Recalling Your Tears 2 Timothy 1:3-5 NIV I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. The Lord Jesus cares about what concerns us. He feels our hurts. He knows our suffering, for he suffered greatly for us, that we might go free. He sees our tears. For those of us who are walking uprightly with him, who are following him in his service, he is listening to our prayers. He has not forsaken us, nor has he forgotten us. He is allowing trials in our lives to draw us closer to him, and to purify our hearts, and to teach us to rely on him and not on ourselves, but his eyes and his ears are not closed to our suffering. He has a plan and a purpose for it all, and he will fulfill it. What we are going through is not for naught. He works in ways we cannot see. He will make a way for us where there seems to be no way. When all seems bleak, we must remember that God is still on his throne. He is still completely sovereign over all he has made. He is the head over every power and authority; and all angels, authorities and powers are in submission to him. Praise God! In that we can rest secure, knowing that our God rules supreme over all. Fan Into Flame 2 Timothy 1:6-10 NIV For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The gift of God is Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was crucified on a cross for our sins. He who knew no sin became sin for us so that when he died, our sins died with him, and when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death, on our behalf. He did this for us that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. So, the gift of God is his grace to us, and it is also our salvation from sin, and the faith to believe in him, and it is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us. And then it is, too, the specific gifts of the Spirit we have been given, and the assignments we have been given by God for us to fulfill within the body of Christ, for the encouragement and strengthening of the Body. Yet, the gift of God to us may also be our suffering, for he uses suffering in our lives to make us into the people of God he intends us to be. It may be that, through our suffering, or because of what he has taken us through, we have been gifted and called in certain ways that we may not have been equipped to do if we had not first suffered for the sake of his name. I know this is certainly true of my life. Had I not suffered in all the many ways I did, I would not be equipped to do the ministry God has now called me to. So, knowing that our Lord is with us, and that he is working his plan and purpose in our lives for our good, and that he sees our tears, and that he has suffered like we suffer, and so he empathizes with our suffering, should encourage us to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, and to put on the armor of God to fight against the devil’s schemes against us. And, it should also motivate us, not only to persevere, but to fan into flame the gift(s) of God within us, the calling he has on each of our lives, and to be his servants and witnesses in teaching what is true and opposing what is false. Why I Am Suffering 2 Timothy 1:11-12 NIV And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. So, why am I suffering? My past suffering was to prepare and to equip me for my present ministry. I presently suffer because I have answered to the call of God on my life with “Yes!” and I am obeying him, and I am being a voice for the hurting, the abused, and the downtrodden, and I am confronting the lies of the enemy, and I am speaking the truth of God. And, the enemy of our souls does not like that, so he is coming against me. And, this, too, is the reason why so many servants of the Lord throughout the world are suffering, because they are following the Lord in obedience, they are not compromising with the world of sin, they are standing on the Word of Truth, and they are countering the lies of the enemy. They do this so that blinded eyes can be open, so they can be turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so they can receive forgiveness of sins, and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. And, this, too, is the reason I do what I do every day. Many Professors For, so many who profess the name of Jesus these days are not walking in truth, but they are still walking in darkness, and so many of these who profess Christ are those who are persecuting Christ’s servants and messengers, who are the ones standing on the truth. Some of these professors of Christ are within our governments and they are within the institutional churches, and within our homes. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing who have come to kill, to steal and to destroy the church. They are users and abusers, liars and deceivers, manipulators and tricksters, who take advantage of others for their own selfish gain. They are cowards who are full of lust and greed. They can be so charming, winsome and likeable, too, and they will act as though they are your best friend, and may even try to build you up to make you feel good about yourself, only for the purpose, though, to use you for their own ends. For, they may turn right around and stab you in the back, like a Judas, and hurt you in any way possible if it is in their interest, for their loyalty is only to themselves. They are ones, too, who create theatrical productions, who perform to make the appearance that they are doing what is right when truly their actions reveal that what they are doing is evil, wicked, hateful, mean, cruel and of the devil, not of God. For, many pastors and church leaders, and leaders within our governments (nations), and in our homes, are not only users and abusers, but they are addicted to sinful practices, adulterers, perjurers, and slanderers who falsely accuse others for the sins that they commit. For their hearts are hard, and they are full of pride and bitterness. Although they may perform well for an audience, they are truly guilty of much misconduct. And, those of us who are walking according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, who are being the light of Christ to a world which is lost in its sin, and who are teaching what is true and exposing what is false, are thus being objectified, used, abused, persecuted and abandoned by these who falsely call themselves followers of Christ, but who truly are servants of the evil one. For, these false professors of Christ are rejecting the truth, and many of them are following after a false grace gospel which does not require them to forsake their sinful lifestyles, and yet will give them a false sense of hope. Thus, they are buying into it so they can continue in their sins. But, God has a day of judgment in mind for them. I believe, according to scripture, that one day all that has been hidden in the darkness will come into the light, and God will expose all their evil deeds for what they are, and he will deliver his servants and witnesses out from under their grasp. But, I also believe that, through judgment, that many will turn their hearts to the Lord in repentance and there will be a true revival before our Lord returns. The Good Deposit 2 Timothy 1:13-14 NIV What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. So, although we may be living in evil times right now, where evil is reigning, because God is allowing it for his purposes, know that this is not forever. One day our Lord will return and he will take us to be with him forever, and he will wipe away the tears from our eyes, and our suffering will be no more. So, while we await his return, we must remain strong in our faith, and keep on sharing the truth of God and his Word and keep on exposing the lies so that blinded eyes will be opened and so many will come to faith in Christ. When I Am Afraid / An Original Work October 17, 2016 / Based off Psalms 56-57 When I am afraid, Lord, I will trust in You. Your Word, Lord, I praise. I yield my life to You. Enemies pursue me, slandering Your Name. Lord, have mercy. I trust in You. Hear my cry today. Lord, I love Your Word. It comforts me today, As I look to you, and bow my head and pray. You are Christ, my Lord. You saved me from my sin, That I may walk, Lord before You, purified within. Steadfast is my heart, O God, I sing of You. I will praise You, Lord. To You, I will be true. Oh, how great Your love. Your faithfulness endue. Be exalted, God of heaven. Glory be to You. Saturday, March 10, 2018, 11:11 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. May we all walk with you in white. Amen!