Through the

New Testament

In One Year Reading Plan

 

SEPTEMBER

2019:


Dr. Craig Bowers

September 2 - September 6
Philippians 1 - Philippians 4
Colossians 1


Dr. Kevin Calhoun

September 9 - September 13
Colossians 2 - Colossians 4
1 Thessalonians 1 - 1 Thessalonians 2

 


Jonathan Norton

September 16 - September 20
1 Thessalonians 3 - 1 Thessalonians 5

2 Thessalonians 1 - 2 Thessalonians 2

 


Rev. JT Overby

September 23 - September 27

2 Thessalonians  3
1 Timothy 1-1 Timothy 4

 

Gary Reynolds

September 30

1 Timothy 5



  • September 2, 2019

     

    by Craig Bowers

     

    Read Philippians 1

     

    Philippians is packed with incredible truths. It is a book of Joy written by a Christ-follower from prison!! Paul, a world traveler, who seems to be constantly on the move, is now confined in prison. Yet, from there, he pens some of the great epistles, with this being one of them. 

     

    While there is a ton of incredible verses in chapter 1, let’s focus on verses 18 & 19, “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” 

     

    This verse unlocks the secret to abiding joy regardless of your circumstances. If your joy is based on what happens to you or what is going on around you, then your joy will be a slippery slope that usually ends up in the ditch. Everyone goes through their own “prison” times.  Paul was not only imprisoned falsely, but even those who were on his “team” sought to make him jealous! Some of his friends forgot about him, while others betrayed him. 

     

    Our joy is based on what drives us! Take that away and we will lose our joy. If your joy is rooted in your performance in sports, a broken bone ruins your joy. If your physical appearance, amount of possessions, etc., is the source of joy, then it is fragile. However, if your joy is based on a deep, intimate walk with Jesus Christ, nothing can take that away! 

     

    Paul writes, “I know that this (imprisonment) shall turn out for my DELIVERANCE...” He did not mean “salvation” or “freedom”, but that God would use his jail time to move him into a deeper walk with Jesus. Then he identifies two essentials for experiencing a deeper walk with Jesus during a trial. One is the prayers of other believers, as well as the provision of the Holy Spirit. 

     

    When we go through a trial, remember that God is using that trial to “deliver” you to a deeper walk with Him. He works through prayers and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Too often our prayers are “deliver me from this trial.”  Shouldn’t we be praying, “Use the trail to deliver me to a deeper walk with you”? 

     

    Application:

    Honestly assess the source of your joy. If it is anything other than knowing Him, ask God to change your heart.  ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Lord, thank you that your Spirit seeks to move me into a deeper walk with you during the trials of life. My King, I thank you that other believers are praying for me and you are working through their prayers.

     


  • September 3, 2019

     

    by Craig Bowers

     

    Read Philippians 2

     

    You cannot work for your salvation! You are saved by God’s grace through faith. However, please do not misunderstand a very basic biblical truth. When God saved you by His grace, He changed your heart. Chapter 1 teaches us that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ” (verse 6). God’s salvation is an inside job. However, you are to join God in working out what He worked in!

     

    Verse 12 states to “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” We are to have a reverence and soberness when we allow this heart change to permeate our habits, passions, thinking, and character. God started a work that only He could start. He changed our hearts when He saved us. Now we are to work with Him to “work out” what He started.

     

    We certainly cannot do that alone! The next verse says, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” You must depend on God’s grace to empower you in this work. It is not your work. You are joining Him in His work in you. But your attitude toward this is key. You join Him in this work with a spirit of reverence for who is at work in you - the very creator of the universe. You also have a spirit of fear. Not a scared kind of fear, but a sobering, healthy fear that is rooted in deep respect.

     

    Application:
    What part of God’s project in you do you need to join Him in working?
    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________


    Prayer:

    Holy Father, may I see the privilege of joining you in the incredible work of transforming my life into the image of Christ.



