Friday, June 16, 2017

Reflection - Key lessons learned from 2 Timothy

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Chapter 14, Question 1, Page 192.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


What are the key lessons learned from 2 Timothy?
PHOTO: What are the key lessons learned from 2 Timothy?
  • Paul's deep relationship with Jesus for us to do likewise
  • Live and led others into the Story of Jesus, one in which we can live and dwell securely and faithfully
  • Study God's Word and teach it faithfully, and be God's useful holy instrument
  • Serve in a Christlike manner with Christlike character and in Christlike ministry
  • Always sought to be useful to our Lord and to meet our human needs legitimately and simply
  • Keep the faith to the end, in spite of all temptations and obstacles
  • Find answers to challenging thoughts about the direction and destiny of our own lives
  • We can only be successful according to God's terms if He is with our spirits and His grace touches our lives
Picture posted by Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch on 17 April 2017 - The Book of Life
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https://billmuehlenberg.com/2017/04/17/security-falling-away-book-life/



What are the key lessons learned from 2 Timothy? Share some of your ideas that have been strengthened, and others that have been corrected.

What are the key lessons learned from 2 Timothy? [1]
Paul's deep relationship with Jesus for us to do likewise
In his last known epistle, Paul, the extraordinary missionary to the Gentiles, left a poignant (touching) account of the most important matters in life. In an intensely personal letter to his protégé Timothy, Paul left to the younger man the great gospel of Jesus for which he had spent his life travelling, preaching, and suffering. At the heart of it was Paul's relationship with Jesus. From the day he met the risen Lord, Paul was united with Jesus as marked by his baptism (Romans 6). The Story of Jesus became his story, and the rest of his life was lived in that great Story. Paul realised that this Story has ancient and eternal roots. He could trace its development in Scripture and the history of his people. It culminates (reach a climax or point of highest development) and finds sharp focus in the life, death, resurrection, ascension and return of Jesus. Paul was convinced about the absolute authority of Jesus as the Son of God, the absolute sufficiency of Jesus the Lamb of God who gave his life as a ransom for the salvation of mankind, and the absolute certainty and hope that Christ will return as Judge and King.



Paul's deep relationship with Jesus for us to do likewise
PHOTO: Paul's deep relationship with Jesus for us to do likewise
From the day he met the risen Lord, Paul was united with Jesus as marked by his baptism (Romans 6). The Story of Jesus became his story, and the rest of his life was lived in that great Story. Paul was convinced about the absolute authority of Jesus as the Son of God, the absolute sufficiency of Jesus the Lamb of God who gave his life as a ransom for the salvation of mankind, and the absolute certainty and hope that Christ will return as Judge and King.
Picture posted by admin on 29 October 2016 at 10:42 am - Christ appears to St Paul on the road
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-du-Fh5gVDHo/WUNXzEPbBUI/AAAAAAAAnMY/xz-Y7ToDpf0IuOWP2MH_6CWrO87Znwe4gCLcBGAs/s1600/bgv..ynrt_.jpg
http://sakurajadehouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/bgv..ynrt_.jpg
http://sakurajadehouse.com/?p=43913



Live and led others into the Story of Jesus, one in which we can live and dwell securely and faithfully
Paul urged Timothy to live faithfully in that Story as well, by reminding him of how the Story had taken hold of his own forebears and his own family. Timothy was to live in that Story and ensure that others are led into that same Story. He is to pass on that Story - that the Gospel Story, not just a story to be told, but one in which we can live and dwell securely and faithfully.



