Pray we and our children are disciples loving the Lord, People and the Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)

Pray We and Our Children are Disciples Loving the Lord, People and The Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)Praying Scripture SeriesPrepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church on Sunday, May 20, 2018 in Poland, OH

Okay, let’s have a quiz. Those that receive sermon notes can get ready to fill in the blanks.

Who can guess the following:

Books of Old Testament – 39. (Have these as blanks in the notes)

Books of New Testament – 27.

Total number of books – 66.

Chapters in Old Testament – 929.

Chapters in New Testament – 260.

Total number chapters – 1,189.

Verses in Old Testament – 33,214.

Verses in New Testament – 7,959.

Total number of verses – 41,173.

Words in Old Testament – 593,393.

Words in New Testament – 181,253.

Total number of words – 774,746.

Letters in Old Testament – 2,738,100.

Letters in New Testament – 838,380.

Total number of letters – 3,566,480.

The shortest chapter is Psalm 117.

What book, chapter and verse contains all the letters of the alphabet except

“j”? Ezra 7:21

Longest verse: Esther 8:9 is the longest verse.

Shortest Verse: John 11:35 is the shortest verse.

Fun fact:

There is no word more than six syllables in the Bible.

We are now in a new sermon series and I have thought about verses that I have been convicted to pray. These are passages and verses which God has convicted me to pray for myself, my children and my descendants.

I have been sitting in my office talking with people, and I think this has happened on repeated occasions, when they tell me about their children and they say something like, I am going to let them choose on their own which faith to follow. I don’t think it is right for me to pick Christianity for them!!! Now, you must know that up until this point the conversation was going very well, very well. They are agreeing that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. They are believing Scriptures like John 3:16, and John 14:6 Jesus says, I am the way the Truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except by Him. Now, how can you believe that and not want your kids to believe that? Do you realize what a contradiction and a lie that is? The first mistake here is that the father is called to be the spiritual leader of the home not the mother. Now, if you are a mother and the father is not, then maybe it falls to you. But the father is in sin and needs to repent. But fathers, let me tell you to go home and read Ephesians 5 and 6 and when you see that it says that you are to love your wives as Christ loved the church and submit to her and be devoted to her and then you are to be the spiritual leader of the home in this way you are to be the leader. Or, what about 1 Peter 3:7: You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. Now, I don’t want my prayers hindered, do you. So, men, we gotta straiten up and take our job as the spiritual leaders seriously.

Today, let’s talk about loving the Lord, loving others and His Word.

My theme and application:

Pray We and Our Children are Disciples Loving the Lord, People and The Word (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:1-5; Matthew 22:37-39)

Let’s read Matthew 22:37-39:

