Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience

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Read Through The New Testament in just 8 weeks with the NLT Bible and Immerse: Messiah
QUICK START GUIDE
3 ways to get the most out of your experience
  1. Use Immerse: Messiah instead of your regular chapter-and-verse Bible. This special reader’s edition restores the Bible to its natural simplicity and beauty by removing chapter and verse numbers and other historical additions. Letters look like letters, songs look like
    songs, and the original literary structures are visible in each book. 
  2. Commit to making this a community experience. Immerse is designed for groups to encounter large portions of the Bible together
    for 8 weeks—more like a book club, less like a Bible study. By meeting every week in small groups and discussing what you read in open, honest conversations, you and your community can come together to be transformed through an authentic experience with the Scriptures.
  3. Aim to understand the big story. Read through “The Stories and the Story” (p. 483) to see how the books of the Bible work together
    to tell God’s story of his creation’s restoration. As you read through Immerse: Messiah, rather than ask, “How do I fit God into my busy life?” begin asking, “How can I join in God’s great plan by living out my part in his story?”
4 Questions to get your conversations started:
  1. What stood out to you this week?
  2. Was there anything confusing or troubling?
  3. Did anything make you think differently about God?
  4. How might this change the way we live?
Part of NLT Immerse: The Reading Bible, Complete Set, the Winner of the 2022 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year!
Messiah is the first of six volumes of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience program. Messiah takes the reader on a new and unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each part of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together combine to provide the reader with enjoyable and impactful readings all centered on Jesus. The end result is a Bible developed for the purpose of being read and understood, not referred to. Messiah is a new way to interact with God’s Word.
Messiah delivers Scripture to the reader as it was originally created: without chapter or verse breaks. While references are made available for ease of finding specific Scripture references, those references do not appear within the actual text of Scripture. This makes for uninterrupted reading of God’s Word. Created with the look and feel of a paperback book, and written using the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, the most readable translation available, Messiah enables you to easily read and understand the Bible.

Currently featured in the Saddleback Church "Anchored Life Challenge." To join the challenge and read through the New Testament in 8 weeks, join at https://saddleback.com/anchored

What is Immerse: Messiah – 8 Week Bible Reading Experience?

Read (and listen!) through the New Testament in 8 weeks with your small group or on your own.

Immerse: Messiah is the first of six volumes in Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience. Messiah takes the reader on a unique journey through every book of the New Testament. Each section of Messiah begins with one of the Gospels, and together they combine to provide a life-changing reading experience centered on Jesus. This fresh arrangement of the books highlights the depth of the New Testament’s fourfold witness to Jesus the Messiah. The Son of God, who fulfills all the longings and promises of the collected Scriptures, can be experienced in Messiah through the rich variety of lenses provided by the books of the new covenant.

The Immerse Bible Series is the proud winner of the prestigious Bible of the Year award from the ECPA Christian Book Awards. Immerse: The Reading Bible is specially crafted for a distraction-free listening and reading experience, helping you dive in and get immersed in Scripture. You’ll have a great experience using Immerse by yourself. But for an even richer experience, try reading with friends.

Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience is an invitation to a different kind of community interaction with the Bible. Less like a Bible study, more like a book club.

- 8 or 16-week Bible listening plans take you through a large section of the Bible like the New Testament or the Torah
- Meet once a week for a free-flowing discussion about the text
- Wrestle with questions and celebrate ‘aha!’ moments together

Nothing impacts spiritual growth more than spending time in Scripture. Immerse removes many of the barriers that make Bible reading difficult and invites communities to become transformed together through the power of God’s word.

 Welcome to the saddleback church anchored life challenge which can also by found on the saddleback companion app or by purchasing the immerse messiah book from tyndale.

The anchored life challenge includes speakers such as Andy Wood, Rick Warren, and Stacie Wood. 

Immerse Messiah 19
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Stacie Wood: [00:00:00] Welcome to Immerse Messiah reading for week four, day 19.