  • September 4, 2019

     

    by Craig Bowers

     

    Read Philippians 3

     

    The source of joy is our relationship with Jesus Christ. Chapter 1 teaches us that even in the most challenging circumstances, we have joy because it is the platform God uses to facilitate a deeper walk with Him. Chapter 2 teaches us that we have the joy of working with God in the “work” He started in us. Now, in chapter 3, we see another key to joy – the Balance Sheet.

     

    Most of us keep an unofficial “balance sheet.”  It gauges how we are doing! Included on it are our finances, relationships, accomplishments, possessions, health, etc.  If your joy is rooted in being ahead in those areas, you will certainly have little joy. However, Paul addresses the balance sheet of his life. All of his accomplishments, relationships, possessions, position of power, and prestige are “rubbish” compared to “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (verse 8).

     

    At the end of the day, think about your trials, losses, and whatever else you may put on your “balance sheet”.  IF the most important aspect of life is “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”, then you are going to experience tremendous JOY.

     

    Knowing Christ Jesus is not a simple act of trusting Him, although that is the beginning point. Knowing Christ is deeper and fuller than we can ever exhaust in this lifetime. Knowing Him means we experience the power of His resurrection. In other words, He defeated death, hell, and the grace!  We also know “the fellowship of His sufferings” (verse 10). That means we walk in His power as we constantly die to ourselves and release the things we hold on to so tightly. We hold tightly the things on our “balance sheet” that are important. He teaches us how to release them!

     

    Application:

    What is the status of your “balance sheet”?  

    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________


    Prayer:

    Christ, put in my heart a hunger to know you, the power of your resurrection, and the fellowship of your suffering! May all things, by comparison, be “rubbish.”

     



  • September 5, 2019                                                                                                

    by Craig Bowers


    Read Philippians 4

     

    Joy is not the absence of problems! Joy is the peace that only God gives in the middle of problems. However, He does not simply give you that supernatural peace just because you are His child. You must follow the instructions in verses 6 and 7. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

     

    The command is “do not worry!” Some think that it is a virtue to worry. However, it is really a lack of obedience. When we have problems, we are to simply seek God’s face, knowing that He rules from Heaven and will do what is best. However, when we seek to control everything, as though worry will actually control situations, then we exalt ourselves above the place of God.

     

    When we petition Him on behalf of what can be a source of “worry”, and leave it in His hands with a grateful heart – grateful that we can trust Him and He knows what is best, then we will experience the “peace of God.”  I believe this is one of the greatest challenges with which Christ Followers grapple. It is so much easier to worry than to trust. Worry puts me in control, although it is a deceptive control.  Yet, I can control how much I worry, and when I worry enough it may protect the situation. It is rather absurd, but we somehow think it is effective! The more I worry, the better the situation will become. How tragic! We are missing out on the “Peace” that our Father wants us to experience, because we would rather be in “control” by worrying.

     

    Application:

    What stresses you the most right now? Are you willing to release it to your loving, Heavenly Father, who is powerful enough to handle it? Will you agree with God that your worry is a sin, and repent? 
    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Father, not even a sparrow falls to the ground without your permission. Yet there are times that I am captivated by worry. I confess to you that worry is a sin. You are trustworthy. May I release my “concerns”, and trust you to do what is best! I am so grateful that I have a heavenly Father who loves me and is trustworthy.

     



  • September 6, 2019

     

    by Craig Bowers

     

    Read Colossians 1

     

    How are we to pray for other Christ Followers? I must admit that too often, I focus on things other than the model prayer.  Jesus gave us the “Lord’s Prayer.” In addition, I believe we have in Colossians, a “Believer’s Intercessory Prayer.” It demonstrates HOW we are to pray for other Christ followers.

     

    Note verses 9-12.  We find at least 3 things that Paul constantly prayed for the believers in Colossae. So let’s pray for other Christ followers using this model. First, pray that they would know His will through wisdom and understanding (verse 9).  God’s wisdom allows us to have understanding. It is only possible to know God’s will by seeking His wisdom to discern and perceive correctly.

