FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17
SCRIPTURE: 1 TIMOTHY 6
When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, I think he knew his time on this earth was short. I have often wondered if as he wrote this, he considered the possibility that it would be the last time he could communicate with his young friend. And if that were going to be the case, I have also wondered if Paul wouldn’t try to cover as much ground as he could in an attempt to prepare Timothy to be a better pastor.
I think part of the answer to my wondering is found in this last chapter. Paul covers a lot of ground from master/slave relationships to false teachers to contentment to encouragement to fight the good fight to an admonition to be shared with those in the church who would have been considered wealthy. That is a large arena that undoubtedly needed to be covered not only for Timothy’s sake but also for ours.
The master/slave relationship may seem like archaic teaching that doesn’t apply to us today. And while there are certain aspects of that relationship that do not apply, there are some basic principles that do apply. I would encourage you to look at that section at the beginning of the chapter as Biblical principles for the employer/employee relationship. Those principles could be reduced to this. Regardless of whether your boss is a believer or not, as a Christ follower you should honor your boss’s position and work hard at your job. Colossians 3:23 actually challenges to do our work as though we were working for the Lord.
The second thing Paul addressed was the advent of false teachers and their false doctrines. Pastors must always be on the lookout for false teaching creeping into the church. And Pastors must always be ready to take a strong stand against that. In fact, there should be some things that are worth a pastor’s job and doctrinal integrity is one of those. At the same time, the church needs to be spiritual enough to recognize false teaching as well and rally to the pastor as he strives to teach the truth of the Gospel and not the lies of false teachers.
The third thing is contentment. That is something we all desire. But it is something that is quite difficult to get hold of and keep hold of. The reason is we often think contentment is found in the things of life. And because the things of life either become outdated or worn out, they are incapable of producing lasting contentment. Instead contentment, true contentment, is found only in relationships. That starts with our relationship with God and then filters into our relationships with others. Good, solid, Gospel centered relationships produce undeniable contentment in our lives.
The fourth thing is a reminder of how Timothy should live. Simply put, Paul encourages Timothy to live above reproach. Paul challenges Timothy to live for God. And Paul exhorts Timothy to stay true to the truth.
The chapter and letter ending starts in verse 17. Paul reminds us all (since compared to the rest of the world, we are all rich) to keep our faith and hope in God and not in our ability to finance our own lives. Indeed we are to take the blessings God has so generously bestowed on us and be generous.
That’s a great place to end today. Let us be generous with everything God has so generously given us.