Andy Wood: Immersed in Philippians, the believers in Philippi in the province of Macedonia, like the believers in Colossae, learned that Paul was in prison. So they also sent a messenger, a man named Epaphroditus, to bring a generous gift and to care for Paul. The Philippians later heard that Epaphroditus had become gravely ill, perhaps as a result of travel and caregiving, and no doubt a great deal of stress.

Andy Wood: They sent word to find out how he was doing and must have waited anxiously for news. Paul responded by sending them a messenger, Epaphroditus himself. Paul explained in his letter that God had mercy on Epaphroditus and healed him. Paul was now sending back his true brother, co worker, and fellow soldier, so the Philippians wouldn't [00:01:00] be concerned about him.

Andy Wood: If Epaphroditus needed further recovery. He could do so among friends now that he had completed his mission. In his letter to the Philippian church, Paul also thanks the Philippians for their gift, shares his latest news, draws some spiritual lessons from his experiences, And addresses some key issues in the church that Epaphroditus had reported.

Andy Wood: In the midst of all this, Paul weaves in the theme of being in Christ and the need to press on in joy and endurance until the day of Christ's return. Paul was especially close to the church in Philippi, and they had been steady in their friendship and support of Paul. So Paul's letter is warm, yet he acknowledges the hard realities and pressures that both he and the church in Philippi are facing.

Andy Wood: While Paul is in prison in Rome, the Philippians are following Christ in a challenging environment, a city inhabited by veteran Roman soldiers. Nonetheless, Paul's letter is filled [00:02:00] with words of confidence and hope, reminding the church that this very pressure leads to the spread of God's message. In Philippians, as in all of his letters except Galatians, Paul begins with a section of thanksgiving and prayer.

Andy Wood: Within this section, he introduces some of the key points of the letter, including his strong partnership with the Philippians and his desire that they continue to grow in knowledge and understanding. He expresses gratitude for their contribution to the spread of the gospel. Probably reflecting their generous financial support, which is explicitly mentioned at the end of the letter.

Andy Wood: As Paul begins the main section of the letter, he explains how the good news is spreading in spite of his imprisonment, even among the palace guard. That is, the emperor's personal bodyguard. He expresses contentment in the midst of his circumstances, desiring that his life would bring honor to Christ whether he lives or dies.

Andy Wood: In other words, [00:03:00] whether he is declared innocent and set free. or found guilty and executed. Paul reminds the Philippians that their true and primary citizenship is not with Rome, but with their king in heaven. While they await the return of their king, when all things will be brought under his control and believers will be raised from the dead, they are to live as God's new people in the world.

Andy Wood: They can do so by following the example of Christ, who did not take advantage of his high position, but humbled himself completely out of obedience to God. Jesus is the king because he was first the slave. Paul also counters those who, like the troublemakers in Galatia and those pressuring the Colossians, were telling Gentile believers in Philippi that they had to observe the Jewish law.

Andy Wood: Paul argues that such human efforts were unnecessary. Transcripts provided by Transcription Outsourcing, [00:04:00] LLC. All such credentials fail to compare with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus. Throughout the letter, Paul relays a strong note of joyfulness, both his own joy and his encouragement of joy in the Philippians, even in the face of fearful situations.

Andy Wood: God's message about the world's true Lord is going forward, even into the very heart of Caesar's empire. The

Rick Warren: Letter to the Philippians. This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God's holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the church leaders and deacons. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Every time I think of you, I give [00:05:00] thanks to my God.

Rick Warren: Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy. For you have been my partners in spreading the good news about Christ from the time you first heard it until now, and I am certain that God Who began the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Rick Warren: So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the good news. God knows how much I love you, and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

Rick Warren: I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the [00:06:00] day of Christ's return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation, the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ.

Rick Warren: For this will bring much glory and praise to God. And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the good news. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God's message without fear.

Rick Warren: It's true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry, but others preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the good news. Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish [00:07:00] ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.