Live and led others into the Story of Jesus, one in which we can live and dwell securely and faithfully
PHOTO: Live and led others into the Story of Jesus, one in which we can live and dwell securely and faithfully
Timothy was to live in the Gospel Story and ensure that others are led into that same Story. The Gospel Story, not just a story to be told, but one in which we can live and dwell securely and faithfully.
Painting by H. O. Richards
Picture posted by Goodsalt.com - Paul and Timothy

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Study God's Word and teach it faithfully, and be God's useful holy instrument
When we are united with Christ in this way, then we can be useful to Him. Paul urged Timothy to spare nothing in his pursuit of Christ and His gospel ministry. As a totally committed soldier who was loyal to his commander, Timothy was to let nothing distract him from the will of Christ. As a disciplined athlete who ran according to the rules in order to win. Timothy was urged to spare no effort in running the race well. As a diligent and hardworking farmer, Timothy was to keep working faithfully in his pastoral ministry, not quitting or giving up hope, but always trusting God. As a careful craftsman, Timothy was to study God's Word and teach it faithfully, especially amid the false teachers who were infecting the church. As he sought holiness, he would be a holy instrument in the hands of the Lord, of much use to Him. Paul himself had demonstrated this, and was a good example for Timothy.



Study God's Word and teach it faithfully, and be God's useful holy instrument
PHOTO: Study God's Word and teach it faithfully, and be God's useful holy instrument
As a careful craftsman, Timothy was to study God's Word and teach it faithfully, especially amid the false teachers who were infecting the church. As he sought holiness, he would be a holy instrument in the hands of the Lord, of much use to Him.
Picture posted by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
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https://assetsnffrgf-a.akamaihd.net/assets/m/1102012161/univ/art/1102012161_univ_cnt_2_xl.jpg
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/jehovahs-will/jehovahs-witnesses-governing-body/



Serve in a Christlike manner with Christlike character and in Christlike ministry
Even as the last days roll on in ever coarser human behaviour, Timothy was not to lose heart but learn how to live and serve in a Christlike manner. Christlike character and Christlike ministry are much needed in our day. Too often, the coarse and terrible world has been allowed to infect the church through powerful forces at work in media and popular culture. We do well to return to God's inspired Word, which will teach, rebuke, correct, and train us in righteousness. We must recognise that as we seek to remain faithful, we will be persecuted in various ways and we will have to suffer. But suffering itself strengthens character and ministry, as Paul exemplified and as he urged Timothy to remember. Whatever happens, we must never leave the path of Jesus, because it is He who will truly bless us and bring us home.



Serve in a Christlike manner with Christlike character and in Christlike ministry
PHOTO: Serve in a Christlike manner with Christlike character and in Christlike ministry
Christlike character and Christlike ministry are much needed in our day. The coarse and terrible world has been allowed to infect the church through powerful forces at work in media and popular culture. We do well to return to God's inspired Word, which will teach, rebuke, correct, and train us in righteousness. Whatever happens, we must never leave the path of Jesus, because it is He who will truly bless us and bring us home.
Picture posted by Lynn Hopkins @lovelynn51
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http://www.imgrum.org/user/lovelynn51/243966739/1294164739890408014_243966739



Always sought to be useful to our Lord and to meet our human needs legitimately and simply
Paul ended his life on a great note of poignant triumph. His circumstances were not good in the eyes of the world, but Paul followed a different drumbeat. Even as a prisoner, he saw the purpose of God and sought to be useful to his Lord. His passion to proclaim Christ and to make Him known was not chained or defeated by adversity, prison or an impending death sentence. Paul was not a superhuman and so he had human needs - physical, intellectual, social, and emotional, which he sought to meet legitimately and simply. These needs were all gathered around the central spiritual need to know and be known by Christ. To this end, Paul succeeded by the grace of God, and at the lonely end of his life, he was blessed with the sure presence of Christ, even as he anticipated the glory of being welcomed into the presence of the King when he died.



Always sought to be useful to our Lord and to meet our human needs legitimately and simply
PHOTO: Always sought to be useful to our Lord and to meet our human needs legitimately and simply
Even as a prisoner, he saw the purpose of God and sought to be useful to his Lord. His passion to proclaim Christ and to make Him known was not chained or defeated by adversity, prison or an impending death sentence. Paul was not a superhuman and so he had human needs - physical, intellectual, social, and emotional, which he sought to meet legitimately and simply.
Picture posted by Steve Thomason.
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https://www.stevethomason.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/2-timothy.gif
https://www.stevethomason.net/studies/the-bible-bookshelf/pauls-letters/2-timothy/



Keep the faith to the end, in spite of all temptations and obstacles
Paul could truly say that he had fought the good fight without holding back, he had run the race with all his strength, and he had kept the faith in spite of all temptations and obstacles. He was faithful to the end, and urged Timothy to do likewise. We who read and meditate on Paul's final epistle are also challenged to do the same. It is easy to be distracted in a world that is rushing into destruction with most of the human race not realising it. People are busy pursuing a significance that is not enduring, a happiness that is elusive, and a peace that is absent in the world.



