Today’s Tasting: 1 Timothy
In this book, Paul writes to Timothy who learned from Paul and was charged with addressing issues happening in the church in Ephesus. Paul details for Timothy in helping guide him to address these issues, while maintaining his resolve as a follower of Jesus. He addressed the laws and those who talked but didn’t act; how to worship and pray, qualities to notice in church leaders, false teachings, and a true servant. He includes a section specific to widows, the elderly, and slaves. Finally, Paul addressed the love of money versus the true riches available to those who follow Jesus’ teachings. He closed by encouraging Timothy to teach the things he had detailed for him and reminds Timothy that he is a man of God, who should guard what God had entrusted to him.
This letter from Paul to Timothy is often misrepresented or flat out ignored. In our modern day world, some of things Paul teaches to Timothy can seem archaic and not applicable to our modern times. Instead of dismissing this important book (it was after all included for a reason), I would talk about how it might still apply to us as modern day believers. An entire series could be written on this one book, and since we don’t have that kind of time here, I want to focus on the beginning of Paul’s letter. Paul states the following in verses 5-7:
“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. They want to be known as teachers of the Law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently”.
When I read this, I have to remind myself that Paul is giving this advice to Timothy somewhere around 63-66 AD – almost 2,000 years ago – and yet he could very easily offer the same advice to us. When I look around at all the discussions in academic circles, theological circles, and even the highest leaders of the church, I have to wonder if they are spending their time in “meaningless discussions”. It seems that some of the so called “Christian leaders” are more focused on rebranding Christianity to accommodate the changing social cultures and position themselves as leaders of the movement, rather than on sharing God’s message according to Jesus as the leader of the Christian movement. At times, these ‘leaders’ make me second guess whether I have lost my way in the way I what I believe it means to live a Christ-like life. Then, this letter from Paul reminds me to listen to God and stay the path that HE has laid out before me, instead of second guessing things because of those who are seeking glory for themselves.
My prayer for you: “I pray that you are able to maintain focus on God’s message and Jesus’ teachings, and like Paul told Timothy, “guard what God has entrusted to you” (6:20).
Tomorrow’s Delight: 2 Timothy & Titus
Hugs & Blessings,