Rick Warren: But that doesn't matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way. So I rejoice, and I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, This will lead to my deliverance. For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past.

Rick Warren: And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don't know which is better. I'm torn between two desires. I long to go and be with Christ, which would be [00:08:00] far better for me.

Rick Warren: But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live, knowing this. I'm convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what He is doing through me.

Rick Warren: Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the good news about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again, or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the good news.

Rick Warren: Don't be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved. Even by God Himself, for you have been given not only the [00:09:00] privilege of trusting in Christ, but also the privilege of suffering for Him. We are in this struggle together.

Rick Warren: You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from His love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Rick Warren: Don't be selfish. Don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

Rick Warren: [00:10:00] Instead, He gave up His divine privileges. He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor, and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue declare, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Rick Warren: Dear friends, You always followed my instructions when I was with you, and now that I'm away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what [00:11:00] pleases Him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.

Rick Warren: Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights. In a world full of crooked and perverse people, hold firmly to the word of life. Then, on the day of Christ's return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain, and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice, even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God.

Rick Warren: And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. I have no one else like Timothy, who [00:12:00] genuinely cares about your welfare.

Rick Warren: All the others care only for themselves, and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the good news. I hope to send him to you, just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon.

Rick Warren: Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. I am sending him because he has been longing to see you. And he was very distressed that you heard he was ill, and he certainly was ill. In fact, he almost died.

Rick Warren: But God had mercy on him, and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. So, I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad [00:13:00] to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. Welcome him in the Lord's love, and with great joy. And give him the honor that people like him deserve.

Rick Warren: For he risked his life for the work of Christ. And he was at the point of death, while doing for me what you couldn't do from far away. Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things. And I do it to safeguard your faith. Watch out for those dogs.

Rick Warren: Those people who do evil, those mutilators, who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort, if anyone could.

Rick Warren: Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own [00:14:00] efforts, I have even more. I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin, a real Hebrew, if there ever was one. I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.

Rick Warren: I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church, and as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Rick Warren: For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage. So that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law. Rather, I become righteous. Through [00:15:00] faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

Rick Warren: I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death. So that one way or another, I will experience the resurrection from the dead. I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things, or that I have already reached perfection, but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

Rick Warren: No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it. When I focus on this one thing, forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us. Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these [00:16:00] things.

Rick Warren: If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. Dear brothers and sisters, Pattern your lives after mine, And learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, And I say it again with tears in my eyes, That there are many whose conduct Shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.

Rick Warren: They are headed for destruction. Their God is their appetite. They brag about shameful things, And they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies, like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His [00:17:00] control.

Rick Warren: Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you. And long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work. Now, I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche, please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the good news.

Rick Warren: They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co workers. Whose names are written in the book of life. Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again, rejoice. Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything. Instead, [00:18:00] pray about everything.

Rick Warren: Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.

Rick Warren: Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me, everything you heard from me. And saw me doing, then the God of peace will be with you. How I praise the Lord that you're concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn't have the chance to help me.

Rick Warren: Not that I was ever in need, [00:19:00] for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty. Or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Rick Warren: Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help, when I first brought you the good news, and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent help more than once.

Rick Warren: I don't say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness. At the moment, I have all I need, and more. I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet smelling sacrifice that is [00:20:00] acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God, who takes care of me, will supply all your needs from His glorious riches.

Rick Warren: Which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now, all glory to God, our father, forever and ever. Amen. Give my greetings to each of God's holy people, all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings and all the rest of God's people send you greetings too. Especially those in Caesar's household.

Rick Warren: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit

Andy Wood: immersed in one Timothy. Timothy was the young associate Paul had counted [00:21:00] on for years. It was Timothy's visit and report that prompted Paul's first letter to the church in Thessalonica. And when Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, he sent Timothy to deliver the letter, affirming that Timothy was doing the Lord's work just as I am.

