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Carrying It On..


"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well." 
Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We're so thankful to have our brothers and sisters from around the world here with us today.
Please know that we continue to pray for all of you, daily. We would also like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall submit your requests as well as join us in praying for others. We all need the fervent prayers of our brothers and sisters in this present day.

All believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit as a work of regeneration, therefore believers are obligated to serve according to the strength of the Spirit, they should not depend upon their own flesh as their source of strength.To do ministry in your strength, glorifies you, and to do ministry in the strength which God supplies, glorifies God. Since all believers have inside them the Holy Spirit, they should therefore exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
That's basic biblical knowledge, so I trust that you all understand that. In addition to fruit, they have a spiritual gift, which is a way in which the Spirit manifests Himself in the life of that believer for the common edification of the church. Now, we do not have time today, to go into all of these gifts, however, we have covered those a number of times previously, so you should know them. Just allow me to say, that since this is a gift from the Holy Spirit, it is not a talent, it is not earned, it is purely supernatural. This gift is the ability of the Holy Spirit, which is made manifest in the otherwise powerless life of a believer. Therefore, you don’t get to choose it. Gifts are given through the sovereign prerogative of God. 
Let us bow our heads.
Heavenly Father,
Father, Thank You for Your Word, we are so grateful for this truth and for those You have chosen to gather with us today. Lord, I pray that You would touch each heart, that each one would be greatly blessed by the message You have for us. Thank You, for calling us into Your service. What an overwhelming joy it is to serve You. Lord, help us to realize the accountability that we all have placed upon us to serve You, that we would serve You joyfully, with gratitude, for all that You've done for us. A debt which we can never repay.
In Jesus' name
Today's Message: Carrying It On..
I am always struck by the Apostle Paul's introductions in his letters, with the exception of Philippians, Thessalonians and Philemon. Paul always introduces himself as an Apostle. When I am typically communicating with people that I already know, I am not usually compelled to identify myself as a pastor, it is presumed that they already know that. So why would Paul find it to be necessary to emphasize that he is an Apostle, especially here, in his letter to Timothy, who has served with Paul extensively? Perhaps an examination of this inclusion would prove to be beneficial in our understanding of Paul's reasons.

Apostles are made, not born. In Paul's first letter to Timothy, he was on the road, he had left for Macedonia. In 3:14, Paul wrote "I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long;"
Mamertine Prison - BiblePlaces.comBy 66 A.D. Paul is in prison again. However, the circumstances are now very different from his first Roman imprisonment. During his first imprisonment, Paul was under house arrest, therefore, people could visit him freely, he had hope of eventual release. Now he is in a cold Roman cell, it is believed that he is the Mammertine prison. He has been abandoned by nearly everyone, and held no hope that he would be leaving his prison cell alive. What we have recorded here in II Timothy, are the final words of a dying man, who knows that his days are numbered. For this reason, many consider it his last will and testament. It is believed, that Paul was executed by beheading, in around 67 A.D., shortly after this letter. II Timothy is essentially the changing of the guard. Paul is passing on the torch of ministry to Timothy. Passing of the torch is symbolic. When one person fulfilled their duties and responsibilities,  those same duties and responsibilities were passed on to the next person and so on, until the work is completed. The passing of the torch, is one of the great spectacles of the Olympic games.

