1 Timothy 6
Social media has given all of us a platform. Opinions, criticisms, viewpoints abound. With the simple tap of a few keys we have the ability to tell the world what we think, and why we are right and everyone else is wrong. Opinions get monetized and become an industry in themselves. Truth gets blurred with the taste of approval, popularity, human praise, and financial opportunities.
Paul warns that, “If anyone who teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness ins a means of gain.” (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
If anyone thinks God’s word is not relative today, they have not read it lately. Over 2,000 years have passed and things haven’t changed much. We must remain grounded in truth; constantly reminded of truth. We must value God’s word over the word of those proclaiming their own truth with witty words, smooth talk, eloquent rhetoric, and heightened emotions.
Paul reminds Timothy and us, “Flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses...Guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge,’ for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:11b-12, 20-21)
Examine your words, your motives, your influencers, your posture, your foundation of truth. Guard the deposit entrusted in you. Fight the good fight of the faith.
1 Timothy 4
Let no one despise your _________. In this letter Paul tells Timothy to let no one despise his youth. What is the blank for you? The thing that may make you a little insecure and afraid to step into your calling? Age, experience, pedigree, personality, education, resources, past mistakes, other opinions?
I believe in all of us are things we want to do – things we feel the Spirit nudging us to do – and we start off so passionate about it, but then doubt creeps in. The whispers of the devil telling us we can’t do it. And we think things like…
When I get a little older
When I get more experience
When I pay off this debt
When I have more support
When I graduate
When I get married
When we get that house
When I get that better job
When the kids get older
When the opportunity falls in my lap
If only I started sooner
If only I were younger
If only I didn’t have all these commitments
If only I didn’t make all those mistakes
We are paralyzed by the “when” and “if only.”
“Do not neglect the gift you have.” (1 Timothy 4:14) Paul’s advice to Timothy is for us too. These gifts… things we are passionate about, places we want to see change in the world, ideas we can’t get out of our head, experiences we have had… these gifts are from God. Don’t neglect them. Don’t let them gather dust and never bloom into what God gave them to you for. And you don’t have to do it all at once. Take a small step today in that direction. Make today the day you say, “I will no longer neglect the gift I have!”
Paul continues, “set the believers an example in SPEECH, in CONDUCT, in LOVE, in FAITH, in PURITY.” Do your thing. Do it even if you are scared. Do it even if you think others will mock you. Do it even if you don’t feel experienced enough. God will equip you for what He calls you to. And when you do it, do it with integrity of speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. I’m rooting for you.
1 Timothy 2
PRAY for ALL people.
That’s the header inserted in my Bible to usher in 1 Timothy 2. And 1 Timothy 2 is a doozy friends. The bottom line for me is there is a lot I don’t understand, but I believe the Bible is truth and God’s way is always best. I choose Jesus. Every. Time. And honestly, I think I’m just tired and weary and heartbroken over the divisiveness that seems to be spiraling out of control.
With that said, I’m clinging to the first half of the chapter. Oh, for us to take this to heart and put this in practice...
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4
God, let us love more than we hate. Let us show grace more that contempt. Let us give the benefit of the doubt more than giving our opinion. Let us seek you more than self-proclaimed experts. Let us seek peace more than division. Let us pray more than pontificate. Let us love like you love.
1 Timothy 1
Our God is so big and merciful and indescribably good.
My interpretation of what Paul tells his young protégé, “Timothy…look at me! Look at what God has done through me and KNOW that nothing is impossible. No one is too far gone for God to reach. Me -- the blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent of Jesus – God judged ME faithful and appointed me to his service. It is simply incredible. Hear me, Timothy, this good news is trustworthy and true: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. We are all worthy because He is worthy for us. Jesus took me – the most aggressive person fighting against Him – and called my name. He saved me. And if that wasn’t enough, He allows me to be His ambassador. If God worked through me, He can work through anyone.”
God is so good to us. Some of us are unsure about God; some are outright hostile to Him. Some of us hide in the shame of our sins; some seem to delight in them. God sent Jesus to die for it all and to restore us. Some believe it and receive it; some continue to fight it vehemently. He is patient with us. No one who still has breath is too far gone for God’s love and mercy to reach. Nothing is impossible for God. No one’s sin is bigger than our God. The blood shed on the cross is for us all.
If you have a loved one or friend who seems so lost and far from God, or even hostile to God, don’t lose hope. Paul’s message to Timothy is to you too. No one is too far gone for God to reach.
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