Terry Baxter Devotional

The Power of Biblical Motherhood: 2 Timothy 1:5

The Power of Biblical Motherhood: 2 Timothy 1:5
“5) For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭
One of the most influential ministries ordained by God is mother and grandmother ministry. They are called and ordained by God to be the heart and hands of Jesus to their children and grandchildren. There is amazing multigenerational power in biblical motherhood.
Such was the case with Lois and Eunice. According to this verse, coupled with 2 Timothy 3:13-15, they taught the sacred writings to Timothy that led to his salvation. They ignited the spark of faith in him. They single handedly countered the intentions of evil men and impostors who lerk in society to destroy children.
Never take this ministry lightly. Part of the deception of our day is to turn women from this vital, urgent and holy calling. The hope for modern society rests in adding dignity and respect to godly motherhood.
When women are reconciled to God and embrace this calling, nations can be changed through children’s ministry. A radical return to godly mother and grandmother ministry is Gods counter measure to the perverted drag queen influence in our culture. It holds the solution to the gender identity crisis.
My observation as a State Legislator is that the liberalization of public education is starting to wake up mamma bear. Godly mothers are starting to stand up with a courage and furry not seen elsewhere in society. I am betting on mamma bear!
Join me is asking God to send an urgent revival to godly mother and grandmother ministry in modern Western culture. This is the key relationship that God intends to ignite the fire of faith in children. An awakening of biblical motherhood is one of the vital pieces of the puzzle to National Revival.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Praying Continually: 2 Timothy 1:3-4

Praying Continually: 2 Timothy 1:3-4
“3) I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 4) longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:3-4‬
Two words surface over and over again in Pauls writings. They are “the gospel” and “prayer.” Both were priorities for him.
The calling of preaching and praying go hand in hand. Acts 6:4 stresses that the apostles learned this very early. They built a team to handle the other demands of ministry, but they devoted themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.
Of the two, prayer is often the most neglected. I talked to an aging pastor recently who has become a devoted prayer warrior. He said, “If I could go back and do my whole ministry again, I would preach less and pray more.” His concession resonated with me. I fully concur.
Paul had a clear conscience not only because of his good character and conduct, but also because of his diligent ethic in the matter of both preaching and praying. As his writings show, he was courageous in the way he handled the Word because he was continually entering Gods presence in prayer both night and day.
Verse four highlights to bond between Paul and Timothy. As Paul’s farewell at Ephesus shows, he was aware of the terrible afflictions that awaited him. (Read Acts 20:17-38) He knew that they would see his face no more. The last three verses in the context describes their emotions. There was much crying and weeping.
I suspect at some point that Paul and Timothy had a similar parting. He longed to once more see his young disciples face, but there were no guarantees. Because of physical absence, Paul wrote the letters of 1 & 2 Timothy. His young disciple brought him much joy!
But Paul assured Timothy of his prayers. Though they were absent in body, they were connected with one another in spirit through prayer.
Please understand this point, prayer has no boundaries. It can pass through prison walls, transcend mountains and oceans, ignore political restraints and easily navigate time and special barriers. Because prayer is transmitted in the spiritual realm it is not constrained by the laws of physics. Prayer goes directly into the throne room of God who is sovereign over the universe.
This realization becomes the fuel and energy within every prayer warrior. James closed his small book with the same emphasis on prayer. He understood that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (See James 5:12-18)
Prayer is always in season. Paul prayed both night and day. It is good to block off a time and designate a place for prayer, but Paul learned to praying continually. He learned the secret of living in God’s presence.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Plea and the Blessing: 2 Timothy 1:2

