Ezra 8, Proverbs 6, Luke 14:25-35, 1 Timothy 4 1 Timothy 4: In this passage, Paul teaches Timothy – and us – what the nature of false teaching is and what is to be done about it. First, according to Paul, false teaching will occur in the last days. That is, in the time between Jesus’ first coming…

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Ezra 7, Proverbs 5, Luke 14:15-24, 1 Timothy 3:8-18 1 Timothy 3:8-18: Paul now describes the necessary qualifications for the role of deacons. Basically, they are similar to that which he described for an overseer with this important distinction: while an overseer must be able to teach, a deacon need only “keep hold of the deep truths of…

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Ezra 6, Proverbs 4, Luke 14:1-14, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 1 Timothy 3:1-7: The Bible reading program that we follow in our devotionals suggests that this reading goes to verse 10 (and then the next from verses 11 to 18). But the more natural way to divide this chapter is at verse 7 – see the “similarly” at verse…

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Ezra 4-5, Proverbs 3, Luke 13:22-35, 1 Timothy 2 1 Timothy 2: This chapter begins a section of Paul advising Timothy how he is to conduct worship in (as he calls it at the end of the section) “God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” To put it…

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Ezra 1-2, Proverbs 1, Luke 13:1-9, 1 Timothy 1:1-11  1 Timothy 1:1-11:  In this (and its companion letter 2 Timothy), Paul is writing to the young Timothy to give him specific instructions regarding how to shepherd the church under his care in the great ancient city of Ephesus. In particular, Timothy will need to correct the false teachers…

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In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” June 26-30 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month.…

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2 Kings 24-25, Psalm 122, Luke 7:1-10, Philippians 4:14-23 Philippians 4:14-23: Paul concludes this letter as he has begun with an emphasis on “partnership in the gospel” (compare Philippians 1:5 with 4:15). What is partnership in the gospel and why is he so joyful? Partnership in the gospel begins with a real spiritual encounter with…

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2 Kings 22-23, Psalm 121, Luke 6:43-49, Philippians 4:8-13 Philippians 4:8-13: Paul here gives the Philippians (and us) two great pieces of advice – one by means of exhortation and the other by means of personal example. His exhortation is simple: what is true (honorable, just, pure, lovely – he keeps on heaping up the…

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2 Kings 20-21, Psalm 120, Luke 6:37-42, Philippians 4:1-7 Philippians 4:1-7: Paul has given the Philippians a strong exhortation to Christian maturity and rejoicing in the Lord and continuing to strive for that which is heavenward for them in Christ Jesus. No resting on your laurels! How do you “stand firm in the Lord”? By…

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2 Kings 18-19, Psalm 119:169-176, Luke 6:27-36, Philippians 3:15-21   Philippians 3:15-21: Paul has been calling the Philippians to a life of joy, to rejoicing in the Lord, utilizing the examples of Timothy and Epaphroditus, and then his own example, to focus on heaven and strive towards heaven. Now he tells them even more explicitly…

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