1 Timothy 5:17-6:2 – Teach These Things

Read 1 Timothy 5:17-6:2

man teaching a young boy using an easel with pictures

Paul wants to make sure he has covered the bases in terms of relationships within the church. It comes down to an attitude of respect that can also be applied to relationships outside the church family as well. Paul’s instruction to teach these things and encourage such behavior tells us of the importance of such practices. Paul was equipping Timothy to be a successful leader.

To maintain a thriving church, Paul starts by focusing on the elders and how they should be treated. “Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching.” Did you note the expectation that elders do their work well? I’m curious what being “paid well” meant in Paul’s day!

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1 Timothy 5:1-16 – Widows are Special

Read 1 Timothy 5:1-16

two older women standing in front of a house looking at a big book together while talking

Sorry men for being upstaged by women in this reading! This is not the first time we have seen how widows are addressed as special. The Bible has always been especially mindful of widows. Here, Paul differentiates between young and old widows. Interesting that when widows turn 60 years of age they are considered “old.”  

Having attained that milestone age myself, I certainly don’t feel old (most days). Thankfully, I am not a widow either. But living here in Mexico near a community of expats, many of them are “old” single widows. Many of them are living their lives out loud, enjoying themselves and this new season of life. It’s been delightful to see.

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1 Timothy 4:6-16 – A Mentor’s Advice

Read 1 Timothy 4:6-16

two men in conversation

What a great mentor Paul is to Timothy. We can glean wisdom from his letter to apply to our own life of faith. We, too, are called to share with others about what Jesus has done. It’s our job to help others find their way back into God’s loving arms. We certainly cherish what it is like being secure in our relationship with God. That’s certainly good news to share with others.

What does it mean to you to be faithful? While Paul sets a marvelous example himself, he wants to help us (and Timothy) succeed as well. These golden nuggets of truth nearly jumped off the page as I read today. Not only will these make us better followers of Jesus but better human beings in and out of a church setting:

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1 Timothy 3:16-4:5 – Love a Good Mystery?

Read 1 Timothy 3:16-4:5

An open book on a table with a lamp light burning

The truth about Jesus is the best mystery of all. When you think of God visiting earth as a human, that’s quite an amazing feat. Of course, for God all things are possible, but we still puzzle about how it all happened and why. Believing in this truth is the basis for our faith. I love this part of the prose style “hymn” portion. “Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit.” God was also human in that moment as Jesus in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit proved it so. The trinity is so magnificently intertwined here.

Our last two readings have focused on how leaders and deacons were to conduct themselves in building up the body of Christ. These verses tie it all together and involve everyone. Paul wanted Timothy to be prepared to lead all people and help them discern the truth while staying faithful.

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1 Timothy 3:8-15 – How’s Your Servant Heart?

Read 1 Timothy 3:8-15

3 blue people figures with words SERVE Each Other and a diagram picture of words like love, serve, attend, hold, care for

If you thought that the “rules” for church leaders were strict, now we address the do’s and don’ts for deacons. Did you find it interesting that the expectation for deacons extends to their wives (spouses) as well?

You may be asking, “what is a deacon?” If your church didn’t recognize a hierarchy of church leaders or give titles to the helpers, that word may not be familiar. In Paul’s day, a deacon would be a servant, anyone who serves the body of Christ. I think of this passage from Matthew 20:26, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” I’m not sure I seek to be “great,” but I do seek to please God in all I say and do.

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