This week I’m going to start a study on Paul’s first letter to Timothy who was in Ephesus, I note that Paul doesn’t beat around the proverbial bush. He opens his letter with the instruction to Timothy that he needs to instruct a group of people that they need to stay true to what they’ve been taught and not alter the text or its meaning. Unfortunately this is still happening within the Church today, where groups of people are trying to reword, reinterpret Scripture in order to meet ‘their’ preferred ideology / lifestyle.
Paul also warns Timothy not to get distracted about genealogies and the latest myth, Satan is very good at distracting us from God’s Word and carrying out God’s commands. We all have at some point in our lives have set time aside to pray, have a quiet time etc. only for a notification to sound on our phone and before we realise we’re checking all our social media accounts, emails etc. and the time we’d set aside to spend with God is gone.
In verse 5 “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” [ESV] Paul is reminding Timothy and us that we need to cleanse of hearts our selfish desires, desires of the world and to obey the two greatest commandments “37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 [ESV] In today’s current climate of lockdown, fear of being infected with COVID-19, fear of unemployment etc. it can be hard not to be self-focused, trying to manage on our own. When we call out to Jesus our Lord and Saviour, he will give us comfort, guidance and wisdom. In Matthew 14:30-31 Peter takes his eye off Jesus and starts to sink before he calls out to Jesus who ‘immediately’ stretches his out and pulls Peter up. If you look back on your life think of the times when you’ve taken you eye off Jesus, and your life started to unravel when you called out to Jesus didn’t he come to your aide? Unemployment is upsetting, stressful but we need to remember that Jesus will never forsake us, if we look at Jesus’ ministry he met the needs of His children.
For those who are thinking about going into ministry verse 7 is very apt, when your at the front preaching the congregation will know if you’ve spent time preparing or are just ‘winging-it’. In my opinion those who are either in ministry or lead small groups, they need to be grounded in Scripture, well read and be accountable to someone within their church in that they are frequently spending time in the Word of God. This verse reminds of James 3:1 in that not everyone should become teachers as God will judge them more (paraphrased), this verse keeps me grounded and helps me not to focus on me i.e. how do I look when I’m preaching.
The last section of the chapter in verse 13-15 I find very encouraging as Paul reminds us that despite his failings prior to his conversion, God still wanted to use him to proclaim the gospel. Which for me who has many failings, poor decisions etc. God still has a use for me.
All Bible quotes and links were taken from http://www.biblegateway.com