The Plea and the Blessing: 2 Timothy 1:2
“2) To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:2‬
Before you write this verse off as an empty platitude, take a moment and review the historical context from which Paul was writing to his beloved son in the faith. They were terrible times for Christians.
Nero had just burned down the city of Rome and blamed it on the Christians. Paul and many others had been arrested and charged as enemies of the state. Hundreds of Christians were being tortured for sport and entertainment in Roman Coliseums. We have no idea how many were actually martyred by Nero.
From his prison cell awaiting his own fate, Paul wrote these words; “2) To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It should be noted that Paul opened his first letter to Timothy with this same plea and blessing. Why? They were written only three to four years apart and from his vantage he could see the storm clouds were gathering very fast. Paul was in tune with the signs of the times.
Suddenly, this verse is transformed into both a plea and an urgent blessing. Paul was handing the baton to Timothy and pronouncing God’s grace, mercy and peace over him. Paul was commending Timothy to the protection and sovereignty of God while resigning to his own pending fate. (See 2 Timothy 4:6-8)
But Paul was in no way being futile or fatalistic in this plea and blessing. Despite the utter gloom and hopelessness of external circumstances for many Christians in the Roman Empire, he fully expected God to show up in all of His glory, grace, mercy and peace to make a way for Timothy and many other Christians during these dark times.
By the time Paul wrote this second letter, he had every reason to believe they were living in the end times. The description Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 24-25 of the end times looked like they were being fulfilled before his eyes. Jerusalem itself and the temple were about to be destroyed. The end of the church age will have an eerie resemblance to its beginning.
Why is this important? I believe this verse and the early Christians were an example for how todays church should face persecution in these darkening days. Shortly, every believer will need Gods grace, mercy and peace to overshadow them. Christians are again being maligned as the enemy of the state. In many countries they are being martyred by the hundreds.
I cannot explain the mysteries of the end times or the doctrine of martyrdom, but woven into them is this urgent plea of Paul for grace, mercy and peace for His beloved son in the faith.
I pray this way for my dear brothers and sisters under the shadow of war and martyrdom today. Many times we have no other recourse but to pray this way! Soon, I believe this will be our plea for all Christians. Like in Pauls day, the storm clouds are again gathering very fast. May Gods grace, mercy and peace rest upon you!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

‭‭

Stagnant in Spirit: Zephaniah 1:12

Stagnant in Spirit: Zephaniah 1:12
“12) It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil!’” Zephaniah‬ ‭1:12‬
I came upon this verse yesterday during my Old Testament reading. I immediately stopped and read it several times. It is so descriptive of what can happen to believers.
If we are not careful, we can become “stagnant in spirit.” Another translation uses the word “complacent.” We come to the place of going through the motions of life while being indifferent to seeking God. We are not alert to what He is doing around us.
Even worse, we don’t care. We shut Him out of our lives. We soon start living as if God is irrelevant to what is happening in the world. The concept of “God” might be tucked away in our subconsciousness, but we are in neutral.
As the rest of Zephaniah 1:12 says; “… Who say in their hearts, The Lord will not do good or evil.” Do you see the problem? They were living like agnostics. They reduced God to being uncaring, unloving and inactive.
This is a serious condition. Becoming “stagnant in spirit” or “complacent” means we go through the motions of life with very little thought or reliance on God. We live as if He doesn’t matter.
This can happen to people in ministry. Soon, we begin to trust in our talents or detailed programs more than in God. We fall into the daily grind of thoughtlessly cranking out ministry. We go through the motions of ministry, but fail to connect with God.
I believe this is what motivated Paul to write this second letter to Timothy. His fire was going out. He had lost the joy of his salvation and the sense of “awe” that should accompany an intimate walk with God in the fulness of the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 2:43)
Be honest with yourself, have you become “stagnant in spirit.” Has your inner fountain of living water become dried up? (John 4:10-14) Are there no more fountains of living water flowing from your innermost being? (John 7:38) Has your fire gone out?
This can happen for many reasons, but it is a serious condition. It’s time to slow down, clear your schedule and seek God. You are in need of personal revival. You need a fresh encounter with God! Embrace 2 Chronicles 7:14 and take corrective measures.
That’s exactly what Debby and I are doing this coming weekend. We are getting out of town and joining a few godly prayer warriors for a focused prayer summit. We have no schedule, no agenda and no meetings. Our sole desire is to seek God on His time table and listen to His Spirit. We are asking God to kindle a fresh spirit within us and our marriage. We are not even scheduling food or sleep. We simply want to meet with God and let Him be Lord of our time.
I suspect that’s what the leadership in the church of Antioch was doing in Acts 13:1-4. They cleared their schedules to seek God. They did not want to become stagnant in spirit. Earnestly seeking God; what a novel idea!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Mystery of Zoe Life: 2 Timothy 1:1-2

