(Repeat, with edits)
1 Timothy 4
This chapter starts out talking about how some people in latter times will depart from the faith. We all know that 2020 has been the craziest year. We have had a pandemic, then all of the things that have brought on the protests, rioting, looting. The area I live in has seen multiple tornadoes. Easter Sunday we had two go within 2.5 miles of our house, one on the north side and one on the south side. The hurricanes this season, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida are all in recovery mode and we are all just holding our breath to get this season over with. These days you also hear things about people choosing their gender and coming up with their own truths. I hear it all the time that we are in the latter days. And we could be, but the truth still holds clear that only God knows the day and hour that Jesus will return. We could be in the latter days but these latter days could take years, decades even centuries before they are done.
“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.” 1 Timothy 4:6
Above all else, whether we are in last days or not, we know this has been a crazy year. We know that life brings us all sorts of challenges. So I want to know what I can do to be a good servant of Christ. I want to be trained in the words of the faith. That is why I am studying and writing. To learn myself. And if I can encourage someone along the way, then all the better for it. Paul is telling Timothy in this chapter to train himself for godliness (v. 7). Paul tells him that godliness has “value in every way” because It holds promises for today as well as promises for the future.
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Paul ends this chapter by telling Timothy to teach. Timothy is to teach the church. Paul brings attention to Timothy’s youth, yet that is not to be a deterrent to Timothy, nor should it ever be a deterrent to anyone. We as believers, no matter our age, are to set examples “in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity”. (v. 12)
“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.” 1 Timothy 4:13
All throughout this letter to Timothy and the church, Paul mentions his return at some point in time. But what he is saying to Timothy and to the church is simply read, learn and live the scriptures. The same holds true today. I believe going to church is a good thing and I am glad ours is back and I pray for all public houses of worship to be back in full swing. I know that God has blessed us even during this all but I believe we are made for community. That is where I believe the devoting to public reading and to teaching comes in. It’s biblical, so it will be back in full eventually. Then in verse 16 he simply says:
“Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:15-16
I love that “practice these things”. We aren’t expected to have perfection, just practice and persistence. And with practice and persistence maybe then we will be saved and maybe, just maybe someone else will be too.
Please pray for the small business owners and the service industry today.