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After appealing for qualities such as courage, willingness to suffer, and faithfulness in the life of a minister, (all Christians are ministers, servants) Paul borrowed images from daily life to illustrate the traits necessary for effective service. He pictures the effective minister in terms of a teacher (2:1-2), a soldier (2:3-4), an athlete (2:5), and a farmer (2:6).  He concluded with an appeal for Timothy to consider carefully the application of these images (2:7). Lea, Thomas D., Griffin, Hayne P. Jr., 1992, P.200)

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Sandra D. Wilson, PH.D., write in her book, "Hurt People Hurt People":Most of our adult life problems are the result of childhood solutions. In other words, something happened a long time ago that hurt us. We protected ourselves the only way we knew how.  But somewhere along the way to adulthood, our method stopped working. (1938; 2001, P. 85)

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The Apostle Paul often talked about the itinerant missionaries who were recognized by churches as constituting a distinct group among participants in the work of spreading the gospel (cf., e.g., Acts 14:4, 14; 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11; 1 Th. 2:7).

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The storms that come will test us all, and it is entirely possible one comes to you that will in failure before the wind and waves recede.  But the Spirit in the wind whispers the words of Jesus again, inserting your own name for Simon's: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail-- and even when you do.. that your faith may even grow stronger through your failure. (Martin, Jonathan; How to Survive a Shipwreck--Help is on the Way and Love is Already Here, Zondervan, (2016, P. 33))

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The first ambassadors of the resurrection message were the devoted women who were faithful to Jesus.  They gave the message to the eleven apostles who did not believe it! Did the apostles think that the women were deceived or delirious? Peter and John ran to examine the evidence (v. 12; John 20:1-18), but this left them bewildered.  What a difference it would have made had the believers only remembered and believed His promises! (Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbes expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 204).Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

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Jesus taught the the key to surviving suffering was to remain connected to God. If we allow God to remain with us in our suffering, no matter how bad it feels, we can mature through the difficult times.  The intolerable becomes tolerable if we do not have to endure it alone. (Baker, Mark W. Ph. D. Jesus the Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived.  Harper One, New York, NY 2007, P. 174)

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But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

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Betrayal is treachery, deception, and violated trust. It can appear as a broken promise, duplicity, lies, sexual affairs, and even affairs of the heart.  The injury is so great some people seen to never recover.

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4 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

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This book begins with a funeral and ends with a wedding! It opens with famine and closes with fullness! Ruth's love for her mother-in-law and her willingness to obey the Word brought her into joy and blessing.  The decision she made in Chapter 1 determined her future.  Had she gone back to her heathen way of life, she would have been heard of no more.  Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament (Ru 4). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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