13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Often it is used wrongfully to say something like "I can become President if I wanted through Christ" or "I will be the greatest basketball player of all time" type stuff, but that is NOT what Paul was getting at!  
Phil 4:12 "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul was saying through Christ "I HAVE EVERYTHING" and regardless of suffering or abounding, Christ is enough.
The Philippian church also helped financially support Paul. The word communicate means to partner with and be in fellowship with. They gave financially and prayed for Him in order for his ministry as well as for the gospel to spread.  
14 "Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Giving and receiving are God's economy plan and there are 4 things we should give financially too as believers. 1. widows in need, 2. orphans, 3. the poor in need and 4. the ministry and spreading of the gospel! We should Not give to build some huge building or funding for some lavish lifestyle. Just like a personal mortgage and not going beyond our means so should the church be responsible. This is why I like and support home churches or someplace rent free or at the least something cheap to rent. I once had a fellowship in an airplane hangar rent free, so it doesn't need to be fancy.
Now one more thing we can do with our "free will" offering if desired to do is to help and bless others. Like someone who has a birthday and wants to gift them something they have on their heart to do but couldn't afford. We once gave a girl a birthday present that she wanted to do for years but couldn't afford. She always wanted to jump out of an airplane and parachute down. She loved it and it was a pleasure to do. Another way might be if someone needs a car, or bike or something these are things the Body of Christ also.  
By the way Paul says it wasn't that he couldn't work if he had to but the gift from the Philippian church helped him to do more ministry AND it blessed them even more, for it was a great sacrifice for them to give and well pleasing to God!
Love in the Spirit!
As we start this new book, we see Paul give his normal greetings. He starts every book with Grace and Peace. One is Greek the other Hebrew and also who this book is addressed to. To the saints, that is the saved holy ones and faithful brethren in Colosse. This is something every church should desire to be called, "faithful brethren"!
Col 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Paul has prayed for them and is proud of their faith and love for all the saints. That does not just mean in Colosse either, as they loved all the saints everywhere.
3 "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,"
He tells them of their hope in Heaven and that will be with the Lord someday, and that the gospel message of being in Christ brings fruit that is called "good works".  
5 "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit."
These good works are a byproduct of being in Christ and walking by the Spirit. We too have that same Spirit within us, and we too have good works to share the gospel, the cross and the love of Christ! Remember you are not here to just receive but to also give. You are saved that so others may be saved also! Reach out and share the gospel message and teach all that you know with others.
Paul's desire for all of us!
Paul's great desire for the church!
1. To be filled with the knowledge of will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding! We get this from studying the word and allowing it to help us understand, discern and grow in Christ.
Col 1:9 "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
2. The we would Walk Worthy and be fruitful in "good works", which means being faithful in all we do, while increasing in the knowledge of God.
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
3. That we be Strengthen with all might in His power, which means to allow Christ to work through us! That the Word of God would makes us more and more confident and secure in our relationshipwith Him and that we would be patient, longsuffering and joyful in Him.
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
4.And always THANKFUL!!! Thankful that we belong to God and have eternal life and have the Holy Spirit within us! That we have a heavenly inheritance and a righteous inheritance with all the truly great genuine and faithful saints in Christ!
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"
Be thankful, confident and always Walk by faith!
Delivered from darkness, death and into Christ Kingdom!
Paul says that God the Father has delivered us from darkness which is death and placed us in light which is life! That light and life is found in "the kingdom of his dear Son", Jesus! This is why we can say we are "IN CHRIST"!!!
Col 1:12 "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"
We have been redeemed which means ransomed through His blood. That means Christ death and blood paid for our sins thus making it possible to be completely forgiven by faith! We are now reconciled to God and God is not angry with us and no need to punish us.
I think we often focus so much on sin that when we sin, we feel horrible. We feel so ashamed and guilty and fear we deserve punishment. What we need to understand is that God simply wants us to walk by faith and to come running back to Him. He wants us to be focused on Him and not on being "good enough" or not sinning but relating to Him! He wants us to be intimate with Him, by being transparent and vulnerable with Him. He wants us to receive from Him instead of trying to get His approval by working harder.
You are redeemed, reconciled and in Christ so run, rest and receive from God by faith!
Jesus is the exact image of God the Father!  
Col 1:15 "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Everything was created by Jesus and made to worship Him. Jesus is the creator and Jesus is the word and the one who spoke things into existence. Jesus is above all authority and Jesus is the head of the church, which is His Body! Jesus is the one who has the preeminence which means the place above all others.  
Reconciled, holy and unblameable in HIS sight!!!
We have been declared reconciled, holy and blameless in God's sight through Christ!!!
Col 1:19 "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:"

Christ has done the work, and He is the fulness of all things, meaning through Christ salvation, eternal life and wholeness is found in Him. It means that the heavens and the world are now able to be reconciled and purified through Him. It means that there is no more searching or understanding needed to be done but is if finished, complete and righteous in Him!
There is peace between God and man, and Christ will present you before the Father holy and blameless! When you stand before God you don't have to be afraid or fear punishment, so just be thankful and grateful and at rest in our Lord Jesus! 
Be grounded and settled in the faith!
Paul states that the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven, which means all mankind now knows and may be saved!
Col 1:23 "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:"
He also says that we need to stay grounded and settled in faith meaning we should understand the Word and growing in faith daily! Studying the word should be your #1 priority in life. It should even come before your family yet when you study the Word you will find that your family benefits even more then if you had made them the priority.
Paul says he rejoiced in his sufferings for Christ for the church's sake! The church is Christ Body, and it is a living organism not a building or institute of some kind. It is alive without boundaries! The Body is not bound by laws, ordinances, nations or government. It lives in communist countries as well as free, IT IS ALIVE JUST AS CHRIST IS ALIVE!
So be grounded and settled in the faith by reading and studying the word "rightly divided" daily.
The Mystery Message!
We are in the mystery dispensation. The dispensing of God's will for today was not known and not prophesied. No one knew of this new dispensation that gentiles would be offered salvation without Israel, law or works!
Col 1:25 "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."
God would make known the riches of His Glory to gentiles is amazing!!! That we could be saved by faith without works of the law and that Christ would live in us is unbelievable!
Paul then says that we should preach Christ, warn all and teach with the wisdom that edifies so that every man may be mature in Christ! This is our ministry today. This is our purpose today!
Preach The Mystery Message, that grace message, that message that saves, builds and frees....
Absent in the flesh yet with you in the spirit!
Paul describes his great love for the churches by saying even though I am not with you physically I am spiritually.
Col 2:1 "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ."
He always wanted the church to be united in love and to understand the great riches of being in Christ. You know that is what we should all want for each other. We should desire that understanding of the mystery of God and Christ. We should desire to love one another and to share time with one another.
Unfortunately, most Christians are so weak and immature that any criticism, counsel or help comes with defensiveness and rejection. We should want to be mature enough to receive from others and that takes time and willingness. As I always say the greatest character change in the believer should be humbleness and the willingness to receive from others as well as give to others. Without humbleness there is pride and with pride comes independence and with independence comes defensiveness!
Paul is encouraged by this church's steadfastness of faith in Christ, and this is what we should desire for all churches and saints. A humble, persevering church that desires the Word of God and a relationship with Christ!
As you go through this week think about your desire for God, Christ, the Word and for others. Think about if you can receive counsel from others and if you are truly humble! Be honest with yourself and then pray about it and see if there are areas in your life that need to change.
in the love of Christ,
As we have received Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we are then to walk in Him.  
Col 2:6 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Walking in Him means that our soul which is our mind, will and emotions, is doing the walking. Just as our Spirit is saved sealed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, our soul has to think and do something! It can think of sinful thoughts or righteous ones. So, walking means that we think about Him and put Him on by renewing our minds. Renewing is the daily process we must all do. No one gets away with not doing this as a believer.
As we renew our minds and walk in Christ we will grow and become rooted in Him. Rooted means to grow deeper like roots of a tree.  The more water and nourishment the deeper and stronger they become.
We are to be built up which means just like a person who works out gets stronger by lifting heavier weights, so we too get stronger in Christ. Our mind becomes set and forms in Christ. Our minds get freer and freer and less about ourselves and more on Christ and others.
As we renew our minds and grow and become rooted and built up in Christ, we become established in the faith, and we become Thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ! If you're not thankful then perhaps you're not built up in Him!
Get built up, rooted and stronger by reading, studying and walking by faith!
Years ago, when working at a different ministry, we had the privilege of counseling a person who was high up in the psychological field. They had no answers for their issue, and they were desperate for answers. This was because they had a philosophy that was after man and not after Christ. Christ is the answer to all issues especially eternal life itself!
