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May 11, 2022

JUDGES 14-15:
Yesterday we heard the conclusion of Jephthah's six years as a judge of Israel. Then we heard briefly of three more judges, and then about the miracles preceding the birth of Samson.

This psalm is one appropriate at any time and to anyone. There are hidden nuggets of spiritual gold here— deep truths that are worth digging for.

Yesterday in the final chapter of Galatians, Paul continued what he was saying (from chapter 5) about the contrast between being led by God's Spirit versus allowing our sinful natures to lead us. And Paul returned to something he said in chapter two, explaining the figure of being crucified with Christ. It means being so much in union with Christ as to consider ourselves dead to this world. Paul had marks on his body that were much more valuable than circumcision, and those were the scars he had gained as a representative of Christ.

Today we turn to Paul’s first letter to Timothy. This contrasts with the letter we have just finished in that it is personal correspondence written to Paul’s disciple. Timothy was so dear to Paul that he considered him a son. Paul had given Timothy— who was still a young man, the task of shepherding the church at Ephesus. This book is important for the personal advice, for personal insight given about Paul, for insight into church leadership, and for the sound teachings for us to follow.

GNT Translation notes:

Ps. 85:2 [CEV You have forgiven the sin
and taken away the guilt
of your people.//
You have forgiven your people's sins
and pardoned all their wrongs.]
3 [CEV Your fierce anger is no longer
aimed at us.//You stopped being angry with them
and held back your furious rage.]
8 I am listening to what [You, O Lord God are//the Lord God is] saying;
You promise//he promises] peace to us, [your//his] own people,
if we do not go back to our foolish ways.
9 Surely [You are//he is] ready to save [us//those] who honor [You//him],
and [your//his] saving presence will remain in our land.
11 [CEV Loyalty will sprout
from the ground;
justice will look down
from the sky above.
//Human loyalty will reach up from the earth,
and God's righteousness will look down from heaven.]
12 [You, O Lord//The Lord] will make us prosperous,
and our land will produce rich harvests.
13 [Righteousness is like a path spread out before You, Lord—
And that is the road You will always follow.
//Righteousness will go before the Lord
and prepare the path for him.


1Tim. 1:2 [To Timothy. You are like my own dear son because we share the same true beliefs.//To Timothy, my true son in the faith:]

May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.

4 Tell them to give up those legends and those long lists of ancestors, which only produce arguments; they do not serve God's plan, which is known by [believing (sound teachings/God’s Word)//faith].

5 The purpose of this order is to arouse the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and [(sincerely) believing in true teaching (without pretending/hypocrisy)//a genuine faith].

13 even though in the past I spoke evil of him and persecuted and insulted him. But God was merciful to me because I did not yet [believe in the Lord//have faith] and so did not know what I was doing.

14 And our Lord poured out his abundant grace on me and [enabled me to believe in Him//gave me the faith] and [to love all who are joined//love which are ours] in union with Christ Jesus.

18 Timothy, my [son//child], I entrust to you this command, which is in accordance with the words of prophecy spoken in the past about you. Use those words as weapons in order to fight well,

19 and [to keep on believing in true teaching//keep your faith] and [to live with] a clear conscience. Some people have not listened to their conscience and [have wrecked their minds so that they are no longer able to believe in true teaching//have made a ruin of their faith].