Tag Archives: 1 Timothy

Jeremiah 14, 15, 16; 1 Timothy 5

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1Timothy 5:1-2

Paul’s first letter to Timothy is full of instruction in how Timothy should be conducting himself in ministry and as a believer; and it continues today to promote the same behavior for me. The verses above stand out to me as an extension of what Jesus referred to as the second most important commandment…to love my neighbor as myself.

Paul reminds me to ‘not rebuke but to encourage’. To rebuke means to find fault with or reprimand severely; and interestingly the origins of the word stem from the French word that means ‘to hack down.’ I think of times that I have been rebuked, more often in an unloving way, and I remember feeling like I had been hacked to pieces with the tongue. It has torn me down, and made my heart harden. It has caused me to build up walls of defense, and even, at times, turn my eyes away from God. Often, when I have done something that may warrant rebuke, I know it and am already chastising myself; I don’t want or need someone else to highlight my wrongs.

What I desire instead is encouragement. I want to be treated in a way that helps me make better choices, that reassures me that I am still valuable, still worthy. I want to be honored as a child of God. I want to be loved back into life.

Paul tells me to treat each person, according to their age, as family – older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters. I am to honor them and respect them, and encourage them in life and in their journey with the Lord. I am to love them the way that I also want to be loved.

He also stresses the importance of purity. I believe that this purity relates to being chaste, morally pure in regards to the opposite gender and innocence; but I don’t think that’s all it means. ‘Purity’ also relates to truthfulness, authenticity, and freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, or pollutes, in this case, the relationship.

My walk with Christ is about relationship. Initially, my journey is connecting with Him, building relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then from the fruit of my relationship with God, stems relationship with others – the opportunity to show a piece of God to other people, while also seeing a piece of Him through them in return.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your relationship with me. Thank You for loving me and reassuring me throughout my journey. Help me remember to be an encourager to others, rather than a fault finder. Help me use my words to build up, rather than hack down. Help me be pure toward everyone I meet, in regards to moral uprightness, and also authenticity. Help me offer freedom to others as You offer freedom to me. Help me to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Definitions and etymology found at www.dictionary.com.

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Leviticus 20; Psalms 25; Ecclesiastes 3; 1 Timothy 5

God has given them a desire to know the future. He does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what he is doing. So I realize that the best thing for them is to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live. Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 (NCV)

I think about my life and I wonder why certain things have happened and why other things have not. Why have I experience some of my hopes and dreams and why have many of them been left behind in the dust of life? Why have some of my encounters been joyful, but many filled with sadness and grief?

When I scan the memories of my past, I can identify distinct seasons (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) throughout my life, some easy, some hard:

A childhood filled with neighborhood games, summers swimming, winters sledding, and spending tons of time swinging on a tree swing.

Teen years, yearning to get away from the bullies of high school and trying to break free into my own version of independence.

College. Culinary school. Ministry training.

Relationships come and gone. Friends and family members graduating to Glory.

Sharing the Gospel in India.

Meeting and marrying my husband. Birthing my daughters…

Each one of these times moved me forward to today. And I know that as I live today and pivot into tomorrow, I will continue to live within similar cycles.

I will never truly see the big picture of my life fully. But I understand that my Heavenly Father, who has His hand on my life, desires to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11-13). And, it is my desire to be grateful to Him for every aspect of each moment and to find joy and happiness in the rhythms of life.

Yesappa, thank you for keeping my life in the palm of Your hand. Thank you for providing for me and protecting me. Thank you for laughing with me during times of joy and weeping with me in my sadness. Thank you for sustaining me in the good times and the bad. Help me find Your loving, encouraging arms in every season. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

May the Lord bestow His peace which surpasses all understanding to all of the men, women, and children affected by the double bombing that occurred yesterday during the Boston Marathon. May healing take place swiftly in bodies and in hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Ezekiel 11, 12, 13; 1 Timothy 6

A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. 1 Timothy 6:7 (MSG)

What does it mean to be myself before God?

He knows me inside and out. He knows the number of hairs on my head. He knitted me in my mother’s womb. He has been with me from the beginning of time. He knows my every thought and the intentions of my heart. Even though He knows everything about me, being myself before God allows for a heart connection that is so important to life.

