1 Timothy 5
November 9, 2021Day 313
Here are some more church management counsels. But we can learn a lot from them. What does this chapter teach you about respect for elders, for instance? It seems that Timothy might sometimes have to reprove even elders (we all make mistakes) but he was to do so with gentleness and respect. Don't you think that's good advice for anyone, of any age? How would you want to be reproved when it's necessary?
1 Timothy 4
November 8, 2021Day 312
Again, Paul is giving Timothy advice as a pastor, but you can take these words to heart as a young person. You may not be in a position of leadership, as Timothy was (and you can imagine how difficult it sometimes must have been for him) but you can be an example to all. Just remember how Jesus, at only twelve, was a shining example of godliness to the priests in the temple. Choose two things from this chapter: the thing you have the most difficulty with, and the piece of advice that will help you most.
1 Timothy 3
November 7, 2021Day 311
This chapter, especially, goes into specific advice to pastors. Paul shows Timothy how to choose good elders and good deacons (the Greek word, diakonos, is gender neutral and simply means servant). As a young man, perhaps Timothy was timid of choosing and overseeing the work of people who might have been older than he was. Then Paul finishes with that early credo, giving the basic, foundational truths about Christ. Nothing matters more than that.
1 Timothy 2
November 6, 2021Day 310
This chapter goes back to basics again, as Paul so often does. Everything begins and ends with Jesus and His life and death for us. Then, using customs that are particular to Paul's time and place (and to some places on earth now), Paul urges everyone to pray together. The main point is the faithful prayer, not whether you hold up your hands or fold them, bow or stand. It isn't that it matters so much whether you are male or female (as Paul has strongly pointed out before), but that we must all be praying faithfully together. How do people pray where you live?
1 Timothy 1
November 5, 2021Day 309
Unlike most of the letters, this one is to a particular person, and in particular circumstances. Paul, as an older leader in the church, is giving advice to a young man who has been put in charge of the church at Ephesus. In some ways, then, it might not seem equally applicable to everyone. But as you read, notice both the things that are specific to ministry, and the things that are general, especially those that speak to you where you are now. What are three things you can personally take from this chapter?
2 Thessalonians 3
November 4, 2021Day 308
It would be interesting to compare the final words of all the letters of Paul. Some things are common: he always encourages people to be faithful, do good, and follow Jesus. Some are individual: greetings to certain persons, or instructions that are particular to their situation. For example, in this case, he reminds them to keep away from foolish teachings. Which of these instructions is applicable to you and your companions, in your situation?
2 Thessalonians 2
November 3, 2021Day 307
Did you know some people claim Paul didn't write this letter because he hadn't spoken of the “man of sin,” (that is, the antichrist) before this? But Paul, as a Pharisee, knew his Old Testament practically by heart, and Daniel had made very clear the kind of things that would happen before the Great Day of the Lord. Paul reminds the Thessalonians (and us) that before Jesus comes, the prophecies of the antichrist must first come to pass. What in this chapter gives you hope and comfort?
2 Thessalonians 1
November 2, 2021Day 306
This letter was written only a few months after the last one. Apparently someone brought news to Paul that some people thought Jesus was coming right away and were becoming fanatical. This makes this letter particularly appropriate for Adventists, as we try to maintain a balance between watching for Jesus to come, but not getting all excited or setting dates. As usual, Paul begins with commendations and prayers for the faithful people.
1 Thessalonians 5
November 1, 2021Day 305
Paul reminds his readers that they already know Jesus is coming again, so even though we don't know when, we won't be surprised as others will be. In the meantime, it's our job to tell as many others as possible, so they, too, will be ready. Then he gives some final instructions. And, lest anyone think that he's laying a bunch of rules on them, he repeats his constant theme, in verses 23 and 24: God is faithful, and He is the one who will do it.