Col 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"
The traditions of men will not bring life. Following the law, ordinances and principles without Christ just brings more rebellion. Now when Paul talks about the traditions of men here, he is not just talking of worldly traditions but also church or religious traditions and ordinances. This whole chapter in Colossians 2 teaches us about what is important today for the Body of Christ and it isn't in ordinances but Christ, for you see we are complete in Him!
In Jesus dwells the complete, full Godhead in bodily form. There is nothing more that we need to do for Jesus has fulfilled it all in Himself. We are made whole, holy and blameless in Spirit. We are IN CHRIST and HE is in us! We cannot get more spirit or a better spirit in us for He is complete in Us. Our spirit is full, whole and complete in Him.
You are Complete in Christ so Stop trying to work harder and do more works of the law and just be content in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Circumcised, buried and made alive!
Paul tells us we have been circumcised, buried and made alive in Christ!
Col 2:11 "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"
Circumcision means to be "cut off" from the world of sin and to be owned and dedicated to the Lord! You are HIS possession and HIS child! NOTICE ALL this is NOT physically but SPIRITUALLY!!!! It is by CHRIST works and not ours therefore it is an eternal as well as internal thing that has been done.
We are buried with him in baptism meaning by identification. NOTICE NO WATER!!! Baptism means to be immersed in by identifying. It does not always mean water in fact there are lots of different baptisms in the bible such as fire, death and spirit!
We are then risen and quickened which means made alive by Christ. We are not dead spiritually but alive. We are no longer dead, rotten sinners but we are LIVING, SPIRITUAL SAINTS IN CHRIST!!!!
And because we are cut off spiritually from the sinful world and because we have been buried and are alive in Him and belong to Him, we also have ALL OUR SINS FORGIVEN!!! SHOUT AMEN SAINTS!!!
Every denominational church and many so called non-denominational churches have ordinances. Many times, this is what separates them from other denominations. Foot washings, water baptisms and food communions are all apart of most churches in some way. Catholics and most orthodox churches have 7 of these ordinances but Paul says these things are only shadows!
Col 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
You see those things were needed to point toward Christ, but they are not Christ! All of these now are gone and no longer needed. We walk by the spirit not by the flesh. We are called to walk by the spirit not by sight! Everything today is by the spirit and not by what we can touch taste or handle! Those things are religious things but cannot take away sinful fleshly things. They look humble, faithful and like you are worshiping God but really it is dead works that lead to more unfaithfulness. It is a FALSE HUMILTY and will do nothing for your sin or faith. It is faith in the wrong thing and that thing is our selves! In fact, most of the time it feeds others flesh like parents and church members to think and say, "look they are saved and one of us now"!
18 "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."
There are NO ORDINANCES TODAY! 0! NONE! So, stop trying to have this outward work that shows an inward change type thing and just have an inward change that loves others as Christ loved you!
IF WE BE RISEN WITH CHRIST, WOW!!! You have risen from the dead Dear Saint in Christ!
Col 3:1 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
We are alive with Christ! No longer are we dead but ALIVE and therefore since we are alive, we should keep our affections, heart, and thoughts on heavenly things. Things that are above with Christ and the things that are above the muckety-muck
here on earth. The power and love and grace of our Lord! The acceptance and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus. The eternal glory and place above of all forever and ever! THINK on these things and the peace of God will fill you full!
Of course, it doesn't mean we are blind to the things here on earth, but our HOPE is in Christ not fixing the problems here on earth. The problems may get fixed but as soon as one gets fixed another comes, another war or another political thing pops up, so keep your thoughts, hope and affections on things above.
ALWAYS remember that CHRIST IS LIFE and HE is OUR LIFE! There is NO life without Christ!!!
Peace to you all!
We are to put off and put on daily. Put off our lust and sinful thoughts and actions and put on righteous, godly and loving thoughts and behavior.
Col 3:5 "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
Everyone must do this, and it is hard work sometimes. Not works to be saved but to renew the mind with what is true within your spirit. It is hard because our thought life is caught up in our lust and what we want and desire to "feel" happy, or what comforts us. We lust for love, money, or power. We lust for what others have and covet our friends and neighbors' things. We lust for more and more and more things and even good things can still be sinful!
So just like doing a hard day's work and having dirty clothes we take them off and shower and then put clean clothes back on, we do this with our thought life. We take each thought captive and then put off and replace it with righteous thoughts. We don't just take off our dirty cloths and stand naked for the elements would hurt us. Just like the sun would give us sunburn or standing around naked would give us shame and guilt so we put on clothes. We put on Christ and our identity in Him. We put on mercy, kindness and humbleness of mind. We put on God's love, acceptance and forgiveness! We put on and stand in the freedom of His grace and then love others by telling them about Christ!
So don't live in filthy clothes but take off and put on God's Love and our Lord Jesus Christ!!! AND let the PEACE of God rule in YOUR heart!!!
Teaching and Admonishing one another!
While allowing the word of God to dwell in our thought life we are to teach and admonish one another. We should read, study and let the word sink into our mind and hearts daily, and then reach out to one another in some way.
Col 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
Now the so-called institutional church which is the more traditional church would never allow this. They are stuck on 4 songs and a pastors' message and go home mode! But the Body of Christ is an organism with many gifted parts. All may participate and join in the maturing of the body. This is why many large churches want to have midweek small home groups but unfortunately it is looked at as the minor-less important time instead of a more major part of the church. All may contribute, in fact when others can tribute when the body has gathered regularly, they begin to be bold and serve others! They become real and get to know one another.
They see the flaws yet love them. They see the faith of another, and it encourages them. They see that there are others with the same issues and struggles in faith and everyday life. They sense maybe for the first time they are not alone in this world.
Singing, teaching and sharing life should be the norm not just a once in a while type thing. We all should come with something to share like a verse or a testimony. We can lead in a song or poem, but all need to be from being real, transparent and praising the Lord.
Now sometimes someone might share they are having trouble or need help or counsel. They may have a health problem or even an emotional one. They need to be free to open up with one another. Then the body may pray for them and encourage them in some way.
Paul then says we should do ALL to the glory of God and to be THANKFULL and giving THANKS UNTO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!
Relationship are important and Paul tells us the order and way we should relate to one another. All relationships should have a sense of love, honor and respect for each other.
Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
Wives should allow the husband to lead and follow. This is not an unequal thing but an orderly understanding. This actually shows respect which is love to her husband and teaches the children as well as unbelievers how to submit to God as well as authority. It teaches discipline and unity and how to get along with others. The duty of a wife is far greater than what it looks like on a surface level for it is the bedrock of how countries, government and society should be as a whole.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
We men should love as Christ loved, with tenderness and gentleness, and with patience and by protecting in all areas of life, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Loving means leading in her all areas of life, which is the spiritual area as well, and also gently correcting and supporting his wife. The greatest thing a husband can do is lead his wife by reading the word to her.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Children will have a great life if they submit to their parents. This shows love, order and respect not only to the parents but to all mankind. This shows Christ to those that don't know Him as well as to those who do, and it encourages them to see others doing what they already know is right.  
21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Don't provoke your kids by insulting or teasing them. To many dads use harsh words to correct and discipline which is worse than a spanking, as words stick forever. Don't reject or belittle them but correct with love and gentleness. Even when disciplining them we can bring them to Christ if we are slow to anger and patient with them.  
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
We all can relate to this as we all work for someone at some point in our lives. Work hard for your boss as if he is Christ and do the best job you can as much as you can. Get to work on time and help as much as possible and don't just show up for a paycheck.
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Everything we do should be to bring glory to God and praise to Christ! Work hard, have fun and be a voice for the Lord always!
Servants and Masters!
As I said before work hard for your employer just like he is Jesus and do the best you can in all things and you will be rewarded with a clear conscience and most likely from your boss too!
Col 3:22 "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."
4:1 "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven."
I address servants yesterday but today we also address masters or in today's term the "boss'! Your boss may not be the owner, but someone is the owner of the business you work for, and they are to be respected, and they as believers hopefully will respect you. Masters are to treat their employees just like they were treated by Christ, with love and respect. Give them good honest wages and help them grow by teaching them the business. Don't cheat them and Be patient with them and correct in love not belittling them or making them feel small after all that servant/employee works to make You money. But more importantly he or she is a person who either knows Christ or could know Him as their personal Lord and Saviour. You are an ambassador for Christ first and therefore they can see or not see Christ through you.
The Lord has died for ALL and is not a respecter of persons meaning everyone is treated the same for doing what is right or wrong. DO RIGHT AND SERVE THE LORD IN ALL THINGS!
Paul asks for prayer which I find most believers struggle with. They can pray for others, but when asking for prayer for themselves it is hard.
Col 4:2 "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak."