Keep the faith to the end, in spite of all temptations and obstacles
PHOTO: Keep the faith to the end, in spite of all temptations and obstacles
Paul had fought the good fight without holding back, he had run the race with all his strength, and he had kept the faith in spite of all temptations and obstacles. He was faithful to the end, and urged Timothy to do likewise. We who read and meditate on Paul's final epistle are also challenged to do the same. People are rushing into destruction, busy pursuing a significance that is not enduring, a happiness that is elusive, and a peace that is absent in the world.
Picture posted by  ANA QUEIROZ@aneomaraqueiroz on 02 February 2017
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Find answers to challenging thoughts about the direction and destiny of our own lives
We are challenged to think about the direction and destiny of our own lives. How would we like the end of our lives to be? How would it be for you and for me? Are we in the Story of Jesus or are we in the many faulty and futile stories in the world? Are we being useful to the King of kings or are we wasting our lifetime in something transient and puny when measured against eternity? Are we being caught up in the moods, manners, and motives of this darkening world? Or are we shining out with the character and ministry of Jesus? Can we recognise Jesus who stands with us or are we ignorant or careless about His presence? Do we anticipate being welcomed into His presence? Will there be something to show in our lives that will demonstrate that we had indeed been faithful all the way, to the end? What should we do to ensure that our end glorifies God? Is there anything neglected? To be corrected? To be strengthened? To let go of? To take hold of?


Have a purpose bigger than yourself
PHOTO: Find answers to challenging thoughts about the direction and destiny of our own lives
When trials and hardships come you’ll be reminded why you are pushing forward: your purpose. We love God and other people (Matthew 22:37-39) that’s why we will keep on serving Him and reaching out to other people.
Picture posted by HYPATIE on 26 February 2011 at 08:23AM, HELLO LADY CALIMERO
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http://pordosol.p.o.pic.centerblog.net/7a160uaz.jpg
http://www.atoute.org/n/forum/showthread.php?t=130751&page=12
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/06/reflection-pauls-biblical-accounts.html



We can only be successful according to God's terms if He is with our spirits and His grace touches our lives
These questions come to us from Paul's epistle and have to be answered in each of our hearts. The answers that are pleasing to the Lord must not be said with the lips but shown in our lives. The gospel is a treasure entrusted to us. We must guard it faithfully, suffer for it patiently, continue in it steadfastly, and proclaim it widely. We can only be successful according to God's terms if He is with our spirits and His grace touches our lives. This is how Paul ended his epistle: "The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you" (2 Timothy 4:22). The spirit must be nurtured by Word and Spirit for the Lord to be present with it. Grace can be received in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1) when we ignore or reject it, but when we respond to the abounding grace of God, we are not only deeply and thoroughly transformed, but we will also be abounding with good works for the glory of God (2 Corinthians 9:8). How wonderful it would be if each of us would end our earthly race in the celestial city as graced people who had been faithful to the end.


Paul held a biblical balance and poise that emphasises both the sovereignty of God's gracious choice of those who are saved as well as the need for believers to respond to that grace and to act responsibly.
PHOTO: We can only be successful according to God's terms if He is with our spirits and His grace touches our lives
This is how Paul ended his epistle: "The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you" (
2 Timothy 4:22).
Paul held a biblical balance and poise that emphasises both the sovereignty of God's gracious choice of those who are saved as well as the need for believers to respond to that grace and to act responsibly. God is at work in us to enable us to choose and act, but at the same time he urged his readers to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
Painting by Jerry Gadamus, Angel of Peace
Posted by WildlifePrints.com

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http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/11/reflection-biblical-balance.html



Share some of your ideas that have been strengthened, and others that have been corrected.
We can obtain our ideas from answering the questions that come to us from Paul's epistle and have to be answered in each of our hearts. They are challenging and it affects the direction and destiny of our own lives. For me, all the questions brings out my serious weakness that needs to be corrected and strengthened in order to be a fruitful disciple of Christ.

