It seems that I have been in 1 Timothy for months, and I need a break, but as I sit here pondering whether to go on and dive into 2 Timothy, which has a wealth of depth in it, my heart feels a strong need to jump back into the Revelation. This compulsion to study the Revelation once again has much to do with the political agenda, the globalists and their efforts to reduce the surface population (as Scrooge said,) and the overall violent nature of the environment in which we live.
Having said all that, I took a quick dip into one verse in 2 Timothy, so here goes.
I am calling up memories of your sincere and unqualified faith (the leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), [a faith] that first lived permanently in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am [fully] persuaded, [dwells] in you also. (2 Timothy 1:5 AMPC)
In my mind’s eye, I see myself writing to Christians, who, like myself, have had to endure false teachers and therefore ended up with some tainted ideas about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. After almost 15 years of looking into the Word of God and growing with you, I find I have readers all over the world. If there is one, the problem is that I don’t know you, so how could I call up memories of you?
I would, however, know you if we, through, say, battle, have come to build a bond, a bond which demonstrated your real heart, your courage, willingness to endure hardships, and proven that you have my back as I have yours.
How do we know Paul had Timothy’s back?
I thank God Whom I worship with a pure conscience, in the spirit of my fathers, when without ceasing I remember you night and day in my prayers, And when, as I recall your tears, I yearn to see you so that I may be filled with joy. (2 Timothy 1:3-4 AMPC)
Along with so many others, this young man was always on his mind, and he constantly prayed for Timothy.
But what specifically did Paul think about?
The sincere and unqualified faith that Timothy demonstrated. Having spent some time in the faith movement, where faith is primarily evidenced by your “Godly” reaction to negative issues, this can include a simple cold, a horrific injury, or financial matters. A man I admired, upon hearing you describe what was going on in your life, would immediately approach you and ask, may I pray for you. In my mind, this is a demonstrated faith, which has NOTHING to do with results.
Alright, let’s talk about expected results for a moment. What did Jesus say to his disciples?
“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name, they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18 NASB)
If you have believed in Jesus’ name, then things should and will happen.
- They will – cast out demons.
- They will – as the ERV states, speak in languages they never learned. I have primarily understood this to be languages that the Holy Spirit gives me, and there have been many. The problem I had, and many have spoken of similar experiences, is that some ancient person (and some would say that I am now one) who would speak out in their “tongue” to the church body would hover about you and essentially tell you what sounds to make. For years I floundered in that backroom experience and did not understand anything about it; that is until I read this passage.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (Jude 1:20 NASB)
After hearing about this, I understood that I was building myself up, on the inside, by praying in the Holy Spirit; this understanding had nothing to do with impressing people or scoring more points to improve my position in heaven.
- They will – lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Our command, directive, admonition, is to lay hands on the sick; and then what happens to them? They recover. The Word Study Dictionary tells us that recover means to have and hold, implying continued possession. Ah, but hold what? The obvious answer would be that to which you held before but now, no longer hold, such as health. Within the faith movement, many hold on to wealth; they stake this claim based upon God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants. I suppose we forget that much of Abraham’s wealth was wrapped up in sheep and camels, so enjoy that. If I may, this command does not imply that the result has anything to do with our actions or faith. Of course, it takes faith to open your mouth and ask that person if you could pray for them, but beyond that, the action that takes place in the life of the sick person falls entirely upon God’s mercy. One last thing. If I wanted to thwart God’s plan to heal, and therefore, touch people’s lives, then I would do something so drastic that just the mention imparts fear and separates the “believers” from those who need help. Can you now see how something like a human-made creation, such as COVID 19, which has everyone cringing in fear, attempting to sterilize their hands at every turn, maintaining a minimum of six feet away from others, and wearing a mask over your nose and mouth could further impair your sense of reason and ability to communicate while adding to your fear.