Our pride and fear of failure and looking weak can play into not asking for prayer. If we ask for prayer, it must mean that something is wrong and I have failed at faith and weak or something, which is totally untrue.
Paul asked for prayer so that he could speak the mystery of Christ. When we minister and share the gospel, we too should share the mystery gospel. Don't share the Kingdom gospel as it is not working today but share the gospel that is working today the gospel of grace. The death, cross and blood of Christ! The burial and resurrection of Christ! That He loved them and died for their sins and is alive today! Share your testimony as best you can and let them see that you too were once lost and needed this same
Saviour. That you too were dead but now alive in Christ.
Ask for Prayer and pray for others and then share the gospel of the mystery, the gospel that saves, the gospel of Jesus Christ!
I was just talking to Robin today about this subject.  
Col 4:5 "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
Often, we think that redeeming the time and the wisdom we need is focused on more work related but it isn't. Walking in wisdom can be and should be spending more time with the Lord and reading His word and praying. Receiving from the Lord and praying how we might minister to others. How we can use the time we have to bring others to the Lord.
You know we often see LDS and J.W. knocking on doors and they do this from a law and performance-oriented way of talking to people, but we can do the same even more so without making it a law or performance and work. Every time you go the store you can pray for the person checking you out or share the gospel with them. You can talk to your neighbors or family about the Lord. I know a guy in Yuma who puts gospel tracts out and shares the gospel everywhere he goes. He brings the gospel to his workplace and his workplace is the U.S. mail! WOW! What a witness for Christ! I knew a pastor years ago that I pastored with that every time we ate, he would ask the waitress if they knew the Lord and then leave a tract with them. One time he was even late to give the message on Sunday because he was walking the streets around the church and was sharing the gospel with a boy in the neighbor hood.
I often read the stories in the VOM books which stands for the VOICE OF the MARTYRS, and you hear of great faith and good works these people do all at a risk of being killed, but they look forward to doing it. We should not waist time and we should pray for a passion for the lost and how to bring them to the Lord. We also should desire to edify and teach how to walk by faith and to build others up.
Pray for that passion and heart to bring others to the Lord and redeem the time you have by be prepared anytime to share the message of the cross of Christ!
House Church!
I am a big fan of House churches! Here we see that Nymphas had a church in his house.
Col 4:15 "Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. 16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea."
In the early gentile church period, most fellowships were in houses. This was common and safe. They were small congregations and operated as a family. They knew one another and were able to minister and function easily.
I believe that is still the best way. Most people don't realize that out of all the churches in the U.S only 10-20 percent are mega churches that means over 2000 in attendance. They get allot of attention because they can afford to be on T.V and such but that does not mean they are any better of a church. Out of the 80% left over, churches are under 200 in weekly attendance and 80% percent of those are under 100. That means even in churches that have buildings the majority are small local churches, and that is not counting all the house churches that do not get counted at all! There are thousands of house churches, and in Korea and China there are estimated to be millions of them.
If you struggle with different doctrines of most traditional, denominational or non-denominational churches as so many do pray about starting a house church. You don't have to be a great speaker or even a theologian just be faithful and desire for others to come to Christ. Just reading the Word alone can change lives. Informal, small intimate groups are better than formal, large ones.
grace to you,
1 Thessalonians
The theme of 1 Thessalonians is the coming of Christ and when we are "caught up" with Him which is more commonly known as the rapture. Rapture is the Latin word for "caught up". There are those who don't believe in the rapture or have a different view of it, but it is real and before the tribulation period.
Paul begins this book with his normal introduction by saying who he is writing to which is the church, the body of Christ. The Body of Christ is the gentile church though Jews may come just as any other gentile by way of the cross.
1Th 1:1 "Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:"
He is proud of the way the church has received and become followers of Paul and the others who preached there but most important that they believed, accepted and followed Christ. They received the gospel that Paul often calls "my" gospel which is the gospel of grace, the gospel that saves and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the gospel that preaches Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery and stands in Liberty and grace!
Paul prayed for them and was excited to hear that they were being faithful, and their works showed it. We too should pray for one another and remember those who live in such horrible conditions in other countries. That are jailed and separated for the cause of Christ. Who live in communist or Muslim countries and die for Jesus! We have it made and I think sometimes have taken the freedom we have for granted. We even take have become complacent you might say.
BUT keep praying for each other and please pray for this ministry as well. Pray for Robin and I as we continue to pray for you!
Faithfull Church!
What a faithful church! They once worshiped idols but now worship God through faith in Jesus!
1Th 1:7 "So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."

Their faith was known throughout the country, and I would hope that your faith is known throughout your family and friends. That your town knows who you are as a Christian. Are you known for something else or for being that one who lives daily in the Lord and who shares the Lord with others Let it be known that you are a Christian and that you follow Christ all the time. You may not be perfect, but you saved and sharing the gospel with others.
Paul once again wants them to know that Christ will return and that they are safe from the wrath to come. This is something that many just don't get. They don't believe in the rapture so that can't get this verse, but it is a powerful comforting verse because it shows that we will not enter into that time of wrath. We are saved and "caught up" into heaven with our Lord Jesus!
So, take comfort in knowing that and that you know where your home is now as well as the future for you are HEAVEN BOUND!
Paul's heart for the church!
Paul shared the gospel and the truth with the church. He wanted nothing from them. He did not seek glory or money or anything else except for their hearts to come to Christ!
1Th 2:1 "For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: 2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. 3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: 6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ."
Sadly, that is not the case today in many of our churches. Mega churches have very charismatic preachers that can make people get excited but generally in the background in the day to day working it is not so great.
We see evangelist and pastors on T.V who only lust for themselves and want people to give to them instead of just leading and teaching the word of God. I once visited a church that the pastor put such a guilt trip on the people it was sickening to listen too. He wanted to raise more funds for a "New" building! I heard a pastor say in a meeting one time when going over the books that he would see the churches lights go out before his ever would at home. In other words, he had better get paid before the church paid the bills.
I am so proud and thankful for those bi-vocational pastors and teachers. I am so glad to see the small church pastor who doesn't take a huge salary and uses the church funds for his own needs. I think it is even better if the pastor takes what is given by donation than one who has a set salary only.
It is easy to get caught up in worldly possessions or want to grow the church and put everything on a credit card in the name of reaching others for Christ, and then guilting the church to give and give more.... but the leaders, pastors and teachers need to serve first with the right heart and motives! Let us have the heart of Christ and of Paul and share the gospel regardless of any financial gain.
Imparted unto our own souls!!!
Paul says that they were gentle and loving and imparted their own souls meaning they just didn't preach and leave but that they stayed and discipled and cared for them.
1Th 2:7 "But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory."
I believe that is one of the most important parts of a pastor and teacher but also of the church in general. We should give our lives to others. We should be willing to invest ourselves in others at the local church. It is not "just" about sharing the gospel and then leaving them alone but exhorting, comforting and relating as a father world do toward his own children, which means to love them until Christ is formed in them and walking worthy of God.
Just like being born is only the first step in life so evangelizing is the first step in discipleship. There is no room for lone rangers in the Body of Christ! So, spend time with others and try to edify, encourage and build in the faith as much as possible when you can.
Receive the Word of God!
Just as the church in Thessalonica received the word of God so ought we.  
1Th 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:"
They received it as the word of God and not just men giving some new cultish talk. They didn't have the bible as a whole, so they read the letters and heard them preaching the gospel and received it.
We want to position our mind to receive the Word, to study the word and dwell on the word. While teachers and pastors are important, just reading the word daily brings life. Read, study and receive is a good way of dealing with the word and God daily!
Most of us will never suffer as they did at that time, but we can suffer in our daily walk if we don't receive it. We can become fleshly, doubting and fearful. We can become more worldly than Godly and seek worldly things instead of spiritual life in Christ. We can end up walking by sight and not by faith.
Just one more thing there are many who suffer greatly in the world today for "receiving the word". They are Christians in foreign land that are tortured, jailed and murdered for being believers, so pray for them and be grateful that you were not born in that situation. By the way I have read that those who do suffer for Christ there in these countries don't complain but are glad to be there in that position for they can share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are lost. They even pray for us here in the freer countries to come to life and share the word of God!
Let us be as brave as they!!!
You are our Glory and Joy!
Paul tells the church that they are His glory and joy because they are in Christ!
1Th 2:16 "Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. 17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. 18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy."
And once again Paul mentions the word wrath coming upon those who do not know Jesus and then he says
"Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?..."
meaning that we will be with the Lord when He comes and will take those who are His from this earth and will protect them from the wrath to come.
1 Thes is about the coming of Christ and we who are saved should so look forward to it.
Paul also so loved the saints that he always wanted to see them face to face. He wanted to spend time teaching them and getting to know that he may impart so spiritual gift to them. That he could give them some wisdom or help in whatever way he could.
