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1 Timothy 6

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

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  And because the things of life either become outdated or worn out, they are incapable of producing lasting contentment.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.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

1 Timothy 5

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16

SCRIPTURE: 1 TIMOTHY 5

In this chapter, Paul continues with his instructions to Timothy about pastoring the church in Ephesus.  Paul talks about relationships in the church and responsibilities of the church.

The chapter begins with relationships in the church.  Paul refers to the church as a family and encourages Timothy to relate to church members as family members. 

We read about older men and older women as well as younger men and younger women.  There are a couple of important points here.  One is a healthy church will have a wide age range.  The other is everyone in the church is important.  Churches need older folks to provide stability, wisdom, and ministry.  Churches need younger folks to provide energy, vision, and longevity.  A church without both groups is not going to do well.

From there Paul moves on to talk about widows.  Throughout the Bible, God has much to say about widows.  He repeatedly tells His people to take care of the widows.  But as we read here, the church’s responsibility to care for widows does not supersede a family’s responsibility to take care of widows in that family.

Remember when Paul was writing this there were not any governmental programs to assist and provide for widows.  And since women at that time were typically not working outside of the home, a widow had to depend upon her family or her church for her support.  Otherwise, she would be reduced to begging. 

Even with all the governmental programs we have in place to care for widows, families and churches still have responsibility.  We need to come alongside of them with encouragement and support.  But we also need to be wise about how we do that.

Paul goes on to speak about younger widows.  Instead of their relying on family or the church for the rest of their lives, Paul encourages them to consider remarriage.  And in verse 14 says they should manage their homes (their marriage and family) in such a way that Satan can’t get a foothold in the family.  This is important for a couple of reasons.  One, everyone deserves to be a part of a strong family.  Two, strong families make strong churches and strong churches make a big impact on the world.

When we get to verse 17, Paul changes his topic to the responsibilities of the church.  This section has a lot to do with the church’s responsibility and relationship to the pastor.  As you might imagine this is a difficult section for me to talk about because I don’t want to appear self-serving.  So, let me just make a couple of general observations.

Verses 17-18 are about a church’s responsibility to take care of a pastor financially.  By the way, this church does a great job of that.  Verse 19 is a caution about listening to rumors or gossip or one person’s opinion about the pastor.  That doesn’t mean pastors are perfect.  We are not.  That’s the reason verse 19 speaks of what to do when a pastor does need correction.  And we all do at some point.

Pastoring is hard work.  That is not a complaint.  It is just a reality.  That would be complicated if a pastor were in bad health.  So, Paul encourages Timothy to take care of himself.  The mention of drinking wine is not permission for pastors to drink.  It was an encouragement to take for pastors to take their medicine.

The chapter ends with an admonition to us all.  Regardless of what you do – whether that is good or bad – what you do will become evident one day.  We would all do well to remember that.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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