1 Timothy 6

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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Thanks for the admonition You convey in this letter written to a young Christian leader by a seasoned follower and disciple-maker.  Help me to apply Your exhortations regarding what to flee and what to pursue as I live out my life in You.

“But you, man of God, FLEE from all this [see vs. 3-10], and PURSUE righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (v 11 NIV)

FLEE

In the verses prior to this one, You led Paul through a discussion of at least three “things.”  Noted initially are those who teach false doctrines which do not agree with Your Word (v 3).  These same false teachers also carried out lifestyles contrary to the godliness You desire.  Secondly, You use Paul’s words to expose the self-serving motive of seeking godliness as “a means to financial gain” (v 5), or to get rich.  Thirdly, You spell out the dangers of allowing the gathering of wealth to drive oneself in this life.  You led Paul to highlight all these aspects and then said, “flee from all this” (v 11).

PURSUE

Now, since fleeing means to run away from something, there naturally must be something else to run toward.  In this case, You give me an entire list of traits to keep on chasing after, a lifelong pursuit or quest:

(1) RIGHTEOUSNESS — The Amplified Bible states this as “…righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness),…” (v 11 AMP). In his letter to the Romans, You use Paul’s words to help clarify this: “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Rom 3:22 NIV).  Under the Old Testament law, Your followers were declared righteous, like gaining Your stamp of approval, by their obedience.  Yet, because You knew that I’d never be able to be fully obedient to You, out of Your mercy and grace, You sent Your Son to redeem me from my “missing the mark” or sin.  “…where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5:20-21 NIV).  YOU declare me righteous by my faith in Your Son.

(2) GODLINESS “…godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike),… “ (v 11 AMP).  Here’s how Chuck Swindoll put this in one of his study guides: “…an authentic, abiding desire to glorify God through self-sacrificing service and humble obedience.”**  Form that in me, Lord.

(3) FAITH — Father, help me to take my hands off the steering wheel and allow You to drive, to allow You to be the door opener, without my trying to pry the doors open or manipulate them to fit my design.  Help me to trust You.

(4) ENDURANCE — This is like perseverance and both mean “to abide under.”  Guide me in moving through life, handling what comes my way with the strength You provide and looking to You to supply stability and balance.

(5) GENTLENESS — Guide me in allowing Your Spirit to keep my strength under control, utilizing my strength as You reveal it’s appropriate to do so.

Run with me, Lord, as I flee what is not of You and pursue all that You lay before me, as You’re at work to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

** from Excellence in Ministry by Charles Swindoll, Insight for Living, 1985.

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Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

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1 Timothy 5

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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Relationships–an entire chapter about the kinds of relationships You desire among Your people, in Your Church! …Lord, teach me what You want me to learn and to live.

You use all sorts of terms to describe how You desire us to interact:
“Do not rebuke… harshly, but exhort” (v 1).
“Treat as [family members]…with absolute purity” (v 2).
“Give proper recognition…” (v 3).
“…provide for his relatives and especially his immediate family” (v 8).
“…help those who are really in need” (v 16).
“…do nothing out of favoritism” (v 21)
“…do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.” (v 22).

Guide me, Father, in growing my relationships with others, both those related to me through my birth and those connected to me by my rebirth.  Teach me to love them like You do.  Pare away the skin of this fallen world which can cover, hide, or keep in the nutrients necessary for healthy relationships.  Continue to heal the wounds in me that hinder me from reaching out and loving others freely and fully like You love them.  Free me from the past to step forward into the future with each opportunity You supply today.  Make me just like Jesus.  And when a person has encountered me, may he or she love Him more.  Amen.

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Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 4

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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“You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching.  Now pass on this counsel to the Christians there, and You’ll be a good servant of Jesus.” (v 6 MSG)

“If you explain this to the brothers and sisters, you will be doing your duty as a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is fed by the message of faith and the true teaching you have followed.” (v 6 NLT)

Thank You so much, Father, for feeding me throughout my life with the truths of Your Message, Your Word which has produced faith in me as I look to You.  Guide me in staying firmly grounded in Your Truth and in passing it on to others.

“Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion.  Exercise daily in God–no spiritual flabbiness please!  Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.  You can count on this.  Take it to heart.” (v 7-8 MSG)

Be my Coach, my Personal Trainer, Lord.  Equip me for living, using, and teaching Your Word wherever You lead me each day.  Guide me in discerning Your Truth and in paying attention to what I allow into my mind.

“We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe.” (v 10 NLT)

Stir in me, Father, that intentional energy that is focused on the purpose You’ve called me to as Your child, Your follower: To make disciples.  Remind me repeatedly of this work that You’ve put me here to do.  My current job is not what You’ve employed me to do.  It’s merely a means through I can touch lives so that I can make disciples.  You’ve supplied a home, a car, a job, a church family, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, places to do business in the community, communication means (phone, email, postal service, etc.) … all these things and more — You’ve supplied them as my tools for carrying out this ministry You’ve given me.  Help me to view these things from THAT perspective more than getting caught up in them for self-serving reasons.

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.  Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity … focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.  Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received … Give your complete attention to these matters.  Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.  Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching.  Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.” (v 12-16 NLT)

Let others see Jesus in me, Father:
May the words that I SPEAK or use to teach communicate solely the Truth found in YOUR Word.
May the actions of my LIFE reflect the motives, energy and activities of YOUR Son.
May the sharing of my LOVE convey the passion and authenticity of YOUR love.
May the example of my FAITH inspire others to trust in YOUR faithfulness.
May the model of my PURITY enliven the courage and endurance of others to strive to embrace YOUR virtue.