Sometimes, I feel like a poser. Here I am…in India or in the United States or where ever I happen to be at any given moment…a missionary. Sometimes, especially during those moments of fragility, when I feel broken and I am struggling and in the midst of trial, I don’t feel worthy of the call. I wonder why I was chosen to spread His love.

I know that we are all chosen for His purposes, it is up to me to decide each day to respond or not. I know that He equips me for what He has for me; it doesn’t come from me already being prepared. I know that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for me is evidence that I have value in His eyes; it doesn’t matter what my past looked like, when I chose to believe and confess, I was given a new heart.

I’ll give you a new heart. I’ll put a new spirit in you. I’ll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart. Ezekiel 11:19 (MSG)

Before my heart was renewed, I tried to hide from God; I tried to hide the ugliness, the darkness, the rottenness of my core behind the proverbial fig leaf. But when I truly became His, I desire to share everything that is in me, I want to be real with Him.

I bear my new flesh-heart to Him. I share it all:

I share my experiences of joy and gratefulness. I express my hopes and desires. I confess my wrong thinking, bad attitudes, and harmful behaviors. I acknowledge the daily struggle of doing things that I know I shouldn’t and not doing things that I know I should.

Being myself with God means that I make the choice to be transparent before Him despite His knowing everything already. I lay everything before Him, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and trust Him to continue loving me.

 

Yesappa, Thank You for being my friend and being willing to hear about my day, the happiness, the sadness, and the frustrations. Thank You for being strong for me when I am weak. Thank You for laughing with me when I laugh and crying with me when I cry. Thank You for being bigger than my circumstances. Help me to be myself with You. Help me to be real in Your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

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2 Kings 8, 1 Timothy 5, Daniel 12, Psalm 119:49-72

Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. Daniel 12:10

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

Teach me knowledge and good judgment for believing your commands. Psalm 119:66

God used family problems this week  to refine and purify my actions.  Initially I fixated on my sister’s culpability. After all she did curse at me. Certainly I was above reproach. (Ha!) Then the Scriptures opened my eyes to how my own behavior contributed to the situation.

In constantly trying to rescue her from her problems we as a family had robbed her of the ability to cope on her own. In turn I had denied myself the opportunity of receiving assistance from her.

The best One to judge everything is the One who is in control. Had we inquired of God  first perhaps things would not be so out of control now. Yet I praise Him for showing me that there are better ways to handle challenges than the way we have always done.

Father, You put me in frustrating situations time after time to help me grow. Thank you for teaching me how to respond to others to create more healthy balanced relationships. Thank you for your mercies new every morning.

yicareggie

 

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Leviticus 22; Psalm 28-29; Ecclesiastes 5; 1 Timothy 1

Simple faith.  I think I miss the simplicity of it oftentimes.   I think I construct this complex web of expectations around what my faith should look like.  Not necessarily the disillusion of having rules and regulations around my faith, but more so about the current performance rating that my faith might be framed within.  And it’s not even the performance of my faith based upon what others might think of me, but maybe it’s more about the performance I ”think” God deserves from me?

So here’s the dichotomy of it all…God desires me to grow in my faith and become more of who he’s designed me to be.  And He experiences pleasure when I make the choices that bring me closer to that end.  But (and this is the key “but”), He expects nothing of or from me…except simply me.  God desires the transformation in my heart so that I can become more of His design so that I can experience more of Him, but He doesn’t desire the transformation so that He can reap benefit from the change.  He does not need what I have to offer, He desires who I am.

It all comes back to the intent of the act.  When it comes to transformation, God’s intention is for my life to change…for me.  Often times I twist that and take that which I receive from the transformation and try to make those “things” the point, when in fact the point was the transformation itself.  I think I often go to God with finger-paintings from my life hoping that he’ll post them proud on His refrigerator, when in fact I know God was looking back at me, accepting the childish offering with a smile, and telling me softly that my presence with Him is all that He desires.

Does God receive pleasure with what my transformed life produces?  Absolutely…but His deep desire and joy come simply from offering myself to Him fully.  He does not expect lengthy diatribes (Eccles. 5:2)…He does not desire my accolades (Eccles. 5:15).  He instead simply desires “love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5).  God desires me…that’s it.  No bells, no whistles, no complexity, no proof of transformation…just me.  How could I miss the simplicity?

~chefdave

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