How would we like the end of our lives to be? How would it be for you and for me? What should we do to ensure that our end glorifies God?
The world often provides answers measured in terms of wealth, influence, achievements, and power; but, the Bible shows us otherwise. The Bible's answer is that one is truly successful if he has lived life faithfully for Christ, loving and obeying Him. This are further strengthened by the promise of our Lord who will welcome us home. The verdict belongs to Christ who will welcome us, His servants with "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21, 23) and "come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).

We would like at the end of our lives to have or accomplish the following. [2]

  • Built our relationship with Christ
  • Lived a life faithfully for Christ, loving and obeying Him
  • Know that our Lord will bring us safely to His kingdom and that He would have the final word and verdict on our life
  • Able to say with all conviction and joy: "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7)
  • Have a glorious homecoming welcome by our Lord
What can we do to ensure that we will end our lives in a God-pleasing / glorifies God way? [2]
  • Watch our life and doctrine closely
  • Use every ounce of our energy to the faithful preaching of the gospel
  • Have a holistic Christian discipleship - by having a healthy and holy life, lived holistically and well
  • Make relationship with Jesus the central experience

How would we like the end of our life to be?
PHOTO: How would we like the end of our life to be?

  • Built our relationship with Christ
  • Lived a life faithfully for Christ, loving and obeying Him
  • Know that our Lord will bring us safely to His kingdom and that He would have the final word and verdict on our life
  • Able to say with all conviction and joy: "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7)
  • Have a glorious homecoming welcome by our Lord
What can we do to ensure that we will end our lives in a God-pleasing way?
  • Watch our life and doctrine closely
  • Use every ounce of our energy to the faithful preaching of the gospel
  • Have a holistic Christian discipleship - by having a healthy and holy life, lived holistically and well
  • Make relationship with Jesus the central experience
Picture posted by Gladwood on 12 June 2016 at 14:13
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http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/04/reflection-end-of-life.html



Are we in the Story of Jesus or are we in the many faulty and futile stories in the world?
Paul states: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." (2 Timothy 3:2-5)

Our own attitudes, motives and conduct in the Last Days describe how we are functioning in this world. [3] We are  in the Story of Jesus or are we in the many faulty and futile stories in the world. After reflecting myself with regards to the 19 characteristics mentioned by Paul, I feel that I need to correct my attitudes, motives and conduct because they are not going in the direction of the Story of Jesus but rather being caught up in the many faulty and futile stories in the world. The following explains why it is so.

Although there is the passion to repent and trust the Lord, from the normal day activities it show that my trust in the Lord is still negligible - almost none. My faith in the Lord is still so tiny. For example, I am still worrying about the financial situation giving that our household income is now more limited as I am out of job with poor health. I worry that we will not have enough money to pay for all the medical bills. I worry about money matter to keep our daily activities going. I do not want to be in the category of "lovers of money", but I do need a legitimate amount of money to survive.

I worry about my failing health, poor eye sights, irregular heart beats, poor organs (kidney) functions, high potassium in the body and muscle-aches. Some days I feel very tired and is in no mood to generate a happy environment. At times I feel that I cannot make it to God's favourable side because of my "self-love", poor conducts, and poor "self-control" in many matters.

I did not attend church service and neither did I evangelise. For over twenty years after I stopped going to church, I haven't find the courage to go back to church again. Every weekend I am feeling uncomfortable because I did not venture into any activity that is related to the Church. I am afraid that I do not know how to behave and react while attending the service. I cannot sing and we have to sing hymns. Church service can last from 1½ to 2 hours, and most likely I would become inattentive because it is too long for me now.

