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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB October 22

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Oct 22
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Jeremiah

Nada.

2 Timothy

1:6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. This concept in the NT is curious to me. As a believer with a conservative background, I have never seen this in operation or even taught about. Is this laying on of hands a requirement for being indwelled with a certain gift? Who must do the laying on of hands? If it's not necessary, why do they even mention it?

1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Hmm...where did mine go? Seriously, I need to learn how to live in the power, love, and discipline that I've been given!

1:8-9 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity... There are a lot of run on sentences in the NT, and this is no exception. Sheesh! Anyhow, back to the point. Isn't it interesting that one must SUFFER for the GOOD NEWS? Most people reading this would say, "Yeah, that is so sad that in those Muslim or Buddhist countries that Christians suffer for the Good News. But tha's not what I'm talkin' about. Once you learn and share the REALLY GOOD NEWS, you suffer for it in this country! And by the way, what's up with "from all eternity"? YLT accurately translates it: "before the times of the ages." This is about a plan of ages, don't forget!

1:11 ...for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. Just for fun, I looked up "preacher" in the Greek because this is somewhat of a newer word/concept. The word is "kerux" and means, "herald" or "messenger." Just a little fast factoid.

1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. There seems to be disagreement (between versions) if this verse should read, "what I have entrusted to Him," or "what He has entrusted to me." But since verse 14 is an exhortation to decidedly guard "what He has entrusted to you," I'm going to go with that definition. I suppose it would work either way, but the subject here is not about what we are entrusting to God, but what He has entrusted to us—whether our gifts from the laying on of hands or the declaring of the Gospel without shame or fear.

1:14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

1:18 NLT May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ's return. Let us compare to NAS: the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day... If you assume there is only one resurrection, you can safely translate this as NLT did. But knowing there are two resurrections, "on that day" could mean either day (Christ's return or His day of Judgment) as far as I can tell.

Psalm

90:1 (NAS) Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. This is such a cool thought! Even with all our limitations by sin, God has always found a way to dwell or tabernacle with men! First through the Ark of the Covenant, then through the Temple, then through Jesus, and at Pentecost within our very hearts! In the future, He will dwell with us on earth in fullness as we together become the whole Temple of God!

90:10 Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away. I believe the Psalmist is merely talking about our spirits going back to God, but I don't know for sure. Either way, I sure relate to the basic message!

90:12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.

90:13-17 (NAS selected) Do return, O LORD; how long will it be? And be sorry for Your servants. O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness [give us your manna!], that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, And the years we have seen evil. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. There are some critical differences in this text from NLT, some of which I have highlighted. But this along with the next chapter are reminders that God takes care of His true children in times of trouble, and He gives favor.

Chapter 91 (I believe) is a promise for the faithful servants of God in times of Tribulation (including future). We covered this awhile back when we put it together with another passage from Ezra or Nehemiah where it showed that the judgments of God during times of Tribulation will not come near His true servants. This was also shown during the exodus in Egypt when the Israelites did not incur any of the judgments that the Egyptians were afflicted by, including plagues or darkness. It is very comforting to know, since I do not believe in a pre-tribulation rapture.