The Mystery of Zoe Life: 2 Timothy 1:1-2
“1) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, 2) To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:1-2‬
Three to four years may have elapsed between the writing of 1 and 2 Timothy. Some believe Paul was released for a few years between the two letters but was back in prison again. This time, Paul and many Christians were being falsely accused as a scapegoat for Nero’s burning of Rome. He was now being charged as a criminal against Rome. (2 Timothy 2:9) It ultimately led to his martyrdom. He wrote this book with the full awareness that the time of his departure was at hand.
This adds meaning to his words in verse one that he held to “the promise of life in Christ Jesus.” Note that he used the word “Zoe” and not “Bios” in this verse. The common word “bios” refers to biological or physical life. By contrast the word “Zoe” refers to spirit or soul life. It is a reference to the higher life that Jesus Christ imparts to every born-again believer through His Spirit.
Zoe life starts at the moment of salvation, but extends into eternity. It is a kind of life that can only be experienced by Christians. It is a higher level of life experienced by those walking in the Spirit.
Some wonder if it is possible to be a Christian and fall short Zoe life? Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 2:10-3:3 that it is possible be a carnal Christian and not live in the Spirit. This same discussion is developed in Romans 8, Galatians 3:1-5 and Galatians 5:1-26.
I had been a Christian for many years before stumbling on the distinction between these two Greek words for life. God used this marvelous truth about Zoe life to fuel personal revival within me and deepen my understanding of the inner ministry of the Holy Spirit.
I marvel that Paul was facing his own eminent martyrdom and yet wrote this letter to Timothy with such fervor and passion. The only explanation is that Paul was fully embracing Zoe life. Philippians 1:21 captures his mindset; “21) For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Paul set his mind not on himself, but on the many others who would take up the baton after his departure.
It seems that Paul was motivated to write this second letter to Timothy because he was seeing danger signs in his young students life. His fire was going out. (See 2 Timothy 1:6) Timothy was going through the motions of Bios life but was falling short of the glory of Zoe life. Ministry had become a grind. Timothy was experiencing burn out! Paul was writing this second letter to rekindle the fire within Timothy.
Many Christians go through times of burn out. Be honest, has the fire in your walk with Jesus gone out? This letter from Paul to his beloved son in the faith might be for you. I pray that God uses our study of 2 Timothy to bring personal revival into the life of many Christians.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Guard Your Content Of Knowledge: 1 Timothy 6:20-21

