Sep 27, 2011
1 Timothy 4 includes some serious directions for the people of God to pursue. We are to train ourselves for godliness, set an example for other believers, devote ourselves, and keep a close watch on our lives. This is challenging and sweaty and difficult work. God works in us to take us down this road of growth and discipleship. It involves diving deep with Him and not just “snorkeling” along the top.
I pray today for training and growing and persisting in my life and the life of our church. I pray for individuals and families in these areas.
Sep 27, 2011
1 Timothy 3:8-16 is a wonderful passage on the nature of the church. The church is the household of God, a family, and the living God is in charge. The church is to stand for truth, as evidence of Jesus to a lost world and a strong pillar that does not shake. It is a place of proclaiming “the mystery of godliness”, Jesus who was manifest and vindicated and seen and proclaimed and believed on and taken up. No other religion can claim this.
I pray for our church to be a household and family and strong pillar of the truth of Jesus. I pray God would make us into this. I pray that we would live and love the mystery.
Aug 30, 2011
Two things that strike me in this passage are praying men without anger and quarreling and Paul’s expectations for women. Concerning the men, they should be men of prayer, and the quality of their fellowship (without anger and quarreling) has implications for the prayers. How we need more men today leading in church prayer and how we need unity in our fellowship! Men are important in setting the tone in the these areas in the local church.
Paul desires that women should dress modestly, be self-controlled, show their good works, learn, and follow channels of authority. This all can be difficult in today’s culture, but they are godly principles that transcend time and place. God establishes parent/children, master/slave, government/citizen relationships concerning authority; we need not fight against the husband/wife dynamic. It is a place of strength and respect that a woman acts with the qualities Paul lays out. It reminds me alot of Proverbs 31.
Aug 24, 2011
This is a short paragraph, just a few sentences, but full of lots of insight from the Lord. Four items stood out to me as I read and wrote and prayed through this.
1. waging good warfare – I am reminded of fighting against spiritual powers using spiritual weapons. We are called to wage the battle and make it good. Everything we do and minister and live has spiritual dimensions to it, and we must pray through, in Word and Spirit, against our enemy.
2. hold faith – We persevere to the end. “Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief.” We must not waver and look to the storms, but look to the master of the storm Himself.
3. hold a good conscience – Guilt and past deeds can plague us and tear us down. We focus on the gospel and walk with the Savior. I found this post on overcoming guilt very helpful and applicable to this aspect of the passage.
4. making a shipwreck of faith and handing over to Satan – This is difficult to deal with. To think that these guys had backslidden so far as to Paul “turning them over” is distressing. May it not be so for me and my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Aug 20, 2011
Reading in this passage, I noticed it “is Him who gives me strength.” I do not need to rely on my own strength, but I have His to draw upon.
Twice Paul talks about “receiving mercy” and “the grace of our Lord overflowed.” What great mercy and grace I received! This is meaningful to me because many times I think of my life and Paul’s, because I am Jewish and spent a lot of my time fighting against Christ and Christians before I knew Him. I can relate to Paul being an insolent opponent, blasphemer and persecutor, because so was I. But now, Paul is appointed to His service, and so am I. “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen.”
Aug 15, 2011
Wonderful insight from Kevin DeYoung on “love and the law” at this site. It is another aspect of the role of the law as I was thinking about 1 Timothy 1:8-11.
Aug 15, 2011
Paul presents the purpose of the law in this brief paragraph. “The law is good if one uses it lawfully. The law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient.” What effect will the law have on the lawless and disobedient. It should convict them and show them where they fall short. It should produce a sense of guilt and apartness from God. It should drive them to “the gospel of the glory of the blessed God” – what is this gospel? That the lawless and disobedient can be freed from the law, they can stand in justice apart from the law, they can be enabled and empowered to do the law to His glory.
I pray that God will use the law to show the lost where they fall short. I pray He would use us to share with the lost how far apart from God they are. I pray He would use His Word and Spirit and church to gather in new believers and members of His family.
Aug 11, 2011
Today I read and wrote out 1 Timothy 1:3-7. Two items stuck with me. First, Paul urges Timothy to remain in Ephesus and deal with some hard issues. No room here for Timothy to “find greener grass” or delegate the problems to someone else. He’s the man and this is all him to do, he will need to rely on God and His strength for empowering and encouraging. It will be hard work to confront people and stand for the truth, but that is what he is charged to do. God calls each of us to difficult places at times, as ministry leaders or in whatever place, and we must rely on His guidance and strength to stand and persevere in those places. The second point was Paul’s aim of the charge: love that issues from a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. These three components must be evident and fed and growing to produce the love that Timothy will need to serve in his calling. We desperately need to cultivate these three aspects in our lives to produce the love that’s needed for us to deal with hard people and situations.
What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment. I will read and write vv. 8-11 next.
Aug 9, 2011
I picked up a notebook today and started copying by hand 1 Timothy. I read from a catalog that this is a good exercise, to slow down and let the Word penetrate my heart. I also heard that new brain research says the physical motions of hand-writing and reading and speaking the word aloud makes for better retention and understanding and insight, as well. So I am copying a few sentences a day and reflecting and praying through the words. I will share some thoughts on Tuesdays and Thursdays as the weeks progress.
Paul was an apostle by command of God, and I think about His command to me to answer His call, as a son and as a pastor. Jesus was Paul’s hope, and He is my hope in times of trouble. Paul was an apostle by both the Father’s command and Jesus’ hope – was Paul’s work as an apostle driven by the hope? Is my life as a Christian driven by my hope?
Paul wishes grace, mercy, and peace for Timothy, and isn’t that a burden for my life and for the life of God’s people, that they would have grace, mercy and peace abundantly!
Finally, I noticed Paul refers to Christ Jesus three times, putting the title before the name. Much can be said about Jesus as the Messiah of the Jewish people.
I pray the first few verses of 1 Timothy speak to you. Maybe you will pick up a notebook and try the same exercise with 1 Timothy or another book of God’s Word.