We too should desire to give and minister with and to others. Being with likeminded believers is a great joyful time, so spend time with other saints as much as you can.
Maranatha- Our Lord cometh!
Paul's greatest concern for the church was their faith! Were they Standing in the Lord!
1Th 3:1 "Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; 2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: 3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. 6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: 7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: 8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord."
Paul sent Timothy to check and see how they were doing, and the report was good.  Timothy was to establish in other words teach, edify and build them up in Christ. Timothy was to remind them of the revelation of the mystery and of the sound doctrine they had learned from Paul's ministry. He was to comfort them as they were being persecuted also and to bring comfort to them by means of following Christ no matter what the problem was.
You too want to "STAND FAST" which means to "STAY STRONG" and "UNMOVABLE IN FAITH AND IN CHRIST"!
Don't be wishy washy as so many today are, and be faithful to God, to the Body and serve others. Stop trying to find a church that serves you but rather were you can serve others. Stand in the right doctrine and don't be entangled with law and false doctrine.  Serve the Lord with all your heart and love others as you have been loved.
Perfect what is lacking!
Paul wanted to see the church and spend time with them. He wanted to teach and give them more understanding of sound doctrine. He wanted to share more of Christ and to edify them in any area that was lacking in their faith.
1Th 3:9 "For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; 10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
I know believers who think they do not need anyone to teach them or to go to some fellowship or listen to anyone because in their mind all they need is the Word and Christ. But that is not true and certainly is not what Paul says here is it. Paul says he would come and perfect what was lacking or whatever they didn't know or understand.
All of us lack some understanding of ourselves. We all need the body to point out our attitudes or sins or help with doctrine. Most of us think we are right in most things but really, we can be off in many things we do. This is why the Body functions the way it does and why we need the Body to minister to one another. We have 3 things to help us grow and often times we don't do 2 of them. 1. the Spirit which we should listen too but don't! 2. the Word of God which we don't read or understand or again don't listen too! 3.
lastly the Body of Christ that speaks when we don't do the first 2!
The Body is a spiritual organism that is alive and moves throughout the church and the world. It works to bring salvation to the lost and healing to those who are saved. Healing in every area of life. There are 7 areas of life, and all are important. They are the spiritual, phycological and physical areas as well as the financial, social, marital and parental areas. All of these areas can be addressed by the Spirit, the Word and the Body of Christ!
Paul prayed that they would abound more and more in love toward one another and that takes time and work. So many believers just visit one church than another and never really settle into one fellowship. Of course, right doctrine is important but once that is settled than we should stay put and begin to "love" one another. It takes years to develop a church and relationships and if we keep moving around you never get to know people well enough to give or receive from them.
Loving one another should never be mistaken for hugs and kisses alone. Loving someone is caring enough to tell them when they are wrong and teaching them how-to live-in Christ along with encouraging them to walk by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ!
Defraud means to take advantage or gain by taken advantage of another! It means just as it does in the financial world to take something that isn't yours as in defraud a bank or a person of their money. But this passage deals with defrauding someone by fornication meaning sex outside of marriage which is ONLY between a man and women. It is taking something that does not belong to them from the other person. The male takes the body of the female when it is not his as it belongs to God and to the women.
1Th 4:1 "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit."
There is another passage that deals with defrauding, but it is "Within" marriage. That means to not give of ourselves to the other IN marriage. This too is to cheat, take advantage of and to be selfish and withhold from the other.
1Co 7:4 "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency."

We are to give and receive not defraud one another. We are to love one another and to want to satisfy one another as much as possible in all areas of life. Mentally and emotionally as well as verbally and yes physically to the best of our abilities. Now the only one who can satisfy the Spiritual area is the Lord Jesus yet there is an element that we can still help the other grow spiritually by encouraging them in some way in faith. Reading, studying and praying with them can be a way of helping them in this area.
We have an epidemic of sexual behavior and living in all kinds of perverted ways today. While it has always been, it didn't become accepted as accepted behavior until it was passed by Law in the U.S. President Obama allowed this to happened and now, we have the perversion it has caused to an even greater extent. There is homosexuality and transsexuality along with polygamy which is making a comeback and Utah has now accepted. You would also think that fornication would be an issue with the younger generation only, but I know seniors who sleep or live together outside of marriage. This is no difference based just because of your age or if you want to keep your former spouses "check" coming in as it is still sin before God!
This one subject alone is worthy of much more than just a devotion, and I hope you can understand the enormous problem we have today. Pray for those who call themselves believers and sleep or live together to get married or break up. Pray for the perversion in the LGBTQ community to repent and come to the Lord. Pray that you too may not defraud or spouse or if not married to not defraud others. The LUST for LOVE is hard but GOD IS LOVE so receive from Him and be satisfied!
Paul tells the church to increase more and more as he has said before that we should abound in everything. Faith, hope, and love as well as grace and understanding and we get all this from reading the word and staying in prayer with our Lord.
1Th 4:9 "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."
Paul knows of their love for others and praises them for it and then tells them to work hard and mind their own business. Evidently, they had a problem with gossip or perhaps not working as this is in Greece home of the philosophers who just sat around doing nothing but talking about some new philosophy!
He encouraged them to walk honestly and supply their own needs so that they could help others in their needs. This is why we should work to support ourselves and to help others. We can minister by giving in many different ways. Prayer, time and give financially can be the things we can do along with food, clothing, vehicles and shelter are just some ways we can minister to others.
Keep reading and studying the Word and stay in prayer and relationship with Jesus daily and grow in grace, faith and love!
The words "Caught up" is called "Rapture" in Latin. It is used to mean the time when the saints of this age will be "caught up" with Christ in the clouds, so that the tribulation period can begin. It is the time of God's wrath and dealing with the nation of Israel on an earthly and kingdom basis.
1Th 4:13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
The Rapture is real, and it will be a Grand day for all who know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The dispensation of grace will be over and usher in the end times also known as the Ages to Come period.
We should comfort one another as we will be with our Lord and miss the wrath to come. It is a peaceful time to celebrate and look forward too!
Don't let those who do not believe sway you in this GREAT DAY IN CHRIST!
So many folks today and sadly even those who claim to be believers party like unbelievers with no concern for the coming Lord Jesus. They drink like any other non-believer without a care for spiritual things and they live a material, fleshly, earthly lifestyle. I know people who are in ministry that drink like no big deal and live their life like grace gives them a license to sin.
1Th 5:1 'But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
Paul tells us to sober minded which means to be serious and not silly or to be circumspectly which means watchful, cautious and alert. We should always be AWARE and AWAKE to what is going on around us in all areas of life. Spiritually, mentally and physically as well as globally, politically and financially in this world!
We are children of light and so we should shine that light to this lost world. You can't do that if you are drunk and carousing around at night. We should stop and really think what we are doing and what it looks like after all you wouldn't want your kids or grandkids thinking it is ok to do whatever you want, whenever you want while disregarding Jesus would you?
We should be comforted in the fact that we are not of this world and that we will not go through that great tribulation and see the wrath of God. We want to edify one another which means build up each other in faith and always stay awake and aware of your thoughts as well as this world.
Authority and ministry!
Sadly, authority is challenged in every way these days. Parents are challenged more and more, and disrespect is shown to police, teachers, government officials and even pastors.  
1Th 5:12 "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men."
Paul says we should respect those that teach the word and are over them for their works sake. We should really respect everyone even if we disagree. That means not showing malice, calling them names or attacking them. We can separate and disassociate from them, but we do not need to be rude or nasty toward them. I see a lot of disrespect on social media especially and it is easy to do as not one is there to say stop.
The leaders are to minister but Paul says that everyone is to minister. All of are to be at peace and warn the unruly meaning those who cause trouble and cause undo separation especially in doctrine.  We all are to comfort the feebleminded and comfort the weak and be patient with all which goes back to what I was saying before when it comes to respect.
We all are to minister and do what is good and not just to those on our local church but to unbelievers as well. Respect authority and minster to all when possible!
Paul ends this letter with encouraging words and practical things to do.  
1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
We should always rejoice in the Lord, in other words when thinking of the Lord we should be so grateful thankful and excited for we have eternal Life through Jesus!!!
17 Pray without ceasing.
We should continually and never stop. We don't have set times as Israel or other religions oh No we can pray to God anytime! We should give thanks tot the Lord and for others in Christ as well as pray for the lost!
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
As said above ne thankful. A thankful heart is a content heart and not a striving, anxious heart. Be content in Christ alone and everything else will seem small.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
Don't quench the spirit by walking after the flesh. Allow the Spirit to work in your life and allow the Spirit to open your mind to what the scripture have to say.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
Prophesy today means teaching and we should be teachable. One of the things I look for in people that come to me is a teachable heart. Do they want to be taught or do they already know it all!