And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

  1. We must love the Lord with all of our being and love our neighbor as ourself.
    1. Let’s talk more about Matthew 22:37-39.
    2. My prayer is that we will live this passage. I pray this for you. I pray this for myself. I pray this for Mercedes and Abigail. I pray this for my descendants not yet born.
    3. I will pray like this: Lord, I pray that Mercedes and Abigail will live out Matthew 22:37-39 that they will love You and love their neighbor as themselves. I ask that we will remember from the parable of the good Samaritan that even our enemy is our neighbor (Luke 10).
    4. Now, I would love to take apart that passage more and so I will, just a little. If my prayer is that I live this passage and my children live out this passage then I should know the passage.
    5. In the previous verses Jesus is asked as a test what is the greatest commandment. That is in verses 34-36.
    6. In verse 34 it says that the Sadducees were silenced by Jesus. Jesus had such wise answers they could not trap Him. So, then they came with another question.
    7. They send a “lawyer” or a “religious lawyer” to trap Him. They wanted Him to choose a law.
    8. They wanted to trap Him.
    9. In verse 37 Jesus responds… It is interesting that Jesus did not have to respond. Jesus chose to respond. Why did Jesus respond?
    10. A question that I must ask, do I respond when questioned?
    11. Do I respond in a defensive way? It is really valuable to be able to respond without being aggressive. It is valuable and important to respond lovingly.
    12. In Luke 10:30-37 Jesus follow this up with the parable of the Good Samaritan. That was a different question during a different occasion. Still, the passage is truth that even our enemy is our neighbor.
    13. Matthew 22:37 is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:5 which we studied a few weeks ago.
    14. Verse 39 is a quote from Lev. 19:18.
    15. Again, I pray this become I believe we need God’s help to live this. I pray this passage because I believe it is in our interest to live this passage.
    16. Living this passage is God’s way and God’s way is best and our way is not.
    17. Living this passage, living God’s way is always best for society as well.
    18. We are to love the Lord our God with all of heart, all of our soul and all of our mind. Jesus used the word “mind” when Deut. 6:5 used the word “strength.”
    19. We are to love others. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We take care of ourselves and we must take care of our neighbor’s needs.
  2. We must love His Word.
    1. John Quincy Adams said: “I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once a year. My custom is to read four or five chapters every morning immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day. In what light soever we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”
    2. I have prayed something like the following, “Lord, I ask that Meagan and I, Mercedes and Abigail and all of our descendants will hold true to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. I ask that we will understand that all Scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, reproving, rebuking and training in righteousness so that they are thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
    3. However, loving the Word of God has been a conviction from other Scriptures too. Psalm 119:11 says: I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (ESV) I believe this passage is about memorizing the Bible, but more than memorizing, I think this passage is about making the Bible a part of me. The Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and so it must follow that if I make the Bible a part of me I am making God a part of me. Now, He already is a part of me in that when I received Him, I received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; see also John chapter 14-17), but as I make His Word a part of me, His character is becoming a part of me. It is not unlike a child working in the workshop with his father and then the child grows up and his father has died, but that child now a man, is working in the workshop hearing his father’s voice telling him exactly what to do. We, in making the Scriptures a part of us, can hear our Heavenly Father’s voice as we live from day-to-day. How did Jesus respond to temptation? He responded with the Scriptures (Matthew 4). He responded to the devil himself with the Scriptures!
    4. Prayer is also one of the most intimate activities we are involved in. I once heard a pastor say, “I won’t pray with a woman, who is not my wife, if it is just the two of us.” He said this because prayer is intimate. I once heard someone say, I think it was John MacArthur on his radio messages, “intimacy is into-me-see.” So, praying Scripture is powerful.
    5. We must pray Scripture, we must love the Word of God, we must value the Scriptures and we must submit to the Scriptures.
    6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Theologian killed by the Nazi’s in World War II. There is a great biography about him out right now. He was a brilliant man who would not cave to the Nazis. Many other German churches were going along with Hitler’s anti-Semitic comments but he would not. He was trying to organize churches that stayed true to Scripture. There was a time that he came to New York City to study. His impressions of our American church were not good.
      1. By this time Bonhoeffer is in his lower twenties and has almost, if not, completed his PhD. He wrote: “[The Union Students] talk a blue streak without the slightest foundation and with no evidence of any criteria… they are unfamiliar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, laugh at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.”
      2. On another occasion he wrote: “In New York they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life.”[1]
  • You see Bonhoeffer came to the U.S. soon after a pastor in New York City made some waves. His name was Harry Emerson Fosdick. Listen to what Eric Metaxis writes about him: Fosdick had been the pastor at New York’s First Presbyterian Church when in 1922 he preached an infamous sermon titled, ‘Shall the Fundamentalist Win?’ In it he laid out a kind of Apostles Creed in which he expressed his serious doubts about most of the historic assertions of the Christian faith, including the virgin birth, the resurrection, the divinity of Christ, the atonement, miracles, and the Bible as the Word of God. This sermon was the opening salvo in a battle that would rage particularly hotly through the 1920s and 1930s. The local presbytery immediately conducted an investigation, but as a son of the moneyed East Coast WASP establishment, Fosdick had little to fear. His defense was conducted by another establishment scion, John Foster Dulles , who would serve as Eisenhower’s secretary of state, and whose father was a well known liberal Prebyterian minister. Fosdick resigned before they could censure him, and he was given the pastorate of the fashionably progressive Park Avenue Baptist Church, where John D. Rockefeller was a prominent member and whose foundation’s philanthropic arm was run by Fosdick’s own brother. [2]
  1. When we start compromising Scripture that’s what happens. But the Bible teaches us to use the Bible to teach, correct, rebuke and instruct in godliness. Bonhoeffer came to America and his first impression was this mess with Fosdick. He thought we were all people who compromise Scripture. Ironic that usually, even then, it was the European churches that were known to compromise Scripture. But Bonhoeffer, even coming from Europe, saw what was going on in this church in New York City and didn’t like it.
  1. There is another Scripture which I have been convicted to pray which I wish to talk about today. 2 Timothy 2:15: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
  2. So, I will pray something like: Lord, I ask that myself, Meagan, Mercedes and Abigail and our descendants will live out 2 Timothy 2:15. I ask that we will all Be diligent to present ourselves approved to God as a workman or woman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
    1. By the way, it is okay to paraphrase the Bible.
    2. This passage is saying to be earnest as we work so that we can accurately handle the Word of Truth.
  • We as Christians must get into the Scriptures more and more.
  1. We must not compromise the Bible.
  2. We must live it. It is not enough to believe the Bible, we must live the Bible.
  3. We must study the Scriptures so that we “correctly handle the Word of Truth” as Paul said.