In all these things, may You receive glory, honor, and praise, as others are led toward a more intimate relationship with You, our extraordinary God, because they have encountered this ordinary servant of Yours.  Amen.

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Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 3

Father, fill me up with Your truth.
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Leaders within Your Church, Lord, have high expectations on them, as You work through them to guide, nurture, and lead Your people. Still, whether I have a “leadership” position formally or not, because I represent Christ wherever I am, the traits of a leader mentioned here also apply:
~ above reproach
~ not a polygamist nor promiscuous
~ temperate
~ self-controlled
~ respectable
~ hospitable
~ able to teach, knowing what one’s talking about
~ not given to drunkenness
~ not violent nor pushy but gentle
~ not quarrelsome
~ not a lover of money or money-hungry
~ must manage his own family well
~ attentive to one’s children and having their respect and obedience
~ not a new believer
~ have a good reputation with outsiders
~ worthy of respect
~ sincere, genuine, not deceitful
~ not in it for what one can get out of it
~ keeping hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience
~ dependable, trustworthy in everything
~ not sharp-tongued or malicious talkers

Father, work out of me the traits that aren’t reflective of the You in me. Work into me the very nature of Your Son, so that these kinds of characteristics above are seen in my life. In some areas there are miles to go; while in others, I’m already there or it’s just down the block. Thank You for the way You’ve been growing me up in Jesus all of my life.

Thank You for the examples of godly leaders You’ve placed in my life. And, thank You too for the leaders whose areas of weakness in these traits can also be opportunities for me to learn. Continue to shape my heart and life into a clear of reflection of Jesus. Amen.
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Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 2

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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“The first thing I want you to do is pray:  Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.” (v 1 MSG)

When the day is going well, You say, “Pray.”
When the day is not so swell, You say, “Pray.”
When life is light and carefree, You say, “Pray.”
When life is heavy and burdened, You say, “Pray.”
When I’m understanding Your ways, You say, “Pray.”
When I can’t find my way, You say, “Pray.”
All day long, all my life long, no matter the circumstances,
it’s always the time for this child to talk with her Daddy.

“He wants not only us but EVERYONE saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth WE’VE learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us — Jesus, who offered Himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free.  Eventually the news is going to get out.  This and this only has been my appointed work:  getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.” (v 5-7 MSG)

Thank You, Father, for the simple truth of Your gospel.  Thank You that You sent Jesus to die in our place to free us from sin.  Thank You that You raised Him from the dead, and through Him left the promise of Your Holy Spirit’s presence and a guarantee that He would come back to take us into heaven and Your eternal presence.

Continue making me just like Jesus, placing His heart in the place of mine.  Amen.

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Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 1

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of GOD our SAVIOR and of CHRIST JESUS our HOPE … GRACE, MERCY, and PEACE from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v 1-2 NIV)

Thank You, Father, for reaching out Your strong, compassionate arm to save this soul of mine.  Thank You for the hope (or assurance) that You have supplied to me in Jesus.  You have saved me from the clutches of sin, and have assured me of my position in Your family and my place with You for eternity.

By Your grace, You give to me what I don’t deserve.  Through Your mercy, You withhold from me what I do deserve.  Then, You garnish my heart, my mind, my soul with Your peace.

“…love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.(v 5 NIV)

Continually purify my heart, Lord.  Keep my conscience clean and good.  Cause my faith to be genuine, sincere and real.  Keep my eyes focused on Jesus and my life devoted to following You … “The world behind me; the cross before me … Though none go with me, still I will follow … no turning back, no turning back.” *

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service… The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (v 12, 14 NIV)

Every ounce of strength I have comes from You, Father.  Every move I make I make in You.  You have called me to be Your own.  When I accepted that call, You appointed me to Your service, handing me this primary assignment: Make disciples (Matt 28:18-20).  You have designed the places where I live, where I work, where I shop, where I travel, where I visit, and the family wherein I’m related.  You knew just WHO You would need in these arenas to reach the people my life will and does touch.  By Your grace poured out on me in abundance, I can step forward in faith and love as a willing courier of Your message of salvation to a world that needs You.  Continue to shape my life into more and more of a reflection of Jesus and less and less a resemblance of me.  Make me just like Him in all ways.  Amen.

* (from “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” source unknown; folk melody from India; arranged by Eugene Thomas in The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration, Word Music, 1986.)

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Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

Next Set of Devo-Prayers: 1 and 2 Timothy

Through these Devo-Prayers, we stepped through the Gospels–the books of the Bible that tell the account of Jesus’ life on earth (Matthew, John, Mark, and Luke). We journeyed through Luke’s other work, the book of Acts, which gives a historical account of the birth of the Church, the Body of Christ.

Then, we began diving into the letters that Paul wrote to the saints, or believers/Christians, in various cities or regions.  We finished his letter to believers in Rome–the letter to the Romans and then his letters to the believers in Corinth or 1st and 2nd Corinthians as well as the letter he wrote to the believers in Ephesus, or the book of Ephesians, the letter to the believers in Colosse, or the book of Colossians, the first letter Paul wrote to believers in Thessalonica, or 1st & 2nd Thessalonians.

Next, we’ll stroll through the two letters that Paul wrote to Timothy, a young preacher whom he mentored in the faith.

Devo-Prayers ~ Praying through the Scriptures

Each posting contains a first-person prayer based on a particular chapter or passage from the Bible. The Bible passage reference is provided above the devotional prayer, so you can also refer to the scripture which inspired the prayer. Posts that are found via Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn usually provide an excerpt from the full post.

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