It will be very stressful as a new member again, as there is the fear that the older members out of good-will will try to pull us into their group for further activities. It is good to feel welcomed and wanted, but uncomfortable and difficult to reject the well-meaning invitations and expectations. I keep on feeling lousy every weekend, and pray to God to understand and accept my failure to attend church. I do not want to be classified as "unholy" or "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power". I do want to led a life that is pleasing to God.

May God's grace descend upon us and grant us victory over these sins. I want to be in the Story of Jesus and not just in the many faulty and futile stories in the world. I too, would like to be welcomed gloriously and led home by our Lord Jesus Christ at the end of my life on earth.


Dear Lord, We commit ourselves to You and pray that You will free us from sins and self-love, and to give us victory. Please keep Satan away from us and help us to flee from him successfully. Please help and correct us so that we will do your will and led a life that is pleasing to You. Amen!
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, We commit ourselves to You and pray that You will free us from our sins and self-love, and to give us victory. Please keep Satan away from us and help us to flee from him successfully. Please help and correct us so that we will do your will and led a life that is pleasing to You. Amen!"
Painting by Orazio Gentileschi - Mary Magdalene [1626-28]
Posted by ellingtoncoltrane on 12 June 2014

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https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2909/14380854406_144e1b59ec_o.jpg
http://gandalfsgallery.blogspot.sg/2014/06/orazio-gentileschi-mary-magdalene-1626.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/04/reflection-attitudes-motives-and-conduct.html



Are we being useful to the King of kings or are we wasting our lifetime in something transient and puny when measured against eternity?
Martin Luther, the great reformer, challenged the medieval notion that true service for God was done only in the church and monastery. Only the priests and monks had true vocations. All the others involved in secular work were not serving God. On the contrary, Luther insisted that whether we serve in sacred or secular professions, whether in church or in the farm, we are all serving God. He taught that a cobbler should do as well as a preacher in church, because both acts are in accord with God's purpose and governance and bring glory to Him. What is important is to do all for the glory of God and to keep our eyes focused on our true Master, and to remain faithful to Him and His calling. [4]

I am not a public speaker, presenter, a pastor or priest. Under the medieval belief I am not in the true vocation that truly service for God as in the church and monastery. My jobs are always in the engineering related  industries and in the MNC (Multi-National Company). In my last jobs of seven years and middle-aged, I am just a junior tester, testing the functionality of prototype DVD (Digital Versatile Disc), BD (Blue-Ray Disc), CD, Audio and Home Theater player. I am involved in secular works that were not serving God. Fortunately Martin Luther insisted that whether in church or in the factory, we are all serving God. I believe, I and my working colleagues are doing something that are in accordance with God's purpose and governance. The church and the government are not against our company, products, work and workers. I also believe that we have followed the technological advances to create products that might be used in church or by church workers. In small little ways we could be bringing glory to God because of the benefits and contributions offered by the products of our work.

Most important of all, we still keep our eyes focused on our true Master, and to remain faithful to Him and His calling, although not in the perfect way. We are like the seeds that did not fall on good soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. We are the other seeds in The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13). We are in real need of the Lord's forgiveness and grace. We need to pray the following.
"Lord, I want to be useful to you, the Master – an instrument for noble purposes, prepared to do any good work. I want to seek your face, to bind myself to you. I dedicate myself to you again today.
May we as a church (and whether in a church or not) be useful to you, Lord. May we be a community where people find kindness, faith, love and peace. May we bring the good news of Jesus to all those around, transforming our society and changing our world in the power of the Holy Spirit.
" [5]

Having studied in schools and institutions like everyone else, played and worked all through my younger days, and now in retirement, saying this prayer is my top priority and be useful to the King of kings instead of wasting my lifetime in something transient and puny when measured against eternity in heaven with our Lord. Base on personal efforts, I am still far away from being an useful, holy instrument consecrated and set apart for a particular purpose and used only for that purpose. Paul described this usefulness in 2 Timothy 2:21: "If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work" (emphasis added). That is why I need all the grace of God to accept and save me as I am still a dirty, blunt instrument incapable of doing any good work.


