A Good Servant of Christ Jesus (Banner of Truth) (Part 1 of 2)1 Timothy 4:6
The apostle Paul took Timothy under his wing and encouraged, taught, and counseled him in ministry. What expectations did Paul lay out for this young pastor? Hear the answer when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.
Humility, Happiness, Holiness
I will love him and manifest myself to him.John 14:21
The Lord Jesus gives special revelations of Himself to His people. Even if Scripture did not declare this, many of the children of God could testify to the truth of it from their own experience. They have had manifestations of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in a peculiar manner, such as no mere reading or hearing could afford.
In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased in a very special manner to speak to their souls and to unfold the wonders of His person; in this way their souls have been steeped in happiness, and they have thought themselves to be in heaven. Although they were not there, they were close to the threshold of it—for when Jesus manifests Himself to His people, it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun.
Special manifestations of Christ exercise a holy influence on the believer’s heart. One effect will be humility. If a man says, “I have had such-and-such spiritual communications, I am a great man,” he has never had any communion with Jesus at all; for “the LORD regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.”1 He does not need to come near the haughty to know them and will never give them any visits of love. Another effect will be happiness; for in God’s presence there are pleasures forevermore. Holiness will be sure to follow. A man who has no holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess a great deal; but we must not believe anyone unless we see that his actions agree with what he says. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked.”2 He will not bestow His favors upon the wicked, for He will neither cast away a perfect man, nor will He respect an evildoer. Thus there will be three effects of nearness to Jesus—humility, happiness, and holiness. May God give them to you, Christian!
1) Psalm 138:6
2) Galatians 6:7
C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.
Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.
Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, Good News Publishers.
1When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2And Israel vowed a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.”1 3And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.2
The Bronze Serpent
4From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9So Moses made a bronze3 serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
The Song of the Well
10And the people of Israel set out and camped in Oboth. 11And they set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the wilderness that is opposite Moab, toward the sunrise. 12From there they set out and camped in the Valley of Zered. 13From there they set out and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that extends from the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the Lord,
“Waheb in Suphah, and the valleys of the Arnon,
15and the slope of the valleys
that extends to the seat of Ar,
and leans to the border of Moab.”
16And from there they continued to Beer;4 that is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together, so that I may give them water.” 17Then Israel sang this song:
“Spring up, O well!—Sing to it!—
18the well that the princes made,
that the nobles of the people dug,
with the scepter and with their staffs.”
And from the wilderness they went on to Mattanah, 19and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab by the top of Pisgah that looks down on the desert.5
King Sihon Defeated
21Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22“Let me pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard. We will not drink the water of a well. We will go by the King's Highway until we have passed through your territory.” 23But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his territory. He gathered all his people together and went out against Israel to the wilderness and came to Jahaz and fought against Israel. 24And Israel defeated him with the edge of the sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as to the Ammonites, for the border of the Ammonites was strong. 25And Israel took all these cities, and Israel settled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon. 27Therefore the ballad singers say,
“Come to Heshbon, let it be built;
let the city of Sihon be established.
28For fire came out from Heshbon,
flame from the city of Sihon.
It devoured Ar of Moab,
and swallowed6 the heights of the Arnon.
29Woe to you, O Moab!
You are undone, O people of Chemosh!
He has made his sons fugitives,
and his daughters captives,
to an Amorite king, Sihon.
30So we overthrew them;
Heshbon, as far as Dibon, perished;
and we laid waste as far as Nophah;
fire spread as far as Medeba.”7
King Og Defeated
31Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. 32And Moses sent to spy out Jazer, and they captured its villages and dispossessed the Amorites who were there. 33Then they turned and went up by the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 34But the Lord said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand, and all his people, and his land. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.” 35So they defeated him and his sons and all his people, until he had no survivor left. And they possessed his land.
He Will Tread Down Our Foes
To the choirmaster: according to Shushan Eduth. A Miktam1 of David; for instruction; when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return struck down twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt.
1O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
you have been angry; oh, restore us.
2You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open;
repair its breaches, for it totters.
3You have made your people see hard things;
you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.
4You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
that they may flee to it from the bow.2 Selah
5That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer us!
6God has spoken in his holiness:3
“With exultation I will divide up Shechem
and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
7Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet;
Judah is my scepter.
8Moab is my washbasin;
upon Edom I cast my shoe;
over Philistia I shout in triumph.”4
9Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
10Have you not rejected us, O God?
You do not go forth, O God, with our armies.
11Oh, grant us help against the foe,
for vain is the salvation of man!
12With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.
Lead Me to the Rock
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David.
1Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
2from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
3for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
4Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
5For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
6Prolong the life of the king;
may his years endure to all generations!
7May he be enthroned forever before God;
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
8So will I ever sing praises to your name,
as I perform my vows day after day.
Judgment on Arrogant Assyria
5Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger;
the staff in their hands is my fury!
6Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7But he does not so intend,
and his heart does not so think;
but it is in his heart to destroy,
and to cut off nations not a few;
8for he says:
“Are not my commanders all kings?
9Is not Calno like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
as I have done to Samaria and her images?”
12When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he1 will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. 13For he says:
“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
I remove the boundaries of peoples,
and plunder their treasures;
like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.
14My hand has found like a nest
the wealth of the peoples;
and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,
so I have gathered all the earth;
and there was none that moved a wing
or opened the mouth or chirped.”
15Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,
or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?
As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,
or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16Therefore the Lord God of hosts
will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
like the burning of fire.
17The light of Israel will become a fire,
and his Holy One a flame,
and it will burn and devour
his thorns and briers in one day.
18The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land
the Lord will destroy, both soul and body,
and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
that a child can write them down.
The Remnant of Israel Will Return
20In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. 23For the Lord God of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.
24Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did. 25For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. 26And the Lord of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt. 27And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.”2
28He has come to Aiath;
he has passed through Migron;
at Michmash he stores his baggage;
29they have crossed over the pass;
at Geba they lodge for the night;
Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim!
Give attention, O Laishah!
O poor Anathoth!
31Madmenah is in flight;
the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.
32This very day he will halt at Nob;
he will shake his fist
at the mount of the daughter of Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.
33Behold, the Lord God of hosts
will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
the great in height will be hewn down,
and the lofty will be brought low.
34He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe,
and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.
Warning Against Worldliness
1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions1 are at war within you?2 2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4You adulterous people!3 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
11Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.4 The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Boasting About Tomorrow
13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.
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