1 Timothy 6:11-21

Read 1 Timothy 6:11-21

Today we have Paul’s final instructions to Timothy, but let’s read them as if they are to us today.  What do we see?  We see action.  As followers of Christ we need to:

  • RUN from evil
  • FIGHT the good fight
  • HOLD tightly to eternity
  • OBEY Jesus’ commands

We will encounter evil, you can count on that.  We will need to be wise to recognize it for what it is and then flee from it.  If we try to “fix” it, we run the chance of being caught in its snare.  When we are questioned about our faith, maybe even put to the test and ridiculed, what are we to do? Paul tells us to fight the good fight and stand up for our faith.  We belong to a God who loves us beyond all comprehension, how can we turn from that? Where else can we find total acceptance and love, forgiveness and reconciliation.

We know the answer to “Do you know where you’re going when you die?” It is our destiny to spend eternity with our Lord.  There is a great hope that wells within us at the thought of seeing Jesus face to face.  Hold on to that image when faced with a struggle or persecution.  Jesus has gone before us, suffered and died so that we might have life in him.  He is the only one we can trust for he is truth.  The only way to the father is through him.  We should yearn to obey him at all costs.

Well, you might be thinking, this all sounds good, but is it really that easy? How do I succeed in this life?  We are not called to be rich, but to share the riches we do have with others.  This is true success.  Look at the need around you.  If at first you cannot see it, look harder.  There are needs so great, and we can be used by God as his hands and feet.  What an honor to be used in this way!  Take a moment now and ask God to give you the eyes to see the need he’d like you to fill today.

Let’s pray.  Father we come to you eager to obey and follow you.  We a sk that you fill us with your compassion so we are ready to do your work in this world, to share what you have so generously given us, to make a difference to those around us.  Thank you for your provision.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

1 Timothy 6:1-10

Read 1 Timothy 6:1-10

I’m not sure what version of the Bible you read from, and if you follow the link above it takes you to New Living Translation, one of my favorites.  In fact, it’s the version in my study Bible.  So, today, as I was reading from my Bible, I noticed a very distinct difference in how this passage begins.  In my Bible it says, “Christians who are slaves…” where in the NLT version on Biblegateway.com (source of the link above) it says “All slaves”. Interesting.  I won’t spend a lot of time on this, but from a context perspective, it is my understanding that in the times Paul is writing, there was a huge gap between slaves and their masters.  However, if a slave and master were both Christians, they became spiritual equals, or as we might say, brothers and sisters in Christ.  To me, it is then that the rest of the verse makes sense.

As the reading continues,  Paul is masterful in assuring us that what he has prescribed for godly living is sound and from the teachings of Jesus–what greater authority can there be!  We all know that person, however, who likes to stir the pot or question these truths.  There is so much behavior in our culture today, and I’m sure in Paul’s time, that is counter to this and many feel constrained by a life devoted to Christ.

Read v. 6, “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.”  Ponder this for a moment until you feel like the richest person on the planet.  You may need to put aside your current financial needs for just a moment lest they interfere with your feeling the enormous blessing you  have as a follower of Jesus.

I’m struck again by the truth of  verse 9.   While I am not striving to be “rich”, I am hopeful that my current endeavors allow me the freedom for travel, and helping to build an orphanage in Haiti.  I am asking God for provision for those dreams.  What are you striving for in your life?

Let’s pray.  Lord help me to stay focused on you and you alone.   Don’t let the pressures of the world creep in and entice me to believe in something false.  Help me discern and be faithful.  As I look around at our world today, I am saddened by the hate, the anger, the doubt.  I trust you have all this worked out, and I pray wisdom for leaders and not arrogance.  I pray for love and not hate for all people.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

1 Timothy 5:17-25

Read Timothy 5:17-25

There are some challenging things in this passage, aren’t there?  Again, Paul is helping Timothy with issues that are either happening in the young congregation, are bound to happen.  You can probably relate to some of these in your own experience, I know I can.

For instance, complaints.  It’s a sad truth that church people complain.  We all have our idea of what it means to be a Christian, what a church service should look like, what a Bible passage says.  When someone’s view differs with ours, there is a rub.  We are not all created alike, and this is a good thing because sharing our unique opinions can be helpful to others, can help mold a ministry, and in turn we grow ourselves.  It is when we take a negative spin and complain.

Can you remember a time when you had a favorite “something”?  Perhaps a favorite outfit, a favorite food, or even a favorite friend.  Did you treat that favorite differently from all the rest?  Could you maybe say the others took a backseat to your favorite and were not included as often?  I think taking that simple example and applying it to congregational leadership will speak volumes – Paul is warning us do not forget anybody!  Everyone is important.  God has not favorites and we should not either.

I haven’t done this before, but I want to open this up to discussion.  What do you think about this passage?  Pray for some wisdom, and then in the comments below share your thoughts on this passage.

Let’s pray:  I pray for church leaders everywhere that you will give them wisdom and courage amidst their struggle to lead.  Help them take refuge in you knowing that you are the one in control, you are the one to whom we put our trust.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

1 Timothy 5:1-16 – Family is Important

Read 1 Timothy 5:1-16

We don’t want anyone to be left behind! All must know the saving power of Jesus Christ.  Today’s reading is really focused on widows, both old and young, with instruction on how best to handle them from a church context.  But the passage also stresses how we are to relate to each other, to our families, etc.

Two things strike me today.  First, our society today seems to be spreading apart, and families are no longer staying within the same community as was the pattern for decades.  There are still places where this isn’t the case, but our children are now following the jobs, which often take them across the country.  This passage is a reminder to us that family is important. We are called to care for family, lest we “deny our own faith.” 

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1 Timothy 4:6-16 – Godly Training

Read 1 Timothy 4:6-16

Don’t you love when you are given parameters and expectations for a task?  Then you have something to strive for, to succeed at, and the goal is easily set before you.  Our task then, is to be effective followers of Jesus.

These verses in 1 Timothy have given us a glimpse of what that should look like.  All point back to being a servant, doing all we can to be more like Jesus, and helping others around us to do the same.

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