     

    Second, pray other Christ followers will live in a way that honors Jesus (verse 10). When we do that, we become far more sensitive about our own behavior. A life that honors Jesus “pleases Him in all respects”, and is productive, “bearing fruit in every good work.” We also honor Christ as we increase in our knowledge of Him.

     

    Third, we pray that members of our faith community will be “strengthened with all power” (verse 11).  His power is granted so that we stand firm. That means we are responsible and dependable. Our yes means yes, and our no means no. His power lengthens our fuse and give us a grateful heart!

     

    As you think about your prayers for other believers, will you include this model? Simply put, you could pray three things for other believers: to know God’s will, to honor God’s name, and to experience God’s power!

     

    Application:

    Will you begin praying this model prayer for other believers? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    My Lord and my King, as I engage in prayer on behalf of the faith community, may I intentionally pray that they will know your will, honor you, and experience your power.

     


  • September 9, 2019

     

    by Kevin Calhoun

     

    Read Colossians 2

     

    Paul often refers to living the Christian life as “walking in Him.” Notice these examples:

     

    “Walk in newness of life . . .” (Romans 6:4).

    “We walk by faith . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

    “Walk by the Spirit . . .” (Galatians 5:16).

    “Walk in love . . .” (Ephesians 5:2).

    “Walk as children of light . . .” (Ephesians 5:8).

     

    Now, in Colossians 2:6, we read, “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” How do we do that consistently? Paul provides us with four responses to this question in verses 6 and 7:

     

    1. We are to be firmly rooted in Him.  Root systems can be quite different among various plants and trees. Some will have very shallow roots that spread out just below the ground surface. Others have roots that go deeper and deeper as they develop.


    2. We are to be built up in Him.  A consistent Christian walk demands constant growth and development. We never stop growing in our faith.  Therefore, we are to be constantly reading and studying God’s Word.


    3. We are to be established in our faith. Not only do we need to know what we believe, we also need to know why we believe these truths. We need to daily build upon the foundation of our faith.


    4. We are to be overflowing with gratitude. The Christian life/walk is a constant walk of thanksgiving.

     

    Application:

    Describe your daily walk with Christ. 

    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________


    What steps can you take to walk more closely with Jesus?  
    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Lord Jesus, I give thanks today for those who have instructed me in my Christian faith. I pray I will seek to maintain a Christ-like walk in all I say and do. Amen!



  • September 10, 2019

     

    by Kevin Calhoun

     

    Read Colossians 3

    In our reading today Paul continues his thoughts of “walking in Christ” by telling us to “put on the new self.”  In verses 15-17 we find three teachings that speak to our new life in Christ.

     

    1. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . . and be thankful” (vs. 15).


    2. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you . . . singing with thankfulness” (vs. 16).


    3. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord, giving thanks through Him . . .” (vs. 17).

    Notice the call to thanksgiving in the verses. Christians, of all people, have reason to give thanks.  We have been redeemed. Because Jesus was raised from the tomb, we share in His resurrection through faith in Him.  My heart’s desire is to live for Him and give praise to Him for all He has done for me.

     

    I am reminded of the song “His Eye is on the Sparrow”:

     

    “Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?

    Why should my heart feel lonely? And long for heaven and home?

    When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is he,

    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.

     

    I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free,

    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”

     

    Application:

    List three people or gifts you are thankful for today.  ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    How can you share your thanksgiving with others today? 
    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Lord Jesus, I come to You today in a spirit of gratitude. I thank you for the blessings of family, friends, and faith. I pray my gratitude will be evident in my words and deeds today! Amen!

     


  • September 11, 2019

     

    by Kevin Calhoun

     

    Read Colossians 4

     

    As Paul closes his short letter to the Colossians, he leaves them with a number of words of advice and wisdom.

     

    1. “Devote yourselves to prayer . . .” (vs. 2).   As children of the Living God, we have access to Him through prayer in everything we experience.  He has promised to provide our every need.  He may not answer every prayer in the way we might ask, want, or anticipate, but God has promised He will provide.