Guard Your Content Of Knowledge: 1 Timothy 6:20-21
“20) O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21) which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭6:20-21‬
Every Christian must guard what has been entrusted to them “in Christ.” All the benefits of salvation from forgiveness and freedom to a clear conscience and fellowship with God can be lost. Fruitful ministry can be recklessly bartered away.
The solution is to place a guard around our heart and mind? Think about this, in John 10:10 Jesus Himself pictured Satan as a thief. He aims to steal, kill and destroy your walk with God. He wants to steal from you and your family. He wants to thwart the abundant life Jesus has for you.
Note, according to these verses, this has everything to do with guarding your mind from worldly and empty chatter. It involves guarding your mind from false “knowledge.” Colossians 2:8 issues this same warning; “8) See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
Secular and godless philosophy and psychology blended together with false religions and erroneous conclusion from so called scientific theory can derail truth and a biblical world view. I welcome true science and unbiased research. It is the secular and humanistic spin that I reject. Truth can set you free, but lies and deception lead to ruin, sinful bondage and slavery.
I believe if Paul was living and writing today, he would also include the entertainment industry and every medium of communication that proliferates culture with a secular and antichrist message. What you pump into your mind and heart comes out in your life. You become the expression of what fills your soul.
Guarding what goes into your life is the easiest way to determine what you become. The same is true for food and diet. You literally wear what you eat. If you want to look differently, then consume food and drink differently.
So also, you think, perceive, act, believe and behave according to what fills your soul. Your view of reality is shaped by the content of so called “knowledge” you pump into your mind. Assume responsibility for what fills your heart and mind. Guard yourself!
This leads directly into a discussion of education systems. Certainly, this admonition for Timothy to guard his soul also becomes the parents responsibility to guard their children.
The last eight years in the Iowa Legislature has forced me to face the fact that secular education is now ground zero of the culture war in America. Public education has been hijacked by the enemy of the human soul.
We are now at a crisis point. Public education is no longer transparent, neutral, quality or accountable. It has become the indoctrination tool of the left. My prayer and hearts desire is to save public education, but we have a monumental task in front of us.
I applaud and praise God for every Christian teacher, administrator and school board member on the front lines this crucial battle for public education. We are literally now at the point of needing to turn the tide starting with the department of education.
My only purpose in mentioning education systems is to encourage parents to prayerfully consider what it means to “guard” their children. You will reap what you sow in the education of your children. Many Christian youth and young adults are going astray from the faith because of what is “falsely called knowledge.”
As you can see, these two verses that conclude the book of 1 Timothy are packed with application. When we let down our guard at any level, our soul will be under siege. This fallen world is Satan’s domain for a little while longer. Remain vigilant. Be on guard!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Stewardship, Generosity and Efficiently Delivering Hope. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Stewardship, Generosity and Efficiently Delivering Hope. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
“17) Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18) Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19) storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭6:17-19‬
After warning Timothy about the danger of loving and living for money in 1 Timothy 6:6-12, Paul acknowledged that there are people whom God has blessed with wealth because of a good work ethic and godly values. They should look at themselves as stewards of the resources God has entrusted to them.
More people pass the test of adversity than prosperity, but there are people God has blessed with wealth and great prosperity. Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and David all became very wealthy. Solomon is an example of the corrupting power of wealth, but in the end he came to the realization that knowing God was the only thing that brought lasting meaning and value to life.
Godly people who have been blessed with wealth often have very unique life stories. Many are examples of men and women who defeated all odds because of their faith in God, virtue, hard work and great diligence. I have met many of these blessed people who are entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, writers, professional athletes or buisness executives who have great integrity and a deep love for God.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that all wealth comes from fraud or corruption. To the contrary, it is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it. The book of Proverbs warns against wealth obtained by fraud. It is like a cancer.
However, there are many wealthy and godly saints who have great faith in God and are living examples of the ways of God in this present world. These people often exercise good will toward others, help many find employment, have great integrity, help fight poverty and support missions with extraordinary generosity. They are the ones Paul was addressing in 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
When these amazing men and women discover their God given call and destiny in this life, they become Mountain Movers for the glory of God. But they do not recklessly throw money at just any cause. They look for trusted and proven ministry vehicles through which to give. They want to make sure the supply actually reaches the need and is not chewed up by bloated bureaucracy.
Sadly, many organizations become an end in themselves. They exploit disasters, poverty and human suffering for photo opts to play on the emotions of benevolent people.
So how do you know where to best direct your giving?
As a general rule, no more than 25% of giving should be consumed by administration and overhead by non-profit organizations. Many are frugal and thrive on less. When this number is pushed significantly beyond that point, fraud and corruption are usually in the drivers seat. Always study the financials of non-profits you support. You might be shocked.
This also goes without saying, but make sure you are giving to non-profits with biblical values and Great Commission goals. If the non-profit is not spreading the gospel and kingdom values it is a waste of both time and resources. Unfortunately, generous people often give to worldly organizations. In this text, Paul wanted people to ensure that generous giving payed eternal dividends.
We at GoServ Global have many ventures like orphan sponsorships, domestic disaster relief, housing and community development or the building of churches, schools and medical centers where 100% of every dollar goes directly to the need. Efficiently delivering hope and help to the need is one of our core values.
But the full story is that we have many faithful partners who also support administration and overhead through undesignated giving. This is vital. We could not exist without these gifts.
In this text, Paul was instructing Timothy to both raise up generous givers and help protect the giving of generous people. Good stewardship applies to both sides of the equation. It applies to both the giver and the vehicle that delivers the gift to the need.
If you have been blessed to the point of being a generous giver, I invite you to partner with GoServ Global. We exist to share the gospel in the midst of tragedy. We deliver hope. We work hard to efficiently and effectively connect resources directly to the needs.
GoServ Global is a ministry made up of like minded people and churches who aspire to be World Changers for the glory of God. We invite you to join this amazing endeavor that is so needed today. Check us out on our webpage or message me directly for more information.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