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
We should know what is right and if there is a question prove it out by the word or in time. Notice it says to abstain from the appearance of evil, it doesn't have to be evil to appear evil. An Example might help, I have singles saying, " I spent the night over at my girlfriends house last night, but we didn't sleep together"! Most of the time that is not true but either way it appears like you did!  
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us.
We are already sanctified in Spirit which means set apart in Holiness, but our soul which is our mind-will and emotions as well as our body are to be as we renew our minds. A day will come when our whole Spirit, soul and Body will be also! This also proves we a re trichotomy (3) and not a dichotomy (2) person as so many churches teach. It also gives us the understanding of we can be saved and still sin as well as OSAS!!!
26 "Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."
Spend time with one another and read the word and be one with likeminded saints!
So, Rejoice, Pray and be Thankful!!!
After Paul's greeting, he the tell the church that he thanks God for their growing faith and love for the saints. He tells them he is proud of them for their going through so much tribulation and for standing strong in faith!
2Th 1:3 "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:"
He knows of their persecution and from others who are trying to get them to follow the law or to follow some idol and worship it in some way. He tells them that they will be taken care of by God and shall never see the glory of the Lord Jesus!
5 "Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;"
Just know that Jesus will come and be glorified in His saints and that God would count YOU worthy because YOU believed the gospel!
10 "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Let the name of JESUS be Glorified in YOU because YOU are IN CHRIST!!!
Paul tells the church to not be deceived with all the talk of this or that when it comes to the end time prophecy and to not be worried for the sign will come that will show when it is time.
2Th 2:1 "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
That sign is that there will be a falling away and the antichrist will be revealed. He will be a leader and will be possessed by Satan like Judas who was also called the son of perdition. He will be well-liked in the first half of the tribulation but in the 2nd half he will be the wicked one who deceives. He will deceive many and they will not come to Christ!
Be comforted for you will not be there. A good lesson for us is to not be taken in by every faith healer, prosperity dealer and law pushing preacher but to stand by faith in the grace and freedom of Jesus Christ!
Satan's signs and wonder program!
From the beginning Satan has deceived mankind. He tricked Eve and even now continues to deceive mankind into thinking they too can be God! Satan will even do signs and wonders which will captivate people's fleshly religious minds into thinking this antichrist is the real deal!
2Th 2:9 "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
This why I say over and over the sign gifts are no longer working today. The sign gifts were just that a sign to point Israel to God but after the completion of the Word of God there is no reason for them. Therefore, we should not follow signs and wonders but follow Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery that is IN THE WORD!!!
Don't be deceived by faith healers, tongue talkers and miracle mischief but be grounded in God's Love and Word!!!
Paul is proud of this church and how they are growing in grace! How they have withstood the law minded and idol worshiping and false gods of the world.
2Th 2:13 " But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."
He then tells them to "Stand Fast" which means to stand firm and hold the traditions which they were taught. Now many teach that this means the law, but it does not in fact Paul says "...which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
The traditions are what Paul taught by speaking to them or by letters to the gentiles which was not under law! The traditions are those things that are Godly and righteous and loving others. Keeping oneself from fornication and idols and other sinful behavior.
We too want to not be entangled with this world and its sinful thinking but be different and stand fast in the Lord! Hold onto Paul's traditions by reading Romans through Philemon and be comforted, content and a conquer in Christ,
You Brethren and Dearly Beloved of the Lord!
The Lord may have free course!
Paul sought others to pray for him and his fellow workers in Christ. He wanted prayer so that the Word of the Lord would have a "free course" meaning an ease throughout the region as well as spread even more!
2Th 3:1 "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. 5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ."
I hope your desire is to share the gospel of grace and the cross of Christ wherever you are. That the gospel according to the revelation of the mystery given to Paul would be on your mind always because it is the gospel that sets us free in Christ.
Paul says "not all men have the faith" which means many don't, but they do tend to want to control the church and the spreading of the word of God. All through the world there are those who do not know Jesus yet have the power to or try to stop the gospel from spreading. Communist China, North Korea and Islamic countries all try to stop the name of Jesus but can't so pray for those who live there and teach the Word of God!
Always remember that the Lord is Faithful always! He is faithful when we are not! He is faithful to death and proved that, but He is faithful now so depend and hang on to Him for your very life!
Paul encourages us to do the things that he gave us as instructions in Godliness and into the love of the Lord! Receive the love of God and keep your eyes and heart on Christ!
We are told to withdraw from the disorderly! These are those who cause trouble, non believers and believers alike! We are to separate from those who will not submit to correction, or the doctrine of Grace given by Paul or even not work but expect others to take care of them!
2Th 3:6 "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. 14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
Paul talks a lot about this through his epistles and while most Christians find this to be unloving, they don't realize what scripture says. They don't understand nor discern why to separate from others when Jesus spoke of loving others unconditionally.
We first let us remember that Jesus separated himself from the Pharisees and leaders of Israel. Those that didn't believe and receive also were separated from Him also regardless of if leadership.
there are several reasons to separate from others.
1. their influence! Sometimes they influence us more than we them. We may end up in sin.
2. to bring them to their knees so they would repent and come to Christ. Paul turned them over to Satan he says in 1Cor 5
3. For us to be separate from the world and to be a witness for Christ. If they see no difference, why should they come to Christ. To be a light among them and shine the light of Christ upon them.
If you have relationships that are unhealthy because of unfaithfulness, abuse and rejection or whatever it maybe you may need to withdraw or separate from them. If you are prone to impulsive decisions, then get a 2nd or 3rd opinion from faithful people who know the situation.
Now this may not apply to marriages or to believers over small disagreements and ALL and ALWAYS should only be done after some time of trying to talk and reconciliation attempted.
Not all separation is bad and may even be needed for their sake as well as yours and always for Christ's sake!!!
Starting a new book and going verse by verse we come to 1Timothy. A great book which has Paul teaching a young man named Timothy who joined Him in his ministry. Timothy was half Greek and half Jew so Paul had him circumcised in Acts so that the Jews would be willing to listen to him see Acts 16:1-3. Timothy would go on to be extremely helpful and faithful to Paul and the Lord's work.
Here in 1Timothy Paul gives his normal introduction and then tells him to teach no other doctrine but the doctrine he learned from Paul. The doctrine of grace which comes from the revelation of the mystery given to Paul from Christ Himself! This gospel for today and the gospel that saves! The doctrine that is under grace without Israel, Law and ordinances! The doctrine of faith alone for salvation without works! We too should teach no other doctrine and share no other gospel!
1Ti 1:1 " Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. 3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do."
He then tells him to not get caught up in fables which are stories and talk that amounts to nothing. He tells him to not get caught up in genealogies which were so very important to Jews. Jews worked hard to keep their genealogies so they could prove they were Jews and above the gentile as well as the lineage of Christ but as Paul always did in many things he instructed us to do the exact opposite!
Don't get caught up in fables like T.V shows that portray Jesus or Moses or genealogies because for one most of the time they are not biblical and second our genealogy give us nothing, as we are all born sinners and have become a
Sound doctrine and a pure heart!
Paul tells Timothy that the bottom line is love from a pure heart in other words with the right motive. Most people love from a self-centered motive which really is lust, it may be ever SO subtle, but it is still lust.
1Ti 1:5 "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;"
We are to have a good conscience that means taken an honest appraisal of ourselves. Checking and double checking our attitude, intentions and motivation. Why are we doing what we're doing? Is it Godly or ungodly? So, keep a good conscience by being honest with yourself and perhaps getting others to help you see yourself rightfully.
Our faith should be sincere and genuine not fake or hypocritical. By being real and not trying to be "super spiritual" (meaning sounding and looking religious and good but not good or biblical) YET being led by the Spirit! We are to have true humility and not what Colossians 2 says of having false humility. We want to truly walk by faith in all things.
Now those that walk according to law have a false humility and do not understand sound doctrine for today. The law does not save you nor does it make you spiritual and it only builds pride to boast in your flesh. The law only condemns and does not bring life,
so, learn sound doctrine by reading and studying the doctrine given to Paul by Christ! The doctrine according to the revelation of the mystery found in Romans -Philemon! The doctrine of grace and of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Paul was an enemy of Christ! He did not believe and was trying to get rid of this "sect" of believers.
1Ti 1:11 "According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."
Now when Paul says he was the chief of sinners it doesn't mean he was the worst or the greatest sinner but rather the first. He was the first to be saved not as a follower of the Messiah as the 12 or little flock but as an enemy of Christ.