    2. “Conduct yourself with wisdom toward outsiders . . .” (vs. 5).  I do not know about you, but I often find myself reacting to people and/or circumstances rather than seeking God’s will first.  This word of advice from Paul reminds me to slow down and not act in haste.


    3. “Let your speech always be with grace . . .” (vs. 6).  This is another passage that reminds me to slow down.  I often speak without thinking about the hurt I might cause.  It is important to remember to speak words that are edifying and gracious rather than words of anger or resentment.


    4. “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it,” (vs. 17).  When we turn to God by faith in Jesus, we receive a calling to follow Him in all things.  We are all called to minister to others.  Our roles may differ, but our calling is the same.

     

    Application:

    Which of the words of advice listed above speak to you today?
    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________

     

    List ways you can put these teachings into practice in the coming week. 
    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Lord Jesus, I pray I will think before I speak and act today.  I pray my words and deeds will bring glory to Your Name!  Amen!

     



  • September 12, 2019

     

    by Kevin Calhoun

     

    Read 1 Thessalonians 1

     

    Paul begins his letter to the Thessalonian Christians as he does his other letters. He identifies himself and his companions, he gives a word of greeting, and he offers words of thanksgiving for the Thessalonians.  Notice the three-fold thanksgiving Paul gives.

     

    When Paul acknowledges their “work of faith” he is referring to the living out of their faith on a daily basis. It is one thing to say we believe in Jesus.  It is quite another to bear witness to that faith in the things we say and do. The Thessalonian Christians were positive examples of those who bore witness to their faith through their lifestyle.

     

    Paul also mentions their “labor of love.”  In the same way they lived their faith, the Thessalonian believers demonstrated their love for others in their actions. John wrote in 1 John 3:18, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” Love is to be demonstrated in action.

     

    Paul also mentions their “steadfastness of hope.” Christian hope is not based upon things we wish would happen: “I hope you have a safe trip,” or “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” Christian hope is our assurance of victory through faith in Christ. We live each day in the promise of our hope in Jesus Christ.

     

    If the Apostle Paul were to write a letter to our/your church, for what would he give thanks?

     

    Application:

    List ways you demonstrate your faith in Christ each day? Where do you fall short?  
    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    List someone to whom you can show Christian love today? 
    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Lord Jesus, thank for the hope I have in You. Thank You for the promise of victory I have because You reign victorious over sin and Satan! Amen!

     



  • September 13, 2019

     

    by Kevin Calhoun

     

    Read 1 Thessalonians 2

     

    As I read this passage I picture Paul’s compassion for the Thessalonians.  It is obvious he loves them very much. In verse 8 he writes, “Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” This is a beautiful description of a loving and caring relationship between Paul and the Thessalonians.

     

    Paul writes of his “fond affection” for them and he mentions they had become “very dear” to him. Therefore, he had invested his life in them. It is here Paul reveals his heart for the Thessalonian believers.

     

    Reflecting on this verse makes me aware of why our church family is so important to me. Within our fellowship of believers I have relationships with many people. Each of these relationships is important to me as I share my life with others. You have ministered to my family and me in many circumstances (sickness, death, and discouragement). You have also rejoiced with us in times of celebration. 

     

    Being part of a church fellowship is a vital part of life. Through small group fellowships and Sunday School activities, I have come to know many of you in ways that would otherwise not be possible. I am certain the same is true for you. Imagine what life would be like without the joy we receive from significant relationships. 

     

    Application:

    Make a list of several people within our church family who are special to you. 
    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Consider ways you can express your thanks to them.  
    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Lord Jesus, thank you for placing me in a church family where love and fellowship abides. Lead me to be a loving and caring friend! Amen!

