Advice, Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Evil, Fighting, Gossip, Lies, Ministry, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Persecution, Perseverance, Revenge, Scripture, Service, Suffering, Trust, Witnessing

THE LORD WILL REPAY

2 TIMOTHY 4:14

“Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.”

It’s pretty obvious that Alexander didn’t care for Paul. We aren’t exactly sure who he was, but there are a few speculations. He may have been one of the metal workers thrust forth by the Jews to denounce Paul in Ephesus. Demetrius had begun this protest, but a man named Alexander was trying speak about how Paul’s mission work was hurting the sale of idols of the great temple of Artemis, which was their livelihood.

This name appears later in Acts at Paul’s trial. This time he is there publicly to speak against Paul. Animosity, hatred, pure evil. Paul knew it, but what did he tell Timothy? Turn the other cheek. Do not engage this man. God will handle him. As powerful and as loud as Alexander may appear, God is bigger and louder (if necessary).

APPLICATION

Do you think your children are going to face an Alexander? You had better believe it. If your children are attempting to live for Jesus, there will be people who will feel threatened. You may not know why they feel threatened, but they will. It may go to their own insecurities. It could be from their wrecked childhood. But for some reason, they have it out for your son or daughter. So, what do you tell them to do? The exact same thing Paul told Timothy – let God have it.

Do you now what all “Alexanders” need? Jesus! They need His forgiveness. They need His love. They need His mercy. And all of that comes through us. God still uses His people to deliver the gospel. Teach your children to be that deliverer of hope to “Alexanders.” And when they rise up in hatred, love them more.

Who do you need to approach in love today whom has set out to tear you down? We all have someone who just doesn’t like us. We may not know why, but God does. Ask Him. You may share a past with that person that could bring them to Christ. But whatever you do, don’t retaliate. That’s the Lord’s job, and He can handle it much better than you.

Father, I lay down my plans to get even right now. It is hard not to want to get back at those who have harmed me. But at Your command, I will obey.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Commands, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Following, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Peace, Persecution, Suffering

NOT VERY COMFORTING

2 TIMOTHY 3:12

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Paul has just told Timothy to follow him in persecutions and sufferings in the previous verse. Now, he tells him why. Because all who desire to live for Christ will be persecuted. Doesn’t that just make you want to shout “Hallelujah!”?  lol. Not really, to be honest. Who wants to be persecuted? That doesn’t sound fun. And Paul knew what he was talking about. The religious leaders had hounded him and years, solely because of his allegiance to and teachings of Christ.

Is that the kind of life you desire? Do you inwardly desire so strongly to live for Christ that you are willing to endure whatever hardship or persecution that may come your way? At what point would you say, “That’s enough! I can’t go any further.” Think about it. There may be a day coming, like in many parts of our world, where if you are a faithful follower of Christ, it could cost you everything.

APPLICATION

I don’t know a better way to teach our children this than to share true stories of believers who are suffering right now in our world. Most of us cannot imagine being persecuted for our faith. So, find a story to share with your kids. Talk about how that person must feel. Talk about how their children must have felt. Then ask your children how they would feel if that had been your family. It’s okay to say it would be scary. Emotions and fears are real.

But don’t leave it there. Take them to the verse today. God promises to be with us. Ask your children what they believe the Lord teaches us through persecution. It is so important they get this. They need to understand that, if God allows it in your life, it is always to make us better, not bitter. Persecution builds faith and helps spread the Word. We are just a vessel.

Are you a willing vessel to be persecuted for the cause of Christ if needed? Or are you good with just doing your “Sunday” thing and going through the motions? May I encourage you today to go all in. He needs your total devotion, your total desires, in order to accomplish in you what He wants. Trust Him to be with you should persecution come.

Though the world slay me, I will serve You. I will not fear the reprisal of men for loving my heavenly Father and following my Lord.

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Advice, Alone, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Confession, Contentment, Creation, Death, Denial, Encouragement, Eternity, Faith, Family, God's Will, Godliness, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Life, Light, Mentoring, Ministry, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Suffering

SORRY, DON’T KNOW YOU

2 TIMOTHY 2:12 

If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 

I have become more honest as I get older. Now, I am not saying I used to lie, but I wouldn’t quite be honest sometimes. Like when someone comes up to you, calls you by name and begins this long conversation, but you have no idea who this person is. In the past I would say, “Hey bud, how are you doing?” Now I say, “Hey, I’ve forgotten your name. Forgive me.” 

Jesus knows our name, whether we accept Him or not. But He promises us reigning power or powerlessnes, based on our response to Him. Paul tells us here that if we will endure with Christ, we will reign with Him. If we turn our backs and run, He will also deny us before the Father. 

APPLICATION 

Children like to be recognized. They love hearing their name called when they see you. What they don’t like is to be ignored. Try it for a day with your kids. Go through your normal routine, but each time a child calls your name, ignore them. (If they have an emergency make an exception). 

At the end of the day explain what you did and why. Read today’s verse. Ask them how they think the Lord feels when we do that. When we deny Him before men, He will deny us before the Father. And I really want to meet the Father, don’t you? Make a point to call your child by his/her name. Their name means something, and your child should know it.  

Are you being called to serve specifically in this area – the area of name calling? It’s a gift. It is so good to see the look on the other person (adult or child) when they hear their name. God loves you and has you surrounded by His love this evening. 

I know right now You are calling out my name before the Father. One day, I will see You face to face. One day, I will meet the Father. 

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Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Passion, Righteousness, Suffering

FOR OTHERS

2 TIMOTHY 2:10 

For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. 

Paul’s thoughts always seemed to be on two things – the Lord Jesus and others. His passion and drive was to share the gospel of Jesus with as many as he could before leaving this world. Even now, in prison, his mind is on this. He is reflecting on his current situation (prison) and glorifying God that even this is working to bring others to Jesus. 

