October 28

Today's Bible Reading
       II Kings 9
       I Timothy 6
       Hosea 1
       Psalms 119:73-96
            “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness." (I Timothy 6: 11)
            In these final verses of Paul's first letter to young Timothy, he is giving him some things to flee, and some things to follow. These things are true for every Child of God, but especially for a man of God like Timothy. When a church leader falls into immorality or dishonesty, a church is hurt in a drastic way. Every believer, however, has a responsibility to live a life of purity and integrity as the Christian community seeks to be a bright light in a dark world.
            Paul has just exhorted Timothy to fleecorruptdoctrine(verse 3), contentiousdebate(verse 4-5), and carnaldesires(verses 6- 10).  God will not use a dirty pitcher to carry the Water of Life to thirsty souls for very long.  The first Gospel anyone ever receives is the Gospel they see written by our lives.
            Just as Paul tells Timothy that there are some things to flee from, he tells him there are some things to follow- to pursue. This is a pattern for every Child of God. He uses the words righteousness and godliness. These words combine to mean holiness. Never has there been a day that so cried out for the people of God to be holy as the day in which we live.
            If you examine the word holy in your concordance, I believe you will be brought to your knees. You will discover that we serve a holy God and He has appealed to you to be holy as He is holy (I Peter 1). It is difficult to find holy men and women in the pulpit or the pew today. I think one of the reasons for that is that there is a greater fear of man than our fear of God. God help us that the only thing we fear on this earth is sin and a Holy God. There is little the preacher will fear when holy, holy, holycharacterizes his life.
            Do you understand the worst thing about the lack of holiness, integrity, righteousness, and purity in the lives of preachers today? Remember David's sin? The worse thing about David's sin is recorded in II Samuel 12:14 – “However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” The worse thing about my sin is what it does to the cause of Christ. May God give us the tenacityof a Josephand the tendernessof an Ezra. May God give us a broken spirit that would cause us to cry out as Ezra did and said, “O, my God: I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.” (Ezra 9:6). A commitment to genuine holiness will produce three things in your life: A hatredtoward sin, a humilitytoward self, and a heartfor souls.
            Paul then recommends faith and love to Timothy. He is talking about an un-hypocritical faith and a genuine love. That always equals honesty. We need some old-fashioned honesty in the church of our day. Paul now exhorts Timothy to patience and gentleness. These are the two characteristics of a humbleperson.
            So Paul is exhorting Timothy to humility. When we get a proper view of the holiness of God, we will have the right view of ourselves. God will not share His glory with you, or with me, or with your favorite preacher. Godwillnotbeused. May God give us some men like Moses today who will hide themselves in the cleft of the rock while His Glory passes by. 
          May God give us some men like John the Baptist who said, ''I must decrease and He must increase. “It must not matter who gets the credit as long as God gets the glory.” There are no great men of God, only men of a great God!

            As you continue to pray for tent maker Christians who pay their own way, realize that in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries, this is the only way to find a place in the culture where you can be an effective witness. This is being done most effectively in China.  People who have certain specialties like doctors, nurses, paramedics, computer consultants, lecturers, teachers, engineers, agriculturists, and house servants are prime vocations to be used of God to become a part of a culture and to reach people who have never heard the Christian Gospel,. There will not be any missionaries there for some time to share it with them.