The Apostle Paul has now finished his turn carrying the torch of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In II Timothy 4:7, he says "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."
Paul's purpose in writing this letter, is to challenge young Timothy to stay the course, to persevere in the faith, to not give in or give up. However, I believe this letter serves as a reminder for everyone who is tempted to give up in the midst of whatever challenges they may be facing. It is a reminder to us all, that it is always too soon to quit!      
Paul’s confinement was not particularly worrisome in itself, however, matters had deteriorated in Ephesus where Timothy was pastoring. Hymenaeus, whom Paul had excommunicated, still irritated Paul, as he continued to perform his wicked deeds. Paul wrote out of deep concern for the congregation and under personal duress arising from his personal situation. Paul knew that he would soon be executed because of his faith, however, Paul does not fear death. He does fear dishonoring Jesus Christ, who redeemed him. Therefore, he asks Timothy to come, bring with him some clothing for warmth, but Paul especially wanted him to bring the parchments, copies of the Scriptures, that he had not been able to bring with him. We will never know in this life if Timothy and Mark were able to reach Rome before Paul was executed, however, we do know Paul's the request was made, nevertheless.
I imagine Paul had several reasons why he would have felt the need to identify himself as an Apostle in this letter. I believe, that it is highly probable, that though he was writing this letter to Timothy, Paul knew that his ultimately, the audience would one day be much broader. Therefore,it is conceivable that Paul knew that he was guided by the Spirit of God to pen a missive that would ultimately be included in the collection of biblical writings, that we now know as Scripture. However, I believe there must also be another reason that Paul felt it necessary to identify himself as an Apostle. I believe that one reason is, it will be helpful in establishing what it meant to be an Apostle of Christ. Paul is careful to stipulate that his apostleship is "by the will of God.' In other words, his appointment came from God , to serve in this particular position on behalf of Christ Jesus. 
We know that Jesus personally chose the Twelve during his earthly ministry. Throughout the Gospels, this group of men is identified as "the Twelve." This specifically chosen group by Christ the Lord, included Judah Iscariot. Such a choice by Christ should not be disturbing to the follower of Christ, because it magnifies the grace of God, Who permits even the wicked to come near that they might hear the message of life. However, if they so choose to reject the gift of life, though even standing in the very presence of the Son of God, then how great must be their condemnation! The fact that God did not immediately condemn them and sentence them, only further exalts His grace and mercy.
Peter led the remaining ten to seek God’s approval to appoint one other person in order to ensure a full complement as “"the Twelve." When there was dissension in the congregation about the distribution of benevolence, it was the Twelve, including Matthias who had been chosen to replace Judas, that called the congregation to order, insisting that they seek out men qualified to function as deacons, overseeing the distribution.
Paul begins verse 1 with his usual words of greeting, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus," After his greeting, Paul summarizes his instructions for Timothy in five concise statements.
However, masked by our English language, there seems another matter of considerable significance in Paul’s opening words. Paul emphasizes his apostleship as an appointment that precludes the incidents in life. In other words, Paul is in prison, facing death. He has been deserted by most and is forced to send others to conduct business in his place. Paul is saying that he held appointment by divine commissioning, it was "by the will of God." Paul wants Timothy to know that his imprisonment and even the death that he is facing are not accidents. Rather his incarceration and subsequent death are all part of his ambassadorship for Christ Jesus. 
Beloved, while there may be many incidents that occur in the life of a believer; there are no accidents. Everything, first passes through God's hands. The one who is sent by God to labor on His behalf is guided by His unseen hand. And, his life is guarded by One who does all things perfectly. God appoints us to salvation and equips us for a particular labor within the congregation, where He chooses to place us. Our lives as Christians are not to be viewed as accidental, but rather as consequential, of a divine appointment, ordained by God.
Therefore, whenever we find ourselves in a difficult situation, we can take comfort in the knowledge that is God's hand, which has guided us to this point and He will continue to direct our steps, until we finally arrive home. Let our lives give praise to His glory!
I believe that Paul speaks unambiguously directly to the preaching in this day. The authoritative tone is often absent among the churches today. Preachers often appear quite content to deliver appeasing sermonettes to Christianettes, as though pious platitudes and noxious elixirs will suffice to diminish the fears of saints facing the challenges of life. The man of God who is not content to give a religious lecture, but instead chooses to faithfully expound the Word of God, is indeed in the apostolic lineage. That man wears the apostolic mantle and wields the same authority parlayed by God who has given His Word. Though he is a prisoner, his words have divine sanction. Just so, the preacher who provides sound exposition of the Word speaks with divine sanction. 
Preachers need to realize the authoritative lineage in which they stand; each Christian who witnesses as we are charged to do must also speak with authority. Beloved, we have been given the charge to deliver the message of life! Therefore, I believe every Christian must stand boldly for the faith against the evil of today.
At the end of verse 1, he says "according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus." The promise of life begins at conversion and is fully realized at the return of Christ the Lord. There is life in Christ Jesus. Paul, in stating his purpose as an Apostle, he reveals the heart of his theology, "in Christ Jesus."  The  relationship between Christ and the one who trusts Him is unlike any other. By identifying with Him, we can see ourselves under His protection and authority, there by recognizing His presence in us.
Verses 3-4, "I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy." In verse 3, Paul reveals three things that characterized his life
as he comes to the end of his life; a thankful heart, a clear conscience, and a prayer filled life. What a way to end a life! What an example for Timothy and for all of us! What a motivation.
Then in verse 5, discloses Timothy's spiritual heritage. Spiritual heritage consists of those people who helped to lead us to Christ and all those people who have helped to mature in our faith. We owe them a debt of gratitude. "For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well." 
Here, Paul is reminding Timothy of the origin of his faith. We know from Scripture, Timothy’s spiritual heritage goes back at least two generations. His grandmother, Lois, came to faith in Christ and passed that heritage on to her daughter Eunice, who in turn passed in on to Timothy. 
Many people will speak of eternal life as being revealed at the return of Christ Jesus our Lord. However, the eternal life that we have received is a present possession. As Christians, we are not peddling some  "There'll be pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by, and when I die, it'll be alright!" kind of religion. What we offer through Jesus Christ, is a very present life; we do not have mere length of days, we have a new quality of life, life that defines the life we now share with the Living Savior.The child of God now possesses eternal life.This is the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus!
Best Inspirational Life Quotes 
In Closing...
If we were able truly to grab hold of this powerful truth, we would live every day without fear. It makes no difference to me, how well liked I am, or even disliked because of my messages, my life is the in Lord Jesus Christ. It is Him that I live for, He who lives in me, and if everything I have on this earth is lost, I have all that I need. And God continues to bless me with abundance.
Here is something every believer needs to understand, God's promise to give us life, is not dependent on our circumstances, it cannot be hampered by the particulars of this life.
I am speaking to someone to is facing terrible difficulties, someone whose heart has been shattered by a broken marriage or relationship, someone who lost their financial security, someone whose strength is fading, I want you to understand, you are not alone. It is always too soon to give up.
For the One Who has given us life, has promised also to sustain it.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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