Jesus came to him and blinded him so that he would truly know that it was Jesus who spoke and would save him if he believed. Paul did believe and therefore the pattern of saving man by grace through faith alone was set. No more Israel, law or works required. The gentile was the enemy of Christ but was now offered salvation by the gospel of grace through the cross of Christ! This Pauline Pattern is still the pattern for today! It is the only way to be saved today!
Paul is our pattern, Apostle and leader for the church today, so follow Paul and you will be following Jesus!
The King and Only Wise God!!!
Jesus is the King that is eternal, immortal and invisible and the only wise God! Let us praise Him and give Him honor and glory forever and ever and ever.......... .........
1Ti 1:17 "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."
Paul shares with Timothy to fight the good fight of faith and keep a conscience! This is what we should strive by faith to do also. To be discerning and aware of our own thinking and take each thought captive. To have that "change of mind" and walk by faith as much as possible. To put off and PUT -ON! We should desire humbleness and gentleness yet with the power of the Spirit working within to share the gospel, fellowship with others and give God the Glory!!!
Many saved saints struggle with understanding the love and grace and power of the Spirit within for different reasons and as much as possible we want to be ready to teach, edify and help in whatever way we can!
Be ready, Be aware, Be faithful and always give God the Father and Jesus the Son the Glory forever and ever!
Paul encourages us to pray for ALL men! Yes, even those we don't like, or we don't vote for! Pray for our leadership and those in authority to be saved and come to Christ and to then make Godly decisions. All leadership should be prayed for meaning moms, dads, husbands, teachers, pastors and all who hold the responsibility to govern.
1Ti 2:1 "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
Paul then tells us that God desired ALL men to be saved and that Christ died and gave Himself a ransom for ALL!!! Calvinists teach that Christ did NOT die for ALL but only the elect, which is not true, HE DIED FOR ALL! We must always understand God's love for all His creation and desire for All to come to Him and worship Him and give Him the Glory. Man has free will to choose to come to Christ by faith through the grace and love of God which He showed by sending Christ to the cross! Man has always had the capacity to choose even in the Garden!
Gen 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took (CHOSE) of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
Gen 4:6 "And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest (CHOOSE) well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest (CHOOSE) not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."
Both of them had the ability to choose rightfully and failed. All through the bible we see the prophets and Israel make wrong decisions, but they had a choice!
YOU have a choice today to follow Christ and yield to His will and receive His Love, CHOOSE WISELY!
Pastor Paul the Apostle!
Paul preached and was the Apostle to the gentiles. He was a teacher, pastor and leader of the churches who loved them and was always concerned for them.
1Ti 2:7 "Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."
He encourages us to pray everywhere!!! When? ALL the time we can be in communication and listening to the Lord. You don't have to sit down or kneel down at your bed although there is nothing wrong with that. You don't have to make it a long prayer or even a super spiritual event but just talking and receiving from Christ. God gave us 2 ears and one mouth so we can hear from God first and talk second. We should pray without wrath and doubting that means with a humble and faithful heart and attitude.
Paul then turns his attention to a practical part for women. This is not a demeaning or sexist thing but a righteous and Godly thing. Let the women dress appropriately and not with the intent of seducing men. I have gone to churches where the women were so scantily dressed, I was in shock, and I suppose the church would say "well better to see them come then stay home" type of thing! The women are looking for attention and the church were looking at numbers and not Godly and modest dress.
He also tells them to not usurp authority over men. Women can do this by talking too much. When women talk too much, they are really showing their insecurity!!!  They are fearful and seeking attention instead of being secure in Christ they want to control. Men on the other hand need to speak up and lead more, while women need to talk less. Women would do themselves good if they would learn to be teachable, quiet and follow, verses being prideful, arrogant and seeking attention by talking and controlling. I have found over time that women who usurp authority over men are those who have vowed at some point in their life to never take abuse or be under a man again. They have said to themselves as well as God "I will NOT....." this is a vow and is sin which controls them and needs to be addressed and repented of!
Paul encourages women to be content in Christ first. To be faithful in Christ and to be content in family and children. That does not mean they can't work outside of home but perhaps their first desire is to be a wife and mother if possible.
Let us all be content in our roles as God has set forth in Christ!
Bishops and deacons are offices within the local church. The Bishop or Elder or Pastor as they are called are the primary teachers in the church, and they are responsible for edifying and disciplining the church.
Deacons on the other hand are those who serve the Body in different ways. Primarily as workers by distributing the practical needs of the Body. but we should never forget that Stephen was a deacon and gave a great yet stern message to Israel in Acts 7.
Both of these offices are important and should be respected by the church body but always knowing they are just people hopefully serving the Body.
The things that are said describing their behavior should be considered guidelines not law. For instance, I have seen some churches that won't let a person be a pastor because he was married twice after being widowed the first time. Or one who got mad at his family member and yelled at them.... these are guidelines, not law they are still people not robots.
Notice they are men not women in these roles, and they are not to be an immature believer but one who is mature and grounded in the Lord.
Pray for these leaders and may they edify your heart and mind!
1Ti 3:1 "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
Paul warns of latter times when people will depart from the faith. Now this does not mean to imply you can lose your salvation but rather they will not have religious faith. Religious faith means they go to church and go through the rituals and things and think there is God and believe there is a Jesus but never truly saved. It is a works mentality!!!
1Ti 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."
They will be following devils and speaking lies and their conscience seared, dulled and callous. They might even be religious such as the Roman Catholics who will not allow their priest to marry and eat certain foods on certain days for religious reasons. This of course is false humility and deserves no respect and is no help as to salvation nor to neglecting of the sinful flesh.  (Read Col. 2)
This all also goes against Jewish customs and diet that they so believe in also. All things are good and nothing to be refused if received with thanksgiving which is the key to ALL THINGS IN CHRIST!!!!
Of course, that does not mean we need to eat things we dislike or don't want to eat but it doesn't make them bad for others either. Beware of these Latter Times and religious people who walk after the law and does nothing for your edification. Just Stay faithful, eat what you want and give Thanks unto the Lord Jesus!
Godliness is profitable in all things!
1Ti 4:6 "If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation."
Paul tells Timothy that if he teaches the church that all things are good to eat and that they are sanctified by God and prayer he would be a good minister. (see yesterday's devo.1 Tim 4:1-5)
We too should strive to be a good minister. Strive does not mean to "do works" in order to be approved rather we are approved so do "good works" and serve others.  He tells him to keep up the faith and doctrine and don't get involved in in old wives' fables which are gossip, fiction and false stories but to exercise himself in Godliness.
Now Godliness means to be righteous, holy and respect unto God! It means to "act" like God would act. It means to think as God thinks in holiness and righteousness. Doing what is right in all things for the sake of Christ! Godliness is of God; sin is of the world.
We should try in ALL things to be Godly for it is profitable and brings LIFE for our soul as well as for others.
1Ti 4:10 "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 11 These things command and teach."
Paul once again says that God through Jesus is the Saviour of all men, especially those who believe! NOW that is PLAIN speaking! He is saying that Jesus died for all and that all men have the opportunity to be saved by faith. So once again should show Calvinist how they are wrong and that you should stay away from Calvinist church and teachers.
12 "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
Regardless of age Timothy was to be an example and so should we. That takes humbleness and maturing to be an everyday part of life.
13 "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
Timothy was to read! I encourage all of you to Read, Read, Read Daily!!!! Read on vacation, read at work, read at home daily. We are to read and let the Holy Spirit do His job. Study the word and compare scripture with scripture. Stay in Paul's Books until they are so familiar that you can easily understand the mystery doctrine and distinguish between Israel's [prophecy and law program verse's the gentile grace program! He was to exhort which means to encourage and teach, plead and call upon all men to come to Christ!!  
Read and study daily while encouraging others to come to Christ and know right doctrine that frees you in Christ!
Meditate, Give thyself and Take heed!
Paul tells Timothy to meditate, give thyself and take heed! This all means to work hard, read and study with all his heart! It means to be aware and disciplined and to give of himself with all his ability in all he does as it will save himself and others.
1Ti 4:14 "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
We want to do the same thing. Read and study and devote ourselves to the doctrine of grace! The doctrine that saves which are only found in the mystery doctrine today. Only by the cross of Christ, grace and by faith alone can we be saved and secure in Christ!
Don't forget the sound doctrine for today that is only in Paul's books!
Elders, young men and widows!
1Ti 5:1 "Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; 2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. 3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. 8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. 11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; 12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some are already turned aside after Satan. 16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed."
Paul lays out some good practical advice for the church to do when dealing with elders, young men and widows. We should be respectful of those who are older as well as those that hold a position of elder in the church. If they sin, they should be treated and talked to gently as you might do toward your own father. Appealed to them by saying "may I share something with you". This is a good way to talk with anyone when wanting to rebuke or exhort in some way.