A cobbler should do as well as a preacher in church
PHOTO: A cobbler should do as well as a preacher in church
Picture of Carey in his workshop during his younger days.
William Carey (1761 – 1834) was born in 1761 into the humble family of Edmund and Elizabeth Carey in the village of Paulerspury, Northamptonshire. Raised with a spiritual background in the Church of England, with his father appointed the parish clerk and village schoolmaster, he was an inquisitive learner since young. His interests ranged from subjects such as the natural sciences to languages, in which he was said to have mastered Latin in his younger days through self-teaching.

Carey was apprenticed to a cobbler in a nearby village at the age of 14 with his father’s help. It was during this time when he left the Church of England to form a small Congregational church in Hackleton along with other like-minded members. He also mastered Greek during this time with the help of a local villager, a Greek grammar book and the Greek New Testament. . . . .

In 1786, Carey raised the need for all Christians to be involved in spreading the gospel to the world and not to remain within the comfort zones of their local churches . . . . . he argued the need for obedience to Jesus’ Great Commission to spread the gospel to every nation in the world . . . .

Later carey proceed to become a full-time pastor with successful establishment of the Particular Baptist Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Amongst the Heathen (later known as the Baptist Missionary Society or BMS) in October 1792.
Posted by James Ang, Christianity in India
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http://jamesmys.blogspot.sg/2012/06/father-of-modern-missions-william-carey.html
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/08/reflection-useful-to-lord.html



Are we being caught up in the moods, manners, and motives of this darkening world? Or are we shining out with the character and ministry of Jesus?
I have steeped (falling sharply) in our modern hedonistic (engaged in the pursuit of pleasure; sensually self-indulgent) culture and the spiritual principle of hard work is something that would be difficult to accept or follow.

No one becomes holy without hard work and diligent practice of Christian disciplines as a response to the grace of God. [4] But by the grace of God I have been prevented from falling into pleasures that are not legitimate in God's world. So far God brings me out and keeps me out of troubles.

I have ever mentor my juniors in work in the company but not as a mentor in relationship with Jesus Christ. I may have done ok (satisfactory but not especially good) in my work but is not shining out with the character and ministry of Jesus. I do not have the courage and tenacity (persistence) to pursue the task the Lord has given to His church. I can only create blogs to bring the good news of the gospel to others. And even then, the information are from books written by others or blogs posted and shared by other internet users. But I like to do it especially when illustrations are added to it.


The hedonistic pleasures
PHOTO: The hedonistic pleasures
This spiritual principle of hard work is something that people steeped
(falling sharply) in our hedonistic culture would find difficult to accept or follow.
Picture posted by The Enchanted Sleeper on 14 October 2011, Birth of Venus, Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl
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http://enchantedsleeper.tumblr.com/image/100048230071 - (tumblr_ndd9k9Naso1qd42nao1_1280.jpg)

http://enchantedsleeper.tumblr.com/post/100048230071
http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/08/reflection-useful-to-lord.html



Can we recognise Jesus who stands with us or are we ignorant or careless about His presence? Do we anticipate being welcomed into His presence?
From Cindi McMenamin's "7 Ways to Sense God's Presence" stressed on having faith in God. Scripture says without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). We shouldn't have to feel God to know He's there. [7] Robert M. Solomon in his book, "Faithful to the end" explains how Saint Paul because of his faith in God experienced God's presence, purpose, and promises as he faced death. Paul's testimonial can be found in this posting. This friendship with Jesus does not happen automatically or accidentally. It is only possible by the grace of God and is based on God's promises. We not only felt the Lord's presence just as He had promised; but also felt strengthen as we faced the darkness surrounding us. [6]