- What does scripture say?Yeah, well, I noticed that the COVID 19 escaped His attention, there in Isaiah, so now what? For this reason also, God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NASB) And while this may be a shock to your system, COVID is nothing but a name, and it too will bow its pathetic knee to the name of Jesus. The unbelievable aspect of these statements is how quickly we as followers of the living God have forgotten how much He cares for us and who we are.
Since we only know about Timothy based upon Paul’s words, how do we comprehend what Paul is trying to say in his description of this young man?
Note that I used the Amplified Bible; I did so because it expounds, with accuracy, about the alternative meanings of the Greek and Hebrew, and that is what they have done here. So it is the passage itself that reveals the key in the success of young Timothy, as this sincere and unqualified faith is “the leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.”
I asked my wife to read this and tell me if I made any sense. I do this because I know I am prone to type faster than my mind can crank out the words and leave out entire descriptive sentences. She did just that and then asked me why I included anything about Benny Hinn.
I may or may not have expounded upon a video log by Chelsi Bedell in a previous post, in which she described going to a “Christian conference.” After a short time, the audience was introduced to Benny Hinn (apparently, the speaker is the son-in-law of Benny.) I have been aware of Benny Hinn for years now, and I always thought the man was nothing less than a religious charlatan who raked in money from little old ladies like my mother.
Since Paul told Timothy to speak to those who had money about how it was a trap and not to love it, I can see where some of Benny’s problems came from. He divorced the wife he swore he would never leave in 2010 and for many in the religious world, this is an unbearable injustice. I have since learned that he remarried Suzanne three years later. From: www.ugchristiannews.com “Benny explained how his ministry schedule affected his marriage. “In my case, it was family and the stress of ministry and being too busy. I didn’t pay attention to Suzanne’s pain. That’s what caused our problem. And then Suzanne having to struggle with what was happening to our family,” he added…” It goes on, but having spent some time in recovery, I do not see any ownership of what happened, so I still don’t trust the man.
Chelsi Bedell told us that Benny said coming to Christ is easy; remaining a Christian is difficult. Chelsi said, I knew there was something wrong with this man immediately, and there may be, but that is not the point here. Having looked at what Paul said about Timothy, I can see how Benny, and so many more of us, are NOT leaning our entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.
Honestly, that is a mouthful. It is much like going to a buffet – if you can still find one. There are so many choices, things I rarely get to eat, and I want a piece of everything. Yes, this is a bizarre way of relating to this life we signed up for when we became Christians. Upon learning of things, such as the fruits of the spirit – self-control or patience, I want it all, along with the potential changes they can bring to my life, I want it all now.
I cannot remember being able to take in more than a couple of God’s menu items at any one time, and, though, over time, I have become better at this leaning into God, there is never some aspect of life that I don’t mess up. A generalized way of saying this is, I sin, in little ways, frequently, but then so do you, so don’t get all judgmental on me. Some would say that I deserve to burn in hell’s flames for sinning, but they forget that OUR debts were wholly paid for on the cross of Jesus. However, his act of putting himself on that cross did not give us automatic freedom; we had to accept it by faith.
As used by the Amplified Bible, the word absolute, to define Timothy’s devotion might be a stretch, as Timothy lived in the same world I live in, and he too was broken by sin. At best, I can see Timothy, just like me, working at it daily.
Hopefully, someone out there looks at your life and says, “when without ceasing I remember you night and day in my prayers,” I remember that God is working in your life in unique ways. I know you don’t always see it, as you are standing so close to the flame, but it’s there. You had my back when I needed it, and hopefully, you realize that I had yours.
This God we serve is larger than anything we can understand, and since you cannot measure the ever expanding universe, it is safe to say that His mercy is like that, unsearchable and so overwhelming at times. Trust me, here on this earth; we will never be able to wrap our minds around that mercy.
Do everything you can to place yourself so deeply in His love that the world disappears; Enoch did that very thing, and he walked off the earth and into the Father’s arms.
I long for the day, and it will come sooner than you think.