That Greek word for “endure” means to bear up under and is only possible through the power of God in someone’s life. Paul knew the only way he could endure all the things he had endured was the supernatural empowering of the Holy Spirit. But with Him, there was nothing that he couldn’t endure.  

APPLICATION 

How do we teach our children to “endure”? How do we teach them to do it for others? Endurance can be taught through physical exercise. You work and work and eventually get stronger. You push through the pain day after day. Then you notice you can run a little further or lift a little more weight. It is through the daily struggle that you gain more and more endurance. 

But why would we do that for others? Simple! Because of what Christ endured for us. When we teach our children about Jesus, we need to make sure to teach them what He gave up for us. He took all our sins on Himself. He became sin so that we could take on His righteousness. Now, He asks us to share that with others, no matter what it takes. We must be willing to endure sufferings in order to bring a lost world into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Are you? Are you willing to endure whatever the Lord allows in your life for the purpose of showing others how to believe and trust in Him? You are called to this purpose at salvation. Now, you may never suffer a day in your walk or you may be the one who suffers constantly. Whichever it is, endure. Do it all for His glory. 

Father God, I accept Your will in my life today and gladly endure the cross of suffering. I desire to see others come to Jesus, and if my suffering can bring that, then use me. 

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SHAMELESS

2 TIMOTHY 1:12 

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. 

“Shameless” may seem like a strange title for this verse today, but when I looked at the whole verse it made sense to me. Paul is not ashamed to suffer because he knows and is convinced of two things. He knows in whom he believes (Jesus Christ) and he is convinced Jesus is able – period. 

And when I read this verse, an old hymn popped into my head, “I Know Whom I Have Believed.” Here’s the link to the lyrics 

https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/I_Know_Whom_I_Have_Believed/. What a wonderful hymn reminding us of what we don’t know but also of what we do know. Just like Paul we know He is able. For that I will shamelessly suffer for Him. 

APPLICATION 

Children need assurances. They don’t do well when things are uncertain and unsettled. How do you assure your children that they are safe and secure in your home? You love them! Hugs, kisses and words of love are the bedrock of assurance for a child. Complete acceptance for who they are gives them that secure feeling they all desire. 

But as much as your love and affection does for them, it is NOT eternal. One day you will not be around. So, your job is to instill in them the love of the One whose love goes way past yours. Read them God’s Word and show them stories of faith. Let them see you trust the Lord in difficult times and explain to them how you completely rely on Him to protect you.  

Are you exemplifying the kind of shameless faith Paul is talking about in today’s verse? As someone has said, “Do you know that you know that you know?” Are you convinced He is able? Why? Then pass it on. Tell everyone why. Live it out. And the next time someone questions why you are willing to suffer for Jesus, tell them simply because He is able. 

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.” 

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Affection, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Encouragement, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Suffering

CO-SUFFERER

2 TIMOTHY 1:8 

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 

Everyone wants friends, right? We start choosing friends at a very early age. I have a childhood friend I’ve known my entire life. Other friends are relatively new. But we all want friends. What kind of friend do you want to have? How about the kind of friend Timothy was to Paul? 

The phrase “join with me in suffering” is really one Greek word which literally means “suffer with.” Okay, I don’t really want a friend who asks me to suffer with them, lol. I do want one I can ask to do that with me, though. It goes both ways. If we are willing to ask them to suffer with US, then we have to be willing to suffer with THEM. Are you? 

APPLICATION 

As parents, we have the responsibility to teach our children how to make friends, be a friend and maintain friendships. We even have the power to help choose our children’s friends when they are young. We can easily restrict contact with an undesirable friend, if we choose so.  

But ultimately, your child has to make his/her own friends. We want them to have friends who will stick with them and have their back, right. So, teach your child to do the same. And we teach that by modeling it. Be that kind of friend to someone. Your children will see it and learn. They always learn more from our actions than our words. 

Of all your friends, who can you call on right now if you needed someone to “join you in suffering”? Who do you think may call on you? Those are your real friends. Invest in them. Spend time with them. Jesus calls us to join with Him in suffering for His kingdom. Will you? 

I am thankful You call me to suffer for You, Lord. No one likes to suffer, but when it is for Your cause, it is worth it all. I love You, Jesus. 

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FORSAKEN BUT FAITHFUL

1 TIMOTHY 5:5

Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day.” 

That may seem like a strange title for a blog, but that is exactly what this widow was. To be “left alone” literally means forsaken. But despite that, she continues in her faith. She prays specifically for needs and prays generally for others. She knows her only source of help and comfort comes from above.

Do you know a prayer warrior like that? I do. In fact, I know several. Their solace is in spending time with the Lord, studying His Word and talking to Him. They know He will never leave them or forsake them. They may be “alone” in this world, but they are never alone spiritually.

APPLICATION

Children need to learn this peace early. They need to know that our God and Father will never leave them, if they are one His children. They may think they are alone and the world is against them. But He never leaves their side. Drive that truth into Him. They need to hear that over and over again.

Do you ever have to leave your child to go on trips? I am sure that is hard on them and you. When you come home there are kisses and hugs, right? Just think of this – God is always with us giving us those kinds of hugs and kisses. Now, I don’t mean physical hugs and kisses. But His presence is just as soothing and intimate.

Do you feel His presence in your prayer life? Do you spend the time you need to each day to commune with your holy God. He is waiting to talk to you. He won’t barge in on you. He waits for you to come to Him, but He’s always ready. Isn’t that unbelievable?  

Father, thank You for always being there for me. I praise You for your steadfast love and compassion and the way You show it each and every day to me.

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