Paul knew that while no human being would be able to walk with him into death, his Lord would surely go with him.
PHOTO: Paul knew that while no human being would be able to walk with him into death, his Lord would surely go with him. His Lord who had died and was raised would personally guide him safely through death and usher him into the eternal kingdom in the presence of God. He may die soon, but whatever happened, he could trust his Lord. Even if he were put to death, he knew that his Lord would not abandon him, but would walk through death with him. (Psalm 23:4)
Picture posted by Psalms About Death Quotes
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http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/03/reflection-gods-presence-purpose-and.html



If we are ignorant or careless about His presence, we should make attempts using the ways to Sense God's Presence. By doing as explained by Cindi McMenamin, we not only can sense His presence but also anticipate being welcomed into His presence, through God's promise. For more information see her posting here. An adaptation of her posting is also available. [8] The following are the brief points from her posting.

  • God has promised He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We can be assured of His constant presence whether we are struggling with a painful situation or just too busy to notice He is near.
  • Sometimes we can't sense God's presence because there's something blocking the communication between us. He hasn't left, but our sensitivity to His presence might be affected by unconfessed sin in our life. Come Clean with Him.
  • When we audibly speak God's inspired Word,  we will sense its power and His presence. So read the Scripture Aloud. We will be aware of its weight or prick our heart through conviction, inspiration, or determination.
  • Sometimes we feel closer to God when we're in a church service, singing hymns or praise songs. Sing Him a Love Song and we'll  sense His presence, probably because we're no longer focused on ourself, but on Him.
  • Scripture says there is power in the name of Jesus. Say His Name, because "Salvation  is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). As the Source calm our soul, we will sense the power of His presence and His peace.
  • Say a Breath Prayer because the simplest of cries are the ones that penetrate His heart -- and ours -- the quickest.
  • Exercise brings our body, mind and heart to life. Get outside. Take a Walk. Move around, confess to Him what's on our heart and let Him waken us up, spiritually.
  • Sometimes we can't sense God's presence because there's too much of everything else going on. Too much noise, traffic, confusion and anxiety. Center our mind on Him and start to Breathe Deeply. Exhale the distracting thoughts. Inhale a desire to sense His presence. "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10).

Dear Lord, Please forgive my sins so that there is nothing blocking the communication between us.
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, Please forgive my sins so that there is nothing blocking the communication between us.
We pray for Your help to remember to read the Scripture aloud so that we will be aware of its weight or prick our heart through conviction, inspiration, or determination.
Help us to sing to You a love song so that we can feel closer to You, and feel Your presence. Also by singing to You we're no longer focused on ourself, but on You.
Scripture says there is power in the name of Jesus. As our Source of calming our soul, we pray that we will sense the power of Your presence and Your peace when we say Your name.
Let our prayers penetrate Your heart and ours quickly.
Please enable us to exercise to bring our body, mind and heart to life. Make us get outside to take a walk and confess to You what's on our heart so that You would waken us up, spiritually.
We pray that we led a healthy holistic life that is quiet and pleasing to You without too much noise, traffic, confusion and anxiety. Help us to center our mind on You by breathing deeply. To exhale the distracting thoughts and inhale a desire to develop a deep sense of Your presence.
Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
"
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http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/03/reflection-gods-presence-purpose-and_9.html



Will there be something to show in our lives that will demonstrate that we had indeed been faithful all the way, to the end?
I do not have anything significant to show that I have indeed been faithful all the way to the end. But maybe the following may be helpful for my salvation.

  • Baptised in an army Christian church in a foreign country
  • Read the Bible and some religion supplements
  • Pray to God through Jesus Christ regularly
  • Give some small donations but did not give the required tithes (one tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the Church and clergy)
  • Create blogs / postings to share the good news on the internet
  • Try to keep focus on God and make Him the center of my life experience
This portfolio is not impressive and I have to work very hard to populate it as a resume to God.


