Lesson 2 -- third quarter 2010
June 13, 2010
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Am I in line with the "first of all" in verse 1?
What kind of limits do I practice in my praying?
Quiet, peaceable, godly, honest -- does that describe the life I've chosen for myself?
For what purposes do I want such a life?
"Who will have all men to be saved..." (4) -- have I ever met the exception?
What does a woman (or man) adorned "with good works" (10) look like?
Have I ever met the exception to verse 11?
If I as a man and husband and father accept 1 Timothy 2:11-14, what responsibilities am I acknowledging?
"In like manner also...adorn themselves...with good works" (1 Timothy 2:8,9).
When I think of adornment, I think of a something intended to enhance eye appeal. So I think of decals on a vehicle or on a notebook. I might also think of suits, ties, sidewalk lights, jewelry, sunglasses, and belts.
(Disclaimer: I don't believe all these things are automatically wrong or always for adornment.)
So the idea that good works should be an adornment for Christians is interesting to me. Good works enhance the believer's appeal to the onlooker. Which raises two related questions:
However, thinking of good works merely as an adornment makes them sound optional and even unnecessary. Like decals. Or white letters on a tire.
Out of curiosity, I checked my Spanish Bible to see how it presents this concept. Instead of adorn it uses clothe. Hmm. When it comes to good works, Christianity is not a "clothing optional" spirituality!
Which raises a third question:
That's why I say, "Nobody should be beyond our prayers." When I become aware of my need to pray for a particular individual, I should pray. No matter who he is. No matter what she's said about me. No matter the state of our relationship. I must pray for that person. Period.
No matter who, no matter what -- purposefully find something for which to give thanks. Is this a call to feel thankful? No, it seems to be more of a call to give thanks, without regard to my feelings. I do believe, though, that giving thanks can eventually lead to feeling thankfulness.
Regarding some people, this takes more than a little bit of thought and effort. But I believe it can be done. I must decide today whether to practice that or not. I was at a bruising meeting last night and came home feeling brittle and betrayed. And I'm supposed to give thanks for that person? Somehow, yes.
So He calls on us to supplicate, pray, intercede, and give thanks for all men and for all in authority. Knowing God's vision, mission, and yearning should motivate us to action. If we don't know His heart, well, therein lies a clear way in which we ought to be praying for ourselves.
How clean are the hands I offer God? Do I dare come before Him, raising hands dripping with remains of the mud and manure I have flung at someone? Dare I lift up to Him hands drenched with the blood and gore of angry words and contentious attitudes?
This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Study, click here: Pleasing to God.
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