Andy Wood: Timothy had traveled with Paul. Stayed with him during his imprisonment, and continued to fulfill assignments for the Apostle like visiting the believers in Philippi. He was such a close and trusted colleague that five of Paul's letters in our New Testament are written in Timothy's name as well. But now Paul was writing to Timothy himself with instructions and encouragement for his most difficult assignment yet.

Andy Wood: As a missionary leader in the early church, Paul would travel, preach the good news, start churches, and then move on to new places. Unfortunately, others often came in behind him, disrupting the churches he had started. While Paul was in [00:22:00] prison, the church he had started in the strategic city of Ephesus was infiltrated by certain self appointed teachers.

Andy Wood: Like the false teachers in Corinth, they were discouraging believers from getting married and from eating certain foods. And like the false teachers in Colossae, they were encouraging speculation about myths and other so called spiritual practices. Furthermore, these teachers were also causing disruption in a number of other areas, including leadership in the church.

Andy Wood: Once Paul was released from prison, he investigated the situation in Ephesus. But he wasn't able to stay long because there were matters to attend to in other places as well. So he continued on into Macedonia, but left Timothy in Ephesus with a clear and simple mandate. Stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth.

Andy Wood: Shortly afterward, Paul sent Timothy a letter with more details, now known as First Timothy. This letter [00:23:00] alternates between giving instructions on how to address specific situations in Ephesus and giving charges, words of personal challenge, to Timothy himself. It's likely that Paul means for Timothy to read the instructions out loud to the church, but intends the personal charges for Timothy's own private encouragement.

Andy Wood: Timothy was probably no older than his mid thirties. Someone this young would not ordinarily be promoted to a position of leadership, but Paul tells him, don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Paul clearly believes that Timothy could help restore peace and order to that troubled community.

Andy Wood: As we prepare to read 1 Timothy, we should remind ourselves that the letters of the New Testament were written to specific churches and situations. They are meant, first and foremost, to address the needs of their original audiences. Our responsibility as good readers is to discover what these writings meant in their original [00:24:00] context and then consider their enduring message for us today.

Andy Wood: The church in Ephesus was troubled by disorder. In addition to the leadership challenges caused by the false teachers, they struggled with disruptive worship, how to care for widows, And divisions between wealthy and poor members. Paul refers to the church as the household of God and gives Timothy clear instructions on how to appoint and organize leaders in the community, which would have a positive impact on other issues as well.

Andy Wood: All of Paul's instructions are closely tied to the nature of the good news and its saving message. Paul is confident that the wayward believers can be restored. Indeed, as he summarizes, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I am the worst of them all. In closing, he reminds Timothy of his own responsibility as a teacher of the truth.

Andy Wood: Paul urges Timothy to make sure the believers are [00:25:00] constantly immersed in the scriptures. Until I get there, focus on reading the scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. The more the believers find their lives taken up into the great story of God and the salvation found in Jesus, the better they will pursue their own roles in that narrative of restoration and life.

Stacie Wood: The first letter to Timothy. This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is [00:26:00] contrary to the truth.

Stacie Wood: Don't let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don't help people live a life of faith in God. The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.

Stacie Wood: But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don't know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently. We know that the law is good when used correctly, for the law was not intended for people who do what is right.

Stacie Wood: It is for people who are lawless and rebellious. Who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother, or commit other murders. The law is for [00:27:00] people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious good news entrusted to me by our blessed God.

Stacie Wood: I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has given me strength to do His work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve Him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted His people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was.

Stacie Wood: He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I am the worst of them all. But God have mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners.[00:28:00]

Stacie Wood: Then others will realize that they too can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies. He alone is God. Amen. Timothy, my son. Here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier.

Stacie Wood: May they help you fight well in the Lord's battles. Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences. As a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan, so they might learn not to blaspheme God.

Stacie Wood: I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and [00:29:00] all who are in authority, so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives, marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God, our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth for There is one God, and one mediator who can reconcile God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus.

Stacie Wood: He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time, and I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I'm not exaggerating, just telling the truth. In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy, and I want women to be modest in their appearance.

