1 Timothy 2:1-13
Setting creation free is what Paul tells us that we, as children of God, should be doing in Romans 8:18-22Ö
18. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
19. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
If we are truly born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, then we should also feel these sufferings, and be committed to setting creation free, and do whatever we can to bring it to fruition.
20. For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
21. that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
22. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of
childbirth together until now.
This means that it continues to the present day even though some of us are working on setting creation free from its present corruption.
Other than some passages like this that point us in the direction of setting creation free there is no real step by step method for doing this, so we need to follow the ways that Jesus taught us to live as peacemaking children of God.
And if we are truly peacemakers, then we can no longer be a party to causing any of the pain, suffering, or death, which the world is doing to millions of humans and billions of animals every year, because of their hardness of heart.
And the best way we know of doing this, and be a witness to the world around us, is to become vegan, for as vegans we no longer consume or use any of the products of animal exploitation, and this happens when we have a soft heart that can feel the pain and suffering of the whole of creation.
In addition, people with a soft heart are no longer violent and cannot be parties to warring madness that is plaguing this world.
Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 doesnít speak about setting creation free, but it does speak about being able to feel the pain and suffering that comes upon people because of their hardness of heart, and hopefully we will also feel the pain and suffering of those humans and animals who suffer at the hands of hard of heart people today
18. My sorrow is beyond healing,
My heart is faint within me!
Jeremiah feels the pain and suffering that is befalling the people and land because the people are not following the ways of the Lord, but the corrupt ways of this earth, just as we should if we have the same kind of empathy.
19. Behold, listen!
The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land:
"Is the LORD not in Zion?
Is her King not within her?"
"Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?"
Jeremiah is also expressing the feelings of the Lord along with his own, but instead of just thinking about the suffering of people all over the world, we need to also feel the pain and suffering of all the animals who are suffering at the hands of hard of heart humans, for we believe that this is what all truly born again peacemaking children of God need to be able to do, and this means that we also want to be able to feel this pain and suffering; we cannot turn our backs to what is happening and still be children of God.
20. "Harvest is past, summer is ended,
And we are not saved."
In other words, it is too late for them, so we need to overcome our societal hardness of heart and indifference before itís too late for us.
21. For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken;
I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.
Jeremiah is very empathetic as we should be, and he feels the hardness that God feels in the people, which causes him to be dismayed at how far they have turned away from God to follow the corrupt and evil ways of this world.
22. Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?
Jeremiah sees no physical spiritual healing taking place and questions why, and quite often we wonder why such a small percentage of people actually work at healing our society today, but there has been a very slow increase in that percentage over the years; we just hope and pray it isnít too slow or too late.
9:1 Oh, that my head were waters,
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people!
He could be talking about our society today with all its violence and hardness of heart.
Letís keep in mind what we have been discussing about setting creation free as we look at 2 Timothy 2:1-13, for what Paul wrote to Timothy is all part of living in Godís heavenly will where there is no pain or suffering or death, so if we eliminate these human caused problems from our own lives and encourage others to do the same, we are helping to free creation from its present corruption.
1. You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And if we are, then we should be able to see and understand that no human caused violent act is in the heavenly will of God, for the Holy Spirit who indwells us prompts us to see the ungodly things we encounter so that we can avoid them.
2. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
And we need to teach others to live in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven, and in our opinion it begins with believing in Jesus Christ and following His teachings which should lead us all to be vegan, for vegans do the least harm to Godís creation, and this is all part of setting creation free.
3. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
4. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
In other words, God has to come first in everything we do, but from our experience and knowledge every ministry has some entanglements that need to be resolved along the way, and even Paul was thrown in jail for his ministry.
So, if what we do is in service of the Lord, and we are not involved in other worldly interests then we should be on solid ground, but at the same time, we need to remember that even Jesusí ministry was supported by people who earned the money from other endeavors, and Paul himself said that for a time he was a tent maker to support his ministry, but God always came first.
5. And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.
Think about our ministry of being Christian vegan animal rights activists, and this ministry is bucking the rules that allow animal exploitation, so we need to compete so we can change the rules at the same time we are encouraging others to also become children of God who help free creation from its present corruption.
6. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.
Which seems to mean that ministry workers should get the money from people who earn their money from other endeavors.
7. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
Yes, He will, and we need to listen to Him and His heavenly will.
8. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,
9. for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.
No one can really silence the word of God, for it will get out so others can still hear it in one way or another.
10. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
In other words, never give up on the goal of your ministry in the heavenly will of God, and the Lord will bless whatever we accomplish.
11. It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;
12. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
13. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.
There are always people who are part of the corrupt world system who will speak against us and try to stop our efforts, and we need to remember that that they are following the devil and not God.
And we should not waste our time trying to defend our actions and ministry against such people.
We are to remember that our goal is setting creation free from its present corruption, and we can do it, if we put our hearts and souls into it.
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