God’s ways our best. They are best for me, they are best for my family, they are best for us. I believe that. If I believe that I must pray that my descendants live and submit and surrender to God’s ways. First, I must pray that I do the same. God’s ways are found in His Word.

Swindoll shares:

The Bible can change not only a life but an entire lifestyle. Most of us have heard the story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, but few of us have heard how the Bible played a very vital part in that historical event. The Bounty was a British ship which set sail from England in 1787, bound for the South Seas. The idea was that those on board would spend some time among the islands, transplanting fruit-bearing and food-bearing trees, and doing other things to make some of the islands more habitable. After ten months of voyage, the Bounty arrived safely at its destination and for six months the officers and crew gave themselves to the duties placed upon them by their government.

         When the special task was completed, however, and the order came to embark again, the sailors rebelled. They had formed strong attachments for the native girls, and the climate and the ease of the South Sea island life was much to their liking. The result was mutiny on the Bounty, and the sailors placed Captain Bligh and a few loyal men adrift on an open boat. Captain Bligh, in an almost miraculous fashion, survived the ordeal, was rescued, and eventually arrived home in London to tell his story. An expedition was launched to punish the mutineers, and in due time fourteen of them were captured and paid the penalty under British law.

         But nine of the men had gone to another distant island. There they formed a colony. Perhaps there has never been a more degraded and debauched social life than that of that colony. They learned to distill whiskey from a native plant, and the whiskey as usual, along with other habits led to their ruin. Disease and murder took the lives of all the native men and all but one of the white men named Alexander Smith. He found himself the only man on the island, surrounded by a crowd of women and half-breed children. Alexander Smith found a Bible among the possessions of a dead sailor. The Bible was new to him. He had never read it before. He sat down and read it through. He believed it and he began to appropriate it. He wanted others to share in the benefits of the book, so he taught classes to the women and children, as he read to them and taught them the Scriptures.

         It was twenty years before a ship ever found that island, and when it did, a miniature Utopia was discovered. The people were living in decency, prosperity, harmony, and peace. There was nothing of crime, disease, immorality, and sanity, or illiteracy. How was it accomplished? By the reading, the believing, and the appropriating of the truth of God![3]

Pray the Scriptures.

Luke 9:23

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] Eric Metaxis. Bonhoeffer Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy.  Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, Tenn. 2010. (page 99)

[2] Ibid. page 102.

[3] Swindoll, Charles R. Read in Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN 1998. Pages 50-51. (referenced from Keith Miller, Edge of Adventures)

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