With false teachers working overtime, Paul had qualified men strategically placed within the churches to help promote sound doctrine. With properly qualified leaders, the church will thrive, and its members will grow in their faith. While this was very important, the other men and women had their own duties that they must perform, to assist the younger members in their midst. The younger are to submit to the older and be willing to listen. (1Pet 1:5) This list to the older men and women is given in Titus chapter two and expanded on in chapter three encouraging the believers to live a godly lifestyle by being subject to rulers, obedient in general, and to live at peace with all men. Paul reminds them that they were just like these false teachers at one time, until Jesus Christ saved them by his mercy, basically they need to live a godly life and avoid the false teachers’ controversies.
Most importantly these older men needed sound doctrine, because this was a command. Interestingly, these men are to have some of the same qualifications as an overseer or deacon. It is intending that all Christians need to have a high standard of godly living. The older is to beg the younger to think properly and urge him to do right. By example the older needs to show the younger how to live the Christian life. These are commands from Scripture that all older men should be doing.
They are to have a holy behavior and way of life. Again, they should not live like the Devil by falsely accusing other people; they need to be free from wine, and to teach what is good. Their role is to encourage and teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children. Also they need to be taught to think properly. The younger needs to be taught how to be sensible good homemakers. For God’s glory, she should be able to place herself under the authority of her husband.
These commands should speak to most every one out there. There is usually always someone younger around you. I have taught similar lessons to teens and children: there is usually someone younger than you that you can teach and be an example for. Be on alert to the younger that is hanging around you and watching your every move. Be sure that you are walking close to Jesus, so when others follow, they will be led in the right direction.
Hebrews 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet. And a light to my path.
This is a very popular verse that probably many have memorized. The interesting thing is that the Scripture (Word) is able to direct ones paths, but many Christians do not look into the Scripture for guidance. They rather ask everyone else, but God, or read every self help book, but not the one that will truly help and direct them.
To promote this blog, I have gone around commenting on other peoples blogs. I have found many depressed and hopeless “Christians” along the way. When I run across one of these blogs, I would leave Scripture and a word of encouragement. Some thank me for it, but go back to their hopeless ways without taking the Scripture that I gave them and pondering on it. There have been others that has taken the Scripture; believed it and applied it to their lives. I have seen many walk out of their hopeless state and start reading the Scripture and letting it guide them. Did their problems disappear? Most of them, no. There is one that I check back on every now and then, and I see this person going through worst stuff than they were before, but now they are spending time in the Scripture and trusting God to guide him and to use him for God’s glory. I sense joy in his suffering. He has taken the Scripture; read it, believed it, and applied it to his life. The Scripture lights his path just far enough for his next step, but by faith, he continues on for God’s glory.
In chapters fourteen through sixteen of second Chronicles shows the life of king Asa of Judah. King Asa reigned for forty-one years. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord (1 Kings 15:8). His first ten years of reign there was peace (14:1b-8). God gave him victory over Zerah the Cushite (14:9-15). There was a second reform in chapter fifteen. Here in chapter sixteen there are hostile moves against king Asa by king Baasha of Israel.
Judah was actually experiencing revival. Baasha king of Israel was not thrilled about this because Israel was coming down to Judah. To stop this he took over the city of Ramah in Judah. Starting now is the decline of king Asa. He took silver and gold from the treasuries of God and went to the king Ben-hadad of Aram (king Ben-hadad lived in Damascus, northeast of Israel). King Asa convinced king Ben-hadad to attack the northern cities of Israel. By doing this king Baasha of Israel pulled out of the city of Ramah to go protect his own cities. When king Baasha left the city, king Asa went in to Ramah and took their building supplies and used it to build up two other cities (Geba and Mizpah). This sounds like a great military plan, but king Asa is now no longer dependent upon the Lord and no longer walking by faith.
Hanani the prophet came to king Asa to rebuke him. King Asa was relying on king Ben-hada instead of God. Hanani reminds him about how God gave him victory in the past. In the middle of this chapter is a familiar verse (v. 9) “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His..” God is looking for people who will be dependent upon God instead in one’s own strengths and talents. King Asa no longer was dependent upon God. When Hanani the prophet confronted him, he was unwilling to repent and turn back to God. Instead he was furious and had Hanani thrown in prison and then he started oppressing his own people.
King Asa started great but sadly he did not end well. He refused to repent and become dependent upon God again. Because of this, God gave him a disease in his feet. Even after this disease, he was still unwilling to seek God, so he ended up dying. It is interesting that once king Asa no longer was walking with God, God gave him a disease in his feet.
Do you wait on God?
Is your heart totally dependent upon God?
Do you try to fix everything yourself or do you bring it before God?
News about Solomon’s wisdom and his kingdom seemed to travel quickly to other countries. It is interesting how Queen Sheba traveled with her army to speak to Solomon, just because she had heard about his kingdom and his wisdom. She came to test him and/or to give him hard riddles to answer. After all of her attempts, she was speechless because he was able to answer all of her questions. Through out her encounter, I am sure that Solomon gave credit to God for his wisdom. This probably brought up more questions about God in general. I might be reading into the story a little, but I would bet that every question she had about God was probably answered. As she left Solomon’s kingdom, she was left at a fork in the road spiritually. Should she accept this God or should she continue down her road of serving her god(s) or maybe no god.
The same should be true with us, as we meet people in our everyday lives, we should be a ‘fork in the road’ to people spiritually. They need to hear about Christ and be left with a decision: “Should I accept Christ or do I reject him”. We need to be ready to give a defense about our faith (see 1 Peter 3:15). I have found that many non-Christians have one or two questions about God that trouble them. Well meaning Christians in their past could not answer these questions for them. Usually, once those questions are answered, man-made walls are knocked down and they are left with a decision, “What do I do with Jesus?” There are some that use these questions as a way to heckle Christians, because they have seen that most can not answer them, but there are some that need that wall knocked down so they are able to believe. So hopefully as we live our lives we can be a “fork in the road”, so people will be left with a choice about Christ: Should I accept him or do I reject him?
How about you. Have you accepted him or rejected him?
1 Corinthians 15:1-6 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Since man was in rebellion against God, God reached out to man and provided salvation for him. Only God can provide the righteousness needed to obtain a right standing with a holy God. This righteousness is obtained through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, and man receives this righteousness through faith. This faith does not cancel out the Law, rather it satisfies the legal requirements of it (Romans 3:31).
Faith justification is the only kind possible because it removes any natural advantages (3:27–31). This is not a new teaching, because the Old Testament even teaches faith justification. Abraham was not justified by his works (4:1–8), or by circumcision (4:9–12), or even by the Law (4:13–17). One can only be justified by faith, just as Abraham was (4:1–17).
Justification has many benefits (5:1–11). The one who is justified now has peace with God and a hope in God. Also, he now has a right standing before God (5:1–2). The one who is justified can boast in many things (5:2-11). He can boast in the hope of God’s glory. He can also boast in troubles, because those troubles will bring about perseverance, proven character, and hope (5:3–5). Since God demonstrated his love to a world that was in rebellion against him by sending his unique Son to die for the ungodly (5:6–10), the justified can boast in God, because he is now in a right relationship with God (5:11). Thankfully, since God sent his Son, man’s sin problem is now solved (5:12–21).