We can only be successful according to God's terms if He is with our spirits and His grace touches our lives.
PHOTO: We can only be successful according to God's terms if He is with our spirits and His grace touches our lives. These questions come to us from Paul's epistle and have to be answered in each of our hearts. The answers that are pleasing to the Lord must not be said with the lips but shown in our lives.
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PHOTO: We can only be successful according to God's terms if He is with our spirits and His grace touches our lives. How wonderful it would be if each of us would end our earthly race in the celestial city as graced people who had been faithful to the end.
Artwork by James Taylor (concept art and creative advertising firm) - Human Metaformosis
Picture posted by Hidden mana on 31 August 2016

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Is there anything neglected? To be corrected? To be strengthened? To let go of? To take hold of?
Reading, studying and answering the questions from the book by Robert M. Solomon, "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, increases my understanding and appreciation of the missions and teaching of Paul. I have benefited from it. I wish everybody else can also discover what is important instead of wasting our lifetime in something transient and puny when measured against eternity. I know that by the grace of God it is possible because God has promised He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

There are many things that were generally taken for granted and neglected, like the blessing, provision, guidance and protection from God. We need them, especially in this world which is more concern about wealth and status.

I have yet to strengthen my efforts in attending church and do the ministry of Christ. I need to correct my poor performance, if any in this area. I pray that God will forgive me and all of us who are not doing what is pleasing to Him.

There is one thing which I have to let go of, and that is worrying about having insufficient money and poor financing situation. In fact worrying by itself is futile to the problems. It is the act of God that can sustain or change our life for the better, among other important things.

I therefore need to take hold of the offer to be save by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. My most important need is to have strong faith and trust in God for a glorious welcome home by our Lord (at the end of my life). For me, my family, friends, relatives, ex-colleagues, neighbours, PCN's users, uncles and aunties, and the rest of the world.

I pray that through our Lord Jesus Christ all of us will be granted the inheritance in heaven as promised. It is not only me who has this wish but Jesus too ask for the same from his Father before dying for us (John 17:24). Whatever He ask, will be confirmed received (Matthew 7:7). So how do we know whether we belong to Him or not? Seek Him and you will find Him! (Matthew 7:7). He promised whoever goes to Him, He will never drive away (John 6:37).


God gives us strength to endure, not escape
PHOTO: God gives us strength to endure, not escape
So this is what I pray for: not a guarantee of happiness, but the strength to endure. The strength to go on when I feel like I can’t take another step. The strength to trust when I am filled with doubt and fear. The strength to stand firm when everything in me is crying out to give in. The strength to bear my responsibilities cheerfully and well, not with bitterness or grumbling resignation. The strength to persevere in the faith to the end. The strength to rejoice, even as I mourn. The strength to seek God’s face, to find my security in him.
Text posted by Jean Williams on 27 November, 2013
http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/2013/11/gods-gifts-in-suffering-6-god-gives-us-strength-to-endure-not-escape/

Picture posted by Erik Kieser, Fearmastery Blog
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https://fearmastery.wordpress.com/tag/depression/
 
Reflection - Key lessons learned from 2 Timothy
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012




Reference
[1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright © 2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART FOUR: FAITHFUL TO THE END, Chapter 14 "Conclusion: A Continuing Challenge", Page 189-192.

[2] Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012, Reflection - End of life, posted on Sunday, 30 April 2017,  http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/04/reflection-end-of-life.html

[3] Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012, Reflection - Attitudes, Motives and Conduct, posted on Thursday, 07 April 2016, http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/04/reflection-attitudes-motives-and-conduct.html

[4] Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012, Reflection - Useful to the Lord, posted on Saturday, August 15, 2015, http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/08/reflection-useful-to-lord.html

[5] Twenty-Five Ways to Be Useful to God, posted by HTB Church on 23 October 2014,

[6] Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012, Reflection - God's presence, purpose and promises - 1, How did Paul experience God's presence, purpose, and promises as he faced death?, posted on Tuesday, 07 March 2017, http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/03/reflection-gods-presence-purpose-and.html

[7] Cindi McMenamin, 7 Ways to Sense God's Presence, Publication on 5 July 2012,

[8] Adaptation from Cindi McMenamin, Reflection - God's presence, purpose and promises - 2, How can we develop a deep sense of God's presence?, posted on Thursday, March 9, 2017, http://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2017/03/reflection-gods-presence-purpose-and_9.html

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