Younger men should be respected as much as possible too. Even though you may be older respect them first and the share like they are your brothers IN CHRIST as well as your brother in flesh. Unless they are disrespectful gentle words will reach them if they are believers and humble, which is to say that must come first.

Now Paul has a lot to share about widows. He says honor them all but those who have someone to take care of them should be taken care by their family, don't burden the church more. Yet the church should take care of those who do not have someone to take care of them. Now days we have a lot more government things that can help us, but the church can still support in many ways. Spiritually, mentally and emotionally we can edify and encourage them. Sometimes just sitting with them is good for them as many will be lonely.

Many young women are made widows by war or accidents and need help also. They too may get lonely and desire to remarry and have children. They should try not to fall into the trap of gossiping and just being a busybody but being productive in some way. Ministry at church or with families are a good way to help others and serve Christ.
ALL widows should remain faithful regardless and stand in Christ with the help and encouragement of the church body!
Paul tells Timothy to instruct the church that the leaders whether they are called Elders, Bishops or pastors to be counted worthy of double honor. Which means if they teach and lead the Body then they should 1. be honored and respected for that work and 2. be paid and supported IF possible.  
1Ti 5:17 "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."
Now I say IF possible because not all churches can afford to pay full time or even part time, but usually they can be give in some way. I think the best way is not by salary but rather like any other ministry and that is by donation. If someone wants to give than great if not, great! Free will giving is the way for today and not tithing. Now if a church grows to the point where they need or have a full-time pastor and desire to support him great if not great!
I have seen churches that are 500+ and more than big enough to support 2-4 full time pastors but they don't because the pastors are bi-vocational and want it to stay that way. This gives more income to the church body to use in the way they desire such as missions or to the poor and needy. It also gives the pastor the freedom to preach how he sees fit without worry of losing his job or men pleasing.
I personally have never had a salary given to me and have always had a donation base ministry. We don't charge for ministry in anyway whether it be for counseling, teaching in bible studies or pastoring a church.
Pastors hold a Great responsibility so if one is in sin they should be gently approached and given the chance to be honest, repent and restored but if they won't and defend themselves, they eventually should be brought before the church and rebuked. Really the problem arises more when they defend themselves then it does for the original sin itself in most cases.
Pray for your pastor and leaders as they bear a huge responsibility for the church and must live with a big target on their back for morality and Godliness at the same time!
Paul's Practical Steps!
Paul gives some practical steps to Timothy and the church.  
1Ti 5:22 "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure. 23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. 24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid."
Don't lay hands on someone to soon means to not give your blessing or give authority to them before they have proven themselves faithful. I have actually done this 2-3 times in my life and regretted it every time.
While serving the church we want to be as sinless as possible. That does not mean we are perfect but rather not joining others in their sin. I have seen men I looked up to actually fall into sin and it hurt my heart as well as their witness to me.
Drink a little wine for infirmities is an excuse many saints use just to drink or get drunk. They want to drink so they manipulate scripture for their own flesh. The water or food was bad in those days so for medicine they could drink wine which would help in their digestive system. But today's wine is made stronger and there is no need for it to be a medicine as there are many meds for today. Can a believer drink sure just as he has the freedom to steal, lie or do anything else and still be saved BUT is it the BEST thing NO! Does it edify the Body of Christ NO! Does it kill his witness YES! How many drinks does it take to affect your mind ONE!!!! STAY SOBER! Paul constantly says to be sober minded, and you can't do that if your affected by alcohol. I do not recommend ANY believer to drink ever!!!
ALL sin is known at some point, in death OR life so don't think you are getting away with it! On the other hand, the same goes for our 'good works" unto God!
Be aware, discern and stay sober so that you may edify and build up those around you.  
Be Content and May the name of God be not blasphemed!
Blasphemed means to defame, disrespect or revile.
1Ti 6:1 "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort."
We are not to act in a way that people would say "you're a Christian what God do you serve". In other words, we are to serve others in Spirit and love as much as possible. Now that doesn't mean that we won't be attacked for not loving the way the world thinks we should and wants us too.
Master's which today could be a boss or authority figure and the worker should both be willing to serve and honor one another.  
3 "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
Part of being a believer is a humble heart. I have family, friends and seen others who are too prideful to accept help, counsel or listen to sound doctrine and therefore separate from them. We are told over and over to "withdraw" and separate from those who won't listen and argue and behave in such a way that it is impossible to reach them.
There are those who will never be content in Christ because they are carnal and always looking for something to do or do some religious thing. They want to look spiritual or sound spiritual but are really just fleshly and seeking power and control. They are not content in Christ but seeking to be closer in a works sort of way.
Be content in Christ alone and you will have peace and security within!
Paul says to be content with just food and clothing and I might add lets us be content in Christ alone!
1Ti 6:8 " And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
BUT I have seen to many who go into ministry as well as businessmen and others who worship the all mighty dollar. Money is important but not more than God! Some just want to have things and toys and collect stuff and some just want the power that wealth brings but it can destroy them. Many fear and save for retirement and that is good but to live in fear and to save without giving is sin.
11 "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
Paul says "Flee and Follow" after righteousness, Godliness and faith! These are things that are internal and eternal. These are things that can not be taken away. These are things that bring peace and security within. We should follow after love, patience, meekness and fight the good fight of faith! All these things are in Christ and bring eternal Life!
Be wise with your money but don't worship it nor hold to tightly and follow after the greater things which are all in Christ!
Fight the good Fight of Faith!
Paul encourages Timothy to keep the good fight of faith!
1Ti 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."
Paul says this is a commandment meaning an order! All leaders should keep the faith but not just leaders, but all saints should abide in faith. We should Keep the faith, walk by faith and do all things in faith! Be a good ambassador for Jesus! Be a good witness to non-believers and believers alike. And if they fall and look for help, let the first person they go to be you, for your behavior has shown faith and Godliness.
Christ is King of king's and Lord of Lord's and the only one who hath immortality. Now if Christ has immortality and you are in Him do you too have immortality Yes meaning you too will live forever through Christ. You too have eternal life in Him. so Let us PRAISE THE LORD and be forever THANKFUL TO HIM!
I hope and I encourage you also to say and perhaps be the only thing I am remembered by is that I had fought the good fight of faith in
Jesus Christ our Lord!
Rich get Richer IF?
I have to admit I sometimes get jealous when I see the evil, godless people of this world getting rich and the saints living in poverty. But the rich can get richer if they give to others.
1Ti 6:17 "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen."
Paul encourages the wealthy saint to help minister to the poor, orphan and widow. To help the needy and starving saints around the world. To do good works by being willing to support the Godly and righteous ministries that share the gospel of Christ! So many things that the rich of this world can help and not be in bondage to their own wealth which will do them no good in the life after.
Notice Paul uses the word science which means knowledge or intelligence. So many famous scientists, philosophers or psychologist who don't believe and think they are so smart yet empty within. Lost and seeking but never finding as they deny Jesus and spiritual things to their human, natural and worldly thinking. The mind is darkened, and their heart is blind, and they will die in their sin and be hell bound.
BUT NOW WE WHO ARE SAVED!!! Are secure and looking forward to that day when we will be with our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
This is Paul's last book before being martyred. Paul knew that his time had come and was ready and willing to be with Lord!
2Ti 1:3 "I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. 6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
He tells Timothy after his normal greetings that he missed him and wanted to see him. He is so pleased with Timothy in how he had kept the faith. How he had grown to be a mature faithful leader. And how this started from a mom and grandmothers' faith. You know many of us have parents or grandparents that took us to church or in some way shared their faith and we should be thankful as there are many that don't.
Then he says God has nt given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind! Timothy was prone to being a little timid compared to others although I don't think he was bad as many say, after all he went with Paul and stood beside him in many trying times. He later became the bishop at the church in Ephesus.
We should remember that we have that same Holy Spirit that has the power of God and the love and mind of Christ! We do not need to live in bondage to fear and we need not fear man, rejection or failure for we are in Christ and children of the living God!!!
God's Predestined Purpose!
God decreed before man was created to call and save man through Jesus Christ!
2Ti 1:8 "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."
Notice it was His purpose that was predestined before the world began and the purpose was IN CHRIST! Because He loved His creation, He wanted to save them after they failed and had fallen into sin, yet the Purpose never changed, and the purpose was to have a people called the church and that they would worship Him by faith in Christ.
Jesus brought immortality meaning eternal life through the gospel and it is Life that we all need. The greatest thing you have is
Paul was appointed which means to be "set in place" as authority and as the preacher, apostle and teacher to us gentiles.  Christ spoke through Paul is our authority as doctrine goes. So, keep reading those Pauline epistles over and over and be "set" in Christ!
