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Friday, June 9, 2006

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St. Ephrem

2 Timothy 3:10-17
Psalm 119:157, 160, 161, 165, 166, 168
Mark 12:35-37

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great expectations

"Anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus can expect to be persecuted." —2 Timothy 3:12

Timothy felt like quitting his ministry at Ephesus partly because he had unrealistic expectations for the Christian life. He was surprised to be persecuted but should have expected it. In fact, he should have expected worsening persecutions because "evil men and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others, themselves deceived" (2 Tm 3:13).

However, Timothy should also have expected strength to remain faithful to what he had learned and believed (2 Tm 3:14). Having known the sacred Scriptures even from his infancy, Timothy had the power to endure anything and "be fully competent and equipped for every good work" (2 Tm 3:17).

Christians should have great expectations. They should expect great persecutions and great faith to endure persecution. Have a realistic view of the Christian life. Expect great evil and even greater grace (Rm 5:20).

Prayer:  Father, things are going to get a lot better and a lot worse. Thank You for the strength to claim Your victory.

Promise:  "The majority of the crowd heard this with delight." —Mk 12:37

Praise:  St. Ephrem spent his energy organizing works of love to take care of those suffering from famine.

Reference:  (To grow in faith, read the Bible daily. For encouragement, order any or all of these audio or video tapes: Ignorance of Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ, AV 82-1, V-82, How to Pray the Bible on audio AV 82-3 or on video V-82, How to Read the Bible on audio AV 46-3 or on video V-46, Principles of Bible Interpretation, audio AV 79-1, video V-79, Biblical Counseling, audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-3 or on video starting with V-13A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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