     



  • September 16, 2019


    by Jonathan Norton


    Read 1 Thessalonians 3


    In the first two chapters of 1 Thessalonians, Paul explained how the church was born and maturing. Now, starting in chapter 3, he was dealing with how the church was to stand during times of suffering and affliction. The two key words in this chapter are “encourage” (vs. 2), and “establish” (vs. 2 & 13). It is important for us to understand that Paul was not just an evangelist. He knew soul winning was only one part of his ministry. He also knew he had to teach and model for new believers to stay grounded in the Word to help them establish their faith.  Warren Weirsbe challenges believers with the statement, “We cannot lead someone else where we have not been ourselves, nor can we share what we do not possess”.

     

    How does Paul encourage the Thessalonians? He prays for them. First, he prays that their faith might mature (v.10). He understood that a faith that cannot be tested, is a faith that cannot be trusted. We must understand that God tries our faith, not to destroy it, but to develop it. Then, Paul prays that their love might abound (v. 12). And third, Paul prays for holiness of life (v. 13).

    Notice also that Paul’s prayers were “night and day – exceedingly or earnestly” (v.10). These were not occasional, or when time permitted prayers. Paul was committed to loving and praying for others, even in times of trials and persecution. God’s people often underestimate how much we can encourage others by living out our faith, praying daily, and openly sharing our own experiences of how faithful God is. Charles Stanley says, “The ministry of encouragement is indispensable, both to you and to the body of Christ”.   

     

    Application:

    Who might you encourage right now through your own maturing faith?___ _____________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Who has helped you grow the most spiritually?
    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________


    Prayer:

    Heavenly Father, thank you for other believers who have encouraged me and helped me establish my faith. Amen.       


  • September 17, 2019


    by Jonathan Norton


    Read 1 Thessalonians 4


    There are 2 verses and 1 passage in this chapter that I want to emphasize. First, Paul says in verse 2, “For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus”. The Greek word for instructions is a military term for commandment, or for orders handed down from an authority figure. It is important for us to remember that, as believers, we are all in God’s army. The Lord is our superior officer, and His Word is not suggestions, but commandments for us to follow.


    Verse 11 says: “To aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you”. This means that if we are truly living a spirit-filled Christian life, our lives should not be full of drama or disorder. Even when storms and adversity hits us, as Christians we should experience a quiet peace that can only come from the Lord.


    Lastly, in verses 13-18, Paul reminds the Thessalonians about the Second Coming of Christ. 1 & 2 Thessalonians contains more references to the Second Coming than any of the other New Testament letters, and for good reason when you think about what all was going on when Paul wrote these letters. He wrote these letters to encourage the church due to the persecution and death that they had experienced. These are two things all Christians will experience at some point in our lives. But we have a reason to be confident and comforted when we experience difficulty or a death of a loved one. Why? Because we have Jesus living inside us! And He is coming back one day! That should be enough to encourage all believers to live holy.


    Application:

    Like verse 18 says, how often are you encouraged or do you encourage others with the reminder of Jesus’ Second Coming?

    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________


    Prayer:

    Lord, thank you for your instructions and the encouragement we receive from your Word. May we study your Word to live a quiet, spirit filled life that honors you. Amen.


  • September 18, 2019


    by Jonathan Norton                                                 


    Read 1 Thessalonians 5

     

    In verse 1, Paul uses one of his favorite names for Christians – “Brethren”. He used this name 27 times in his letters to the

    Thessalonians. Why? Because Paul viewed the local church as a family. That brings about the question of “What are the essentials for having a thriving church family that is joyful and Holy Spirit led?”  Paul answers this question in verses 12-28.

     

    First, church families need strong leadership. All church leaders (staff and lay leaders), must be spirit filled, humble servants of God, who put the church’s needs above their own. Also, Paul tells us in verses 12 & 13 that the church body is to respect the leadership, and to appreciate them. As the result, the church family following the spiritual leaders will “bring peace among us” (v.13).         

