Thursday, November 24, 2022

A Pattern To Follow

"Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus."
2 Timothy 1:13 (NKJV)

Several years ago, I worked in a factory where a lot of things were made out of metal.  There were various stages of production where different pieces were made and then assembled to make the final product.  We had several patterns of the different things that were being made, and these patterns were used to show someone how to correctly do the work that had to be done.  Without an accurate pattern, things could be done all kinds of ways, with some of those ways being the wrong way.

In the letters that Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus, it is interesting to see how Paul encouraged them to do and say things in the same way that he had.  Paul said he gave them a pattern to follow with the words he used, the things he said.  The word "pattern" here, can mean an outline, an example, or a pattern.  Paul gave Timothy and Titus a pattern to follow with what he said.  Paul gave them an example, that they could follow, so they would know how to say the right kind of things.

In Titus 2:1, Paul wrote about saying things that promote sound doctrine, good teaching.  In Titus 2:8, Paul said we should have the kind of speech that cannot be condemned, saying things that others could not find fault with.  Ephesians 4:29 says that we should not use any corrupt (rotten, corrupt, or poor quality) speech.  We may not be an apostle like Paul, but we can help others by giving them a good pattern to follow.  Our words can, and should be, a good example for others to follow.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

The Right Approach, May Not Be The Direct Approach

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye."
Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)

When traveling by airplane, how you land at an airport is determined by several things, including the way the wind is blowing, which actually helps the plane to slow down and land.  An airplane may even travel past the airport it will land at, and then turn around to land into the wind.  If you were a passenger in an airplane, and the plane you were flying on past the airport you were to land at, you might think something was wrong, but the plane is just taking the best route to successfully arrive at its destination.

God knows what is going on in our life right now, what has happened in the past, and what direction we need to go in the futureIn Psalm 32:8, God said that He would teach us the way we should go and that He would guide usGod has an overall plan for our life, and God will guide us and help us in our everyday life as well.  One thing that I have learned is that sometimes we don't seem to take a direct route in the will of God, but the way we go seems a bit different than what we might have expected.

God may direct us in a way that seems strange to us, but that direction really is the right way in the plan that God has for us.  Sometimes God will direct us to do something, or get involved in a certain thing, because He knows how that experience will help us in the future.  We first of all need to realize that God can and will guide us in life, and we then need to learn to follow His direction, even when it seems to us that the way we take is not the best way to reach our destination.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

A Positive, Purifying Expectation

"Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
1 John 3:2-3 (NKJV)

What if you knew that someone famous, some kind of celebrity, or someone well-known was going to come to your home, what would you do?  Most people would make sure that everything in their home was cleaned, straightened up, and that nothing was out of place.  The fact that someone special was coming to see you would most likely cause you to change what you were doing, and alter any other plans you may have already had, so that you would be ready for that special day.

While there are disagreements among Christians as to when and how Jesus will return to the earth, one thing that is certain is that Jesus will come again.  But even if some Christian was to go as far as saying that they did not think Jesus would ever return, no one lives forever and one day we will all meet Jesus.  Knowing this should make a difference in our life.  If we really have an expectation that we will meet Jesus one day, it will have an impact in our life and influence the way we live.

John said that if we have a "hope", an expectation, that one day we will see Jesus, that this expectation would help to purify us.  In the same way that someone expecting a visit from another person would be influenced by that expected visit, our expecting to see Jesus one day should make a difference in our lives.  Knowing that one day we will meet Jesus should cause us to focus on what is really important in our life concerning doing God's will, and eliminate things in our life that might hinder us from serving God.  If we knew that we would meet Jesus tomorrow, how would we be living our life today?

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Help Along The Way

"Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,
who have borne witness of your love before the church.  If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,

because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.
3 John 1:5-7 (NKJV)

When traveling through an airport, you can find all kinds of places to buy things that you might need when you travel.  You could find something that you had forgotten to pack, or something that would be helpful for you on your trip.  It seems that in airports today, you can find almost anything you might need to help you on your journey.  All of these places can help you with what you might need along the way, even though none of these places are your actual destination.

There are many ways we can serve God, and one way is by helping others in the things that God has called them to do. In 3 John, the Apostle John wrote to believers about how good it is for believers to help others along the way as they are serving God.  God has a plan and purpose for each and every person, and while we can't fulfill the will of God for someone else, we can do things that will help those other people move forward on their journey as they fulfill the will of God in their lives.

We may not be a pastor, but there are things we can do to help our pastor.  We may not be a missionary, but there are things we can do to help those serving in other nations.  There are many things we may not be specifically called to do ourselves, but there are ways to help others, by praying for them, finding some way to assist them in what they are doing, and even just with some encouraging words.  We all need to do what we can to find ways to help others along the way as they serve God.