Stacie Wood: They should wear decent and appropriate clothing, and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair, or by wearing gold, or pearls, [00:30:00] or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. Women should learn quietly and submissively.

Stacie Wood: Do not let women teach men nor have authority over them. Let them listen quietly. For God made Adam first, and afterward he made Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result. But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith.

Stacie Wood: Love, holiness, and modesty. This is a trustworthy saying. If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position. So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his [00:31:00] home, and he must be able to teach.

Stacie Wood: He must not be a heavy drinker, or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church? A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.

Stacie Wood: Also, people outside the church must speak well of him, so that he will not be disgraced, and fall into the devil's trap. In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity, and they must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience.

Stacie Wood: Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives must be [00:32:00] respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self control and be faithful in everything they do. A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well.

Stacie Wood: Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus. I am writing these things to you now. Even though I hope to be with you soon, so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God.

Stacie Wood: This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith. Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.

Stacie Wood: Now, the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in [00:33:00] the last times, some will turn away from the true faith. They will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars and their consciences are dead. They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods.

Stacie Wood: But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it, but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer. If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed.

Stacie Wood: Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is [00:34:00] much better, promising benefits in this life, and in the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard, and continue to struggle.

Stacie Wood: For our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of all believers. Teach these things, and insist that everyone learn them. Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Stacie Wood: Until I get there, focus on reading the scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.

Stacie Wood: Keep a close watch on how you live and on [00:35:00] your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers.

Stacie Wood: Treat older women as you would your mother. And treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them.

Stacie Wood: This is something that pleases God. Now, a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead, even while she lives. Give these [00:36:00] instructions to the church, so that no one will be open to criticism.

Stacie Wood: But those who won't care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers. A widow who is put on the list for support must be a woman who is at least 60 years old and was faithful to her husband. She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done.

Stacie Wood: Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good? The younger widows should not be on the list, because their physical desires will overpower their devotion to Christ, and they will want to remarry.

Stacie Wood: Then they would be guilty of breaking their previous pledge. And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people's business and talking about things they [00:37:00] shouldn't. So I advise these younger widows to marry again, have children, and take care of their own homes.

Stacie Wood: Then the enemy will not be able to say anything against them, for I am afraid that some of them have already gone astray and now follow Satan. If a woman who is a believer has relatives who are widows, she must take care of them and not put the responsibility on the church. Then the church can care for the widows who are truly alone.

Stacie Wood: Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain. And in another place, those who work deserve their pay. Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is confirmed by two or three witnesses.

Stacie Wood: Those who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church. This will serve as a strong warning to others. [00:38:00] I solemnly command you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the highest angels to obey these instructions, without taking sides or showing favoritism to anyone, never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader.

Stacie Wood: Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. Don't drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach, because you are sick so often. Remember the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.

Stacie Wood: In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious, and the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light. All slaves should show full respect for their masters, so they will not bring shame on the name of God and His teaching. If the masters are believers, that is no excuse for being disrespectful.

Stacie Wood: Those slaves should work all the [00:39:00] harder because their efforts are helping other believers who are well loved. Teach these things, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life.

Stacie Wood: Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments, ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth.

Stacie Wood: To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy. Yet true godliness, with contentment, is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can't take anything with us when we leave it. So [00:40:00] if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.

Stacie Wood: For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, and some people craving money have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, Timothy, are a man of God, so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

Stacie Wood: Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life, to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses, and I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without [00:41:00] wavering.

Stacie Wood: Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. For, at just the right time, Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only Almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He alone can never die, and He lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach Him.

Stacie Wood: No human eye has ever seen Him, nor ever will. All honor and power to Him forever. Amen. Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud, and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good.

Stacie Wood: They should be rich in good works, and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this, they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they [00:42:00] may experience true life. Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so called knowledge.

Stacie Wood: Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. May God's grace be with you all.

Stacie Wood: This concludes today's Immerse Reading Experience. Thank you for joining us.