     

    Second, verses 14 & 15 also describes a team like a partnership within the church.  In this partnership, we encourage each other, help those in need, demonstrate patience with one another, and seek to do good to everyone. There are many similarities of a team structure in the local church body. We have the Owner (Jesus), the General Manager (Holy Spirit), Head Coach (Pastor), Assistant Coaches (Staff), Captains (Lay Leaders), and the Body (Team). We all have our spiritual gifts, God given talents, roles, and responsibilities. And we must remember the team is counting on us to do our job well!

     

    Lastly, Paul instructs the church family to Worship in verses 16-28. He says Rejoice Always (v.16), Worship through Prayer (v. 17), Worship through the Word (vs. 19-21), Worship through Godly Living (vs. 22-24) and Worship through Christian Fellowship (vs. 25-28). For our church family, worship is one of the most important activities we can do. Our ministry must be a product of our heart for worship, otherwise it becomes just another busy activity without the power of God.            

            

    Application:

    List some of the responsibilities you have as a church member. ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    Jesus, may we remain faithful in praying for the brethren. Thank you for our church family. May everything we do be out of our heart to worship you. Amen.   

     


  • September 19, 2019              


    by  Jonathan Norton                               


    Read 2 Thessalonians 1


    If we remember back to 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12, Paul prayed for the Thessalonians, that their love for people would grow and overflow. Today in verse 3 of 2 Thessalonians 1, Paul gives thanks to God because their love is indeed growing. This is Paul giving thanks to God for answered prayer, and he is giving affirmation to his church family for their love. This convicted me by reminding me that we are usually quick to give prayer requests, but, too often, we are slow to report answers to prayers. When we fail to celebrate and report how God answers our prayers, we miss out on great opportunities to encourage others.

     

    A few months after Paul’s first encouraging letter arrived to the Thessalonians, the church was challenged with persecution, suffering, and false teaching among the church members. Paul closes 2 Thessalonians 1 with another prayer in verses 11-12. He knows the people are suffering, but notice that he does not pray for their suffering to be removed. Most of us want to pray for our friends and loved ones to have all of their hurt taken away. We pray for relief or rescue from trials. But trials do not make us what we are, they reveal what we are. They reveal whose we are. We do not become patient and persevering by reading self-help books or listening to messages. We have to suffer sometimes to learn to rely solely on God.

     

    I think Paul is challenging us to realize that the ultimate goal in life is to glorify God, not be happy. He, therefore, prays that the Thessalonians be made worthy to live lives of faith, power, and worthy of God’s calling. That calling is to be Kingdom people. And being a Kingdom person, Paul describes in Philippians 3:10, as someone who is able to share Christ through suffering.            

     

    Application:

    What does it take to praise God during difficult times?________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Name and describe someone you know who glorifies Christ, as Paul prayed the Thessalonians would.

    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:

    God, thank you for answered prayers. Thank you for trials that draw us closer to you. May we live lives worthy of your calling and glorify you Lord.  Amen


  • September 20, 2019                                                                                


    by Jonathan Norton


    Read 2 Thessalonians 2

     

    This is the fifth time Paul mentions the Second Coming of Christ in his letters to the Thessalonians. Why? Because the Thessalonians were shaken, disturbed, and alarmed (v. 2) by their persecution.  They thought the Day of the Lord had already come. The church at Thessalonica was thriving, but they were young. Therefore, some in the church were easily fooled by false teachers. This applies to the church today. We cannot allow the news of today to shake our faith in the Lord! Paul commands us to stand firm on the truth of God’s Word and hold to what we have been taught (v.15).   

     

    In verse 3, Paul gives all believers an important warning: “Let no one in any way deceive you”.  In today’s world of social media and television, it is easy for Christians to be fooled.  We cannot believe everything we read, just because it is considered a religious book or article, or even if it comes from a Christian bookstore. We should always compare everything we hear and read with what the Bible teaches. If we think biblically, we will be able to discern truth from fallacy.

     

    Paul closes this chapter with 2 verses that should give all Christians “Hope, Comfort, and Strength” (vs. 16-17).  He reminds us that God comforts us in our trials, not just to make us feel better, but so we will find strength and wisdom in Him to minister to others (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).           

     

    Application:

    Have you ever been deceived? If so, what lesson did you learn?  ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    How do you find comfort and strength in the Lord? ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________

     

     Prayer:

    Father God, thank you for the hope and comfort we have in your Word, and in knowing you are coming back. May we find strength and wisdom in your Word daily. Amen.  

     


  • September 23, 2019


    by JT Overby                                                                                              


    Read 2 Thessalonians 3

     

    We see in this chapter, the warning against idleness. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to be people who work and make good use of their time. Work can seem a very secular thing, something separate from our spiritual lives. But this is not how Paul, and not how Scripture views work.


    In fact, Adam and Eve were called to reflect God's glory and his good character by living their lives, ruling the earth, cultivating it, and working it for the glory of God. This was their sacred calling. An old monk, Brother Lawrence, once said that whether he was working the kitchen or scrubbing the toilets, he would do all for the love and glory of God.

     

    Why is work so important? God has placed us exactly where he wants us. There, we are to build relationships, love people, care for people, for the sake of us doing the most sacred work-- working to spread the Word of God, the good news of salvation (3:1). All of us are called to that work.  Let us do all we do, no matter how small, big, boring, or exciting it may be, for the glory of the Lord.

     

    Application:
    How do you view your work?  ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    Are you constantly looking ahead or for greener pastures?________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    How can you work for the glory of God exactly where you are?________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:
    God, thank you for work and the opportunity to live for you. Give us grace to build relationships with those around us so we can proclaim the gospel to them, for our good and your glory!

     


  • September 24, 2019


    by JT Overby


    Read 1 Timothy 1

     

    Why does God save any of us? We often make the mistake, when considering faith in Jesus, what benefits there are to us. And we should know and consider those benefits, they are a good thing! However, this can sometimes lead us to believe our salvation is all about us, and what we get out of it.


    We were saved for the same reasons Paul was-- that our salvation might display the patience, love, and grace of God, that others may see Him. Salvation is all about God, and that is actually a good thing for us! The world says life is all about us. Many Christians want to say that the faith is all about us, and so they make shipwreck of their faith when life gets hard, or even gets too good.


    Life in God and salvation all point to how amazing God is. In salvation, God sweeps us up into glorious relationship with Himself. He reconciles us so that we may be become His ambassadors to a people who remain His enemy.

     

    Application:
    How do you view your salvation? 

    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    Does your faith revolve around you and what God can do for you? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    How is your own testimony a picture of God's patience, love, and grace? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

     

    Prayer:
    God, forgive us for our self-centeredness. Thank you for sweeping us up into glorious relationship with yourself through the blood of Jesus. May He increase and we decrease!

     


  • September 25, 2019


    by JT Overby


    Read 1 Timothy 2


    We have one hope in life-- Jesus. He alone is the mediator between God the Father and man. There is no other way to come to Him. Life and salvation are found nowhere else. Our hope is found in Jesus. Those who are apart from God, dead in their sins, need Jesus.


    We live in a fallen and broken world. No government, no country, no people-group are perfect. It doesn't matter how moral they may be. Pharisees were moral people, but were separated from God. And so, we must pray.


    We must pray for the lost. We must pray for America, China, France, and any country and people-group we can. There are two types of people in the world-- those apart from Jesus and those in Jesus. The world needs more of Jesus.


    There are difficult statements in this chapter, some fit within the context of that culture, and some are for all Christians everywhere. If God is God, then He will contradict us at some point. We are imperfect! What is important is that we submit to Jesus and pray for more of Him.

     

    Application:
    How often do you pray for the lost all over the world? ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________

    How often do you pray for our government and the governments of the world? 

    ________________________________________________________________

    ________________________________________________________________


    Prayer:
    A prompt to guide your prayer-- Spend time praying for the lost around the world, for the government we must submit to, and also the governments all around the world that our brothers and sisters must submit to. Pray for the Gospel to spread with great power here and abroad


  • September 26, 2019


    by JT Overby


    Read 1 Timothy 3


    The mystery of godliness! We are the church, the gathering of the body of Jesus, our Christ. We are a group of people who have been delivered from slavery to sin, and the flesh through the Anointed one, Jesus Christ. God Himself, put on flesh and came to deliver us, rescue us, and reconcile us to Himself. We were dead in our sins and trespasses, but He came and made us alive. 


    As people redeemed and made alive by the grace of God, our leaders and servants must strive for that same Christ-likeness. As Pastor Mark Dever put it, what stands out about the qualifications for elders (overseer) and deacons is how unremarkable the qualifications are. These qualifications reflect Christ-likeness. They are qualities we should all seek to grow in, whether called by the church to serve in these areas or not. 

    In fact, Paul goes so far to say that someone who aspires to these offices, desires a noble task. So, are we praying for leaders to actually want to lead? Are we praying for leaders who excel in these qualifications? Are we praying for leaders who reflect Christ-like character and self-sacrificing love for the church? Are we praying for the protection and preservation of the leaders God has already blessed us with?

     

    Application:
    Spend time in prayer for leaders at Wynnbrook, from the blessed saint who runs the slides during worship, to the Sunday School teacher of 4- year old children, all the way to the pastor.

     

    Prayer:
    What a blessing it is for all of us to serve and lead in your church. Thank you for saving us into a family. Give me grace to love and pray for the church and its leaders in a way that honors You.



  • September 27, 2019


    by JT Overby


    Read 1 Timothy 4


    We live between Christ’s first-coming and His second-coming, and unfortunately experience a sadness that comes with it. We live in an age where liars walk the earth, perverting the truth of the gospel, leading many astray. We live in an age where many deceive themselves, thinking they know Jesus but still living in sin and death, serving a Lord and Savior that looks nothing like Jesus. What do we do? Pray. Pray for the lost, pray for the wayward, pray for the mouths of liars to be stopped, and for their repentance. 


    We do what Paul told Timothy to do. We persist in the truth, growing in the knowledge of the good doctrine, and train ourselves in godliness, not to earn God’s love, but in response to God’s saving love.


    We live in a dangerous age with an enemy that is desperate to destroy all who are in Jesus. We have no reason to fear. He who lives inside of us is greater than the enemy living in the world (1 John 4:4). May we persist, toil, and strive in and by the power and grace of God. The Spirit is inside of us, empowering us with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. He has sealed us! He will protect and perfect us in Christ! Let’s hold on to that truth.


    Application:

    In what areas of your life do you need to train yourself in godliness? 

    ________________________________________________________________


    ________________________________________________________________


    Spend time praying for your brothers and sisters, for their protection and perseverance in the faith.


    Prayer:

    Father, thank you for the grace you give us to persist in the faith. Protect us and keep us in Jesus by your Spirit!




  • September 30, 2019


    by Gary Reynolds


    Read 1 Timothy 5

     

    In this chapter, Paul continues to give Timothy, a young preacher, advice on how to best serve and treat the people of his church.

     

    First, he gives instruction on how to treat an older man. Paul is basically saying not to be harsh or impatient with the older men, to speak to them as you would your father, and treat younger men as your brothers. Paul goes on to say to treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women as your sister.

     

    Paul tells Timothy to basically treat your church as you would treat your family.  Even though these instructions are for a pastor to his church, what better way for each of us as Christians to learn how to treat one another.

     

    Now don’t get me wrong, I have seen some families that are completely unhealthy examples to follow in the way they treat each other, but that is not the norm. And.... we are really a family of believers.

     

    What a tremendous witness to the world we would be if we could learn to treat each other like family. Believe me, the world sees who we are, and how we act. And if they see that we cannot treat our own church family with honor and respect, how will we be able to reach those who need our Jesus?

     

    Prayer:

    Lord, help me to show and model Your grace to my family, and my brothers and sisters in Christ, so that the world sees Jesus in me!