It Will Be Worth It All When We See Jesus: 1 Timothy 6:12-15

It Will Be Worth It All When We See Jesus: 1 Timothy 6:12-15
“12) Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13) I direct you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14) that you keep the commandment without fault or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15) which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of Lords,” 1 Timothy‬ ‭6:12-15
So how long does the good fight of Faith last? The answer according to this text is “until Jesus comes back!” As we approach the end times our confession of faith will be reminiscent of the confession Jesus made before Pontus Pilate. Jesus died for us that we might live for Him.
Don’t expect the Christian life to be easy. But let’s set the record straight, the non-Christian life is often miserable. Why? “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) He abuses his own and his time is limited.
By contrast, look Who this text says we serve; “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of Lords.” And He holds all the cards in His hands. He is the one who gives life to all things. He is in absolute control and will return at the proper time. He will neither be early or late. He will be right on time. History is rushing toward a God determined climax.
How should we then live? We should keep the commandments without fault or reproach. We should live for the glory of God. We should live with eternity in view. Like the old hymn says; “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Good Fight of Faith: 1 Timothy 6:12

The Good Fight of Faith: 1 Timothy 6:12
“12) Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭
Being a Christian places you in a battle with three strong opponents. Your faith will be tested by the world, your flesh and the devil. They are opposed to God and those who confess faith in Him. The world hated Jesus Christ, therefore, do not be surprised that it is at enmity with you as well.
I am amused how verses with the same address often compliment each other. My favorite example of from John 3:16. Cruise through the New Testament some time and look up every 3:16 verse. It is very intriguing.
The same intrigue relates to 1 Timothy 6:12. If you want to learn more about the good fight of faith, read Ephesians 6:12; “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Romans 6:12 is significant as well)
Be forewarned… you are in an intense battle. The moment you became a Christian by confessing faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you became an enemy of the kingdom of darkness. At that moment your flesh joined forces with the world and the devil against you. They want to shipwreck your faith journey. They will resist you at every juncture.
But greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) Therefore, take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and fight the good fight of faith. Become skilled in putting on the armor of God. Learn how to use the sword of the Spirit and intercessory prayer. God has provided you with everything to become more than a conqueror! You can win this fight. Jesus has already won your victory.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Run with Intensional Fervor: 1 Timothy 6:11

Run with Intensional Fervor: 1 Timothy 6:11
“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” 1 Timothy‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭
Paul warned Timothy to flee from every trap or snare associated with the love of money. He wanted him to avoid this huge danger that often entangles the human soul.
Instead, he wanted him to pursue the things that define a man or woman of God. He wanted him to run after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, goodness, perseverance and gentleness.
Make no mistake, you cannot aim at the target of godliness and the love of money at the same time. They are in polar opposite directions. Paul warned Timothy to flee from the love of money but to pursue God with intentional fervor.
Notice, this is a run and not a passive walk. It can be illustrated by David facing Goliath. He ran toward the battle line. (See 1 Samual 17:48) There was no hesitation. David had a mission in mind. He had a giant to slay.
We need to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness with the same fervor. These are giant character qualities. They are non optional. Stop hesitating about developing these qualities in your life. Turn you back on the love of money and run after these things!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global