That He is Able!!!
God is able to keep His word and He is faithful to us for eternity. God is able to save us through Jesus Christ! GOD IS ABLE!
2Ti 1:11 "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. 15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: 17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. 18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well."
Paul tells Timothy that he knows to whom he has believed and is persuaded that God is able to do all that He has promised us through His Son Jesus! So do not shrink in fear but be bold, confident and secure in Christ.
It has been said that the only thing we need to fear is fear itself and there is truth to that. Fear will keep us in bondage but walking in the power and security of God's love by faith brings joy, peace and self-control.
Paul says that he was refreshed when Onesiphorus came to see him. We too can be refreshed when we spend time with other likeminded saints.
Paul tells Timothy to remember what he has been taught by Paul and then teach others. This to me is discipleship. Teaching the next person who in turn teaches the next one and so on.
2Ti 2:1 "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. 7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things."
There are lots of ways to disciple and one on one "counseling" is one of them. Discipleship does not mean only from the pulpit or classroom type teaching. In fact, I don't think real discipleship can ever be done by just a teaching. We need to be able to speak into one another's lives and correct, rebuke and be transparent with one another. The problem with most churches is that they think they are discipling when really, they are just filling them with more information that really is head knowledge and not leading to transformation. The info may be good but if it stops there the person may still live a fleshly sinful lifestyle.  
There are those in the mid Acts, Pauline and grace churches who don't like the word disciple, but I think itis a good word and to add Paul doesn't throw every word out just because it is not follow the doctrinal stance. He often used Old Testament to words to get the meaning across.
Anyway, here the point is to teach faithful men who will teach faithful men so that they edify the Body, while it also relieves the work to be done by one man.
Paul tells Timothy to also be strong in faith and endure as a soldier would and if possible, take some income for himself. It does not mean to take advantage of them either but to support himself if the work is there and if it is and financially possible.
But the Word of God is not bound!!!
The Body of Christ is not a nation or organization but a Live Organism that moves and is not bound to anything other than Christ! He is not bound therefore the Word of God is not bound in any way.
2Ti 2:8 "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."
Paul says "my gospel" which means the Word that Jesus shared with him is not bound. He therefore endures to spread the gospel and edify the church.
"If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him"!!!! What a glorious way of thinking for all of us that are truly saved in Christ! No need to fear for we are more than conquers through Christ! We do not need to fear death! We do not need to fear failure or rejection from others. We do not need to be sad or depressed about the world's choices and works but rather we can
REJOICE IN CHRIST ALWAYS!!! God loves you and you can have joy in the midst of tribulation and peace in the middle of suffering! The WORD of GOD is NOT BOUND!!! HALLELUJAH!!!
Our words matter and while not perfect we should strive to be as right, clear and concise as possible. We don't want to mislead or manipulate our teaching.
2Ti 2:14 "Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some."
Now one of the greatest teachings I can tell someone is found here in verse 15. "Study to show yourself approved unto God", which is only found in the KJB and says we should Study the word! Not just read it which is always good but study it. Get into what it is really saying. Now it says to "rightly divide" which means to draw straight lines and we draw those lines between Paul's books and the books addressed to Israel. Romans through Philemon are different than Genesis through Acts and different than Hebrews through Revelation. (Here is a diagram to help and please fill free to copy if want.)

Now all the bible is true, but the bible is written, and doctrine is changed throughout the bible. We want to make sure we are under the right doctrine which is the doctrine of grace to the gentiles. We are NOT under law but rather in the dispensation of grace.
Learn to study the right doctrine for today and the bible will come alive and be so much clearer for you!
There are those who preached that the resurrection had already come and then there are those who teach today that there is no resurrection at all, both are wrong! When false teaching comes along it hurts the faith of those who are confused or don't understand scripture.
2Ti 2:16 "But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."
We are to be a vessel of honour and speak the truth in love. We don't want to manipulate or take advantage of others for the sake of gain. Paul says to purge ourselves of dishonorable things and not get caught up in 'babblings" that do not edify the church.
Be a vessel of honour and share the word in truth and love.
Good advice for all of us!
Here are some good things for all of to follow. Paul tells Timothy to follow after righteousness, faith, charity and peace.  
2Ti 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
Now we should all have this in mind by putting on Christ and His righteousness, love and peace! This is a Soul thing meaning a thinking and choosing thing.
We then should not get into strife when dealing with others who do not know the Lord or with those who do not know sound doctrine. I have to admit that way too often I get into this when I see certain post on social media and should just ignore them.
We should want to teach and be patient with those who oppose and want to live under law. Those who are weak and want the law to govern them instead of being under grace and being Spirit led.
Now this saying in 25 that says if God will give them repentance is often misused by Calvinist to think that God makes someone repent and He may not allow some too, but that is not true. God allows all and any who TRUELY repent to do so.
Just remember to FOLLOW God, Christ and Paul as well as righteousness, faith, charity and peace that will come by following Christ Jesus our Lord!!!
If these verses are not for today, I don't know what is!!!
2Ti 3:1 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
LOVERS OF SELF, WOW!!! That says it all doesn't it! We live in a society that says, "love yourself more" and "You need more self-esteem and to think higher of yourself"!  Even Dr. Dobson says it and if he says it must be true right, WRONG! Pastors preach it, counselors teach it, and schools push it!!! We are constantly hearing over and over again how we need to love ourselves more and what has it done but create an even more Self-centered world!!!
NO, NO, NO we need to tell them what the bible says and that we think of ourselves to much. That we are born in sin which means "making ourselves our own god" and think and defend ourselves to much.
Notice all the other descriptions and then in verse 5 "having a form of godliness". This is a religious person or a person who goes to church or bible study but doesn't know the Lord! A person that wants to follow the rules but doesn't want to follow Christ. A person who walks and lives in sin but doesn't live by faith with a true heart or changed mind in Christ. They are always learning and have knowledge of the word, but their behavior shows otherwise.
Be aware of these types of people and mark them in your mind and either speak, correct and share the word of God boldly or disassociate with them! Meanwhile keep walking by faith and growing in the grace and love of our Lord Jesus!!!
Resist the truth
2Ti 3:8 "Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was."
Many will resist the truth and UNLIKE Calvinist who say you can't resist the truth THEY DID!!! Yes, they will reject the truth and God's will and plan of salvation and will spend eternity in hell!  
Follow Paul's doctrine
10 "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
We want to follow Paul and know His doctrine. The doctrine that Jesus gave him. The doctrine that saves and sets us free from sin and fear. The doctrine of righteousness, peace and Love! And yes, those that choose to be saved and to follow righteousness will suffer but it is a good suffering! It is an honor and privileged suffering! Don't worry about the suffering but focus on things above in Jesus our Lord!
But evil men will still be around and deceive!
13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
Don't be deceived in thinking that just because you have JESUS and LIFE within that the evil of this world is gone because it is not YET we are more than conquers in this life! We will never die regardless of the circumstances!  
The Inspiration of God!
God wrote the bible! Man penned it by the inspiration of the Spirit of God!
2Ti 3:14 "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
All scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit for mankind to understand the name of God! To understand life and salvation and all of it was inspired through Christ Jesus. This world and universe were all made by Christ as it says in
Col 1:15 "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
Christ is the living, written and spoken word of God! And by Him is the word written for us but not all written to us. What do I mean by that you may ask. Well 75% of the bible is addressing Israel while 25% is addressing Gentiles and the Body of Christ. So, while ALL the bible is written "FOR" us it is NOT written "TO" us! Romans- Philemon are the books written "TO" us while the rest is written "FOR" us and "TO" Israel
Read and study ALL the bible and learn to rightly divide the "word of truth" and then you will experience the freedom to live through Jesus Christ our Lord!
We will be judged according to being saved, if we are alive in Christ or dead in sin?
2Ti 4:1 "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
Then Paul tells Timothy to PREACH THE WORD!!! This is what we should all do which means to proclaim the word of God. We should know enough to reprove, rebuke and exhort others. You really don't need to know allot to do that but the more you know the better and more confident you will be.
Preaching is the way for today as far as God's ministry today. Telling others about Christ is the way people come to Christ and it is God's way for today, meaning God does not speak to man audibly today, He speaks through the Holy Spirit, and His Word and Body.
The time will come...WELL That time has come as it has throughout time that they do not endure sound doctrine. Even believers are fooled and do not understand sound doctrine but seek prosperity, healing and law like teachers. They seek it because they are not content with the cross and Christ but lust for more and more. They want to get closer to Christ by their works and religious ways. They want to say, "look at me God and what I am doing for you, now bless me PLEASE"!!!
We are to do the work of an evangelist meaning preach, share and invite others to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour!