Monday, November 14, 2016

Obedience in the Best and Worst of Times

Photo by Jan (Arny) Messersmith
Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:10-12
Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me  Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Insights: This week we conclude what we intended to cover in the book of 2 Timothy.  Look at today’s verses and notice the descriptive words Paul used in verse ten.  They are words like teaching, conduct, purpose and so on.  It is safe to say Paul is reflecting on the best of times in his ministry.  There are times in which we have seasons of amazing grace and power by the Lord God.  In those moments we are bigger than life and we are able to accomplish much for God and His glory.  The problem is the verses do not stop with those positive words.  The verses go on to describe persecution and suffering.  Paul then began to list off three cities from his first missionary journey and things did not go well for Paul in those cities.  In the first city he was driven out.  In the second city Paul discovered a plot to stone him.  In the third city, they actually did stone him and they left him for dead outside the city.  If Paul had continued, then he would have come to the fourth city on that first missionary journey and we would have learned that it was during this portion of the journey that John Mark deserted him.  It is safe to say these cities and these words are descriptors of difficult and hard times.  Yet, we see Paul remaining stedfast and faithful.  In fact, he declaratively proclaims that all who serve the Lord will experiencing these dark days.  I think it is because in these dark days we get to taste in a very small measure what Jesus bore on the cross of Calvary.  May you choose to serve the Lord in the good and the bad times.

 1. What have been some of the best times in which you have served the Lord and what made them special?
 2. What have been some of the worst times in which you have served the Lord and what made them difficult?

Prayer: Father, may my service and worship of You not be dependent on the goodness of the moment, but rather, let me remain in intimacy with You.  Let my life be characterized by service no matter how good or bad the life situation.  All I ask is for You to receive glory however You deem necessary.  Amen.

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