November 26, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Timothy 6:11-21

So we have reached the end of 1Timothy and Paul is giving Timothy, and us, a strong charge to do 3 things.

1. Stand firm in your faith- Verses 11-14

Paul tells Timothy to “Fight the good fight for the true faith” and this is our calling as well. Faith is not something that comes easy or naturally for us. It has to be a fight, each and every day. We have our sinful nature, the temptations of this world and a ruthless enemy who all desire to “shipwreck” our faith (1 Timothy 1:19). We must be willing to fight each day to hold tight to Jesus. We can’t coast through this life.

2.  Do good with what God has given you- Verses 17-19

Paul tells Timothy to teach and instruct those who are rich to use their wealth to do good. We too must use our resources to do good to others. God is a gift giver who longs for His children to be like Him, gift givers. God gives to us so that we would give to others. God can only fill empty hands. Many of us struggle so much to let go of stuff, maybe a house, a car, a degree, job, toys, etc. God has blessings and gifts that we cannot even imagine and yet we hold on tightly to old, worn things. We trust in our things to give us protection and security. These things are meant to be used to do good, not hoard.  We cannot put our trust in the gifts we have in this life, our trust must be in the one who gave them to us. So use them to do good and be ready for god to pour out even greater blessings.

3. Avoid “knowledge”

Paul warns Timothy about “foolish discussions” and how they have caused some to wander form the faith. Now, I don’t know what kind of discussions Paul had in mind but I think today we have several “foolish discussions” abounding today. They range from wacky spiritual practices to slight misinterpretations of God’s word. Either way, we are called to avoid these “foolish discussions”. Most of these discussions pull us away from a true loving relationship with Jesus and a desire to love His church and the world. A good rule of thumb is this:

If a discussion or topic deters you from being more in love Jesus, His church and the world then it is not profitable for you.

So fight the good fight of the faith, do good to others and avoid “foolish discussions”.

Posted by:Robbie Byrd

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November 25, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Timothy 6:3-10

Thanks for faithfully reading JumpStart.  I hope it encourages you and gets your day off to a good start.  We’ve walked through many of the books of the Bible together, but we still have a few to go.

Today’s passage has three major themes…

Dissension (v.3-5)

Contentment (v.6-8)

Money (v.9-10)

 

Dissension (v.3-5)

There has been conflict in the church as long as there’s been a church.  Look at the things listed in verse 4:

  • Controversial Questions
  • Disputes about words
  • Abusive language

Causing friction.  This ISN’T God’s plan for His church or His people

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  Romans 12:18

Contentment (v.6-8)

God has been really working me over lately about this subject.  A few weeks ago I shared my thoughts about it in Servant Leadership Gathering.  In verse six we see a formula.  All the pieces must be there for there to be success.

GODLINESS + CONTENTMENT = GREAT LIFE

GODLINESS without CONTENTMENT or CONTENMENT without GODLINESS won’t do it.  Live your life for God and be content with where He has you.  He will take care of you.

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:25-34

Money (v.9-10)

Verse 9 blows my mind!  The love for money is the source for all kinds of evil.  This isn’t hard to understand – we’ve seen this in the world around us.  This thinking even finds it’s way into the church.  The last part is what’s hard to get your mind around.  Some by longing for it have wondered away from the faith…  The unbridled desire for money has caused people to leave their faith.  Now that’s a breach in perspective.

Three Questions to Ponder Today:

  • Do I work for peace or do I cause dissention?  At work? School? Home?  With friends?  At Church?
  • Am I content with where God has me?  With what He’s given me?
  • Do I have material possessions and money in the proper perspective in my life?

Spend some time today and think these questions through.  Ask God to change your thinking and values to match His.  Remember – things work better when you do them God’s Way!

Posted by:Tim Parsons

November 23, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Timothy 6:1-2

Representing the faith…

It’s crazy to think about how the God of the universe would allow me to represent His name.  He actually allows me to be a representative of who He is and what He can do.  By choosing to do His work through His people, God chooses to make us representatives of His name.

Now I know you have heard this idea before, but think about it again…  When a king chooses an ambassador (one who goes to represent him to other kingdoms and nations) he doesn’t choose just any old scrub.  If he did, this ambassador would walk into the neighboring country just after rolling out of bed, he would have no idea what to talk about, he would probably disrespect the officials of that kingdom, and he would most likely be the reason that all of the other nations think poorly of the king he is representing.

In the same way, we have the constant task of representing our King of King’s and the Christian faith in general.

1 Peter 2:12 says:

“Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.”

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

Today in our passage, we see Paul give words of instruction when it comes to slaves.  He describes the proper conduct for the slave of the unbelieving master as well as the believing master.  Both of which are the same…submission.

The heart behind obeying the believing master is out of love and support of the fellow brother in Christ.  The heart behind obeying the unbelieving master is to properly represent the True Master.

This can be properly applied to us as believers in any area of life.  1 Timothy 6:1 says that by our conduct we can “bring shame on the name of God and His teaching.”

How is your conducting representing your Master?  At work, with your family, with your friends, or with your classmates…is your conduct representing the faith well?

You never know when you may encounter the same people in the future and you never know if you will have the ability to make up for your poor conduct.  Remember, you are an ambassador…representing your King.

Posted by:Sam Cirrincione

November 22, 2013

Today you should read: 1 Timothy 5:17-25

I have a friend who serves as a youth and young adult pastor at a church in my home town of Somerset, KY. He was having a conversation with one of the members of his church and she was complimenting the preaching. In mid conversation she very casually asked, “what do you guys do during the week?” Unfortunately, this is the attitude for many inside the church. I have to say that I am very thankful to serve at Center Point because I have felt nothing but appreciation from our people.

Paul is trying to warn or drive home the point that “elders who rule” (v.17) are laborers, especially those who preach and teach. This word for labor can also be translated “toil” and is from the Greek word kopiao which implies hard work that makes a person tired (ESV commentary). I have to say that before coming to know Jesus I, too, thought that the job of a preacher was an easy one. I grew up on a farm and the kind of back breaking work that I did had to be more difficult than the work of the pastor. Now that I have experienced what it is like to be on staff at a church I have a very different perspective. I may be more worn out at times in my current job than I have ever been on the farm. I think that there are a couple of reasons for that as described in this passage.

1. Leaders feel the weight of responsibility. (v. 17-18)

a. As overseers we have a responsibility to preach and teach the word of God faithfully. There is a lot of work involved in the study and construction of a message in order to feed the people of the church.

b. Elders have a responsibility to care for the people in our church. When people are in need or a crisis happens due to sin and suffering God has called the elders to oversee that the people are cared for properly.

c.  Elders/Pastors have a responsibility to train up the “saints” of our churches to do the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

d. Elders have a responsibility to hear from God and lead the church well through making decisions for the church body (v. 17)

2. Leaders are held to a higher standard of accountability. (19-20)

a.  Paul warns people not to be quick to pass judgment on an elder without evidence. However, if an elder persists in sin they are to be rebuked publicly in order to warn others. This judgment goes further than the standard of Matthew 18:15-20 that is for all believers. (Deut. 19:15-21).

b. Leaders are held to a higher standard on their teaching by God (James 3:1). This goes back to my point about being faithful to the scriptures.

The point of Paul’s writing in this passage is not to have men aspire to be leaders in order to get better pay or to be given double honor wherever they go. The point is for us to understand that the job of the overseer is a calling of God and requires much faithfulness for the good of the church. So, my hope is that we, as a church, would treat one another with grace and love and show respect for those that God has put over us because it is for our good. Also, for those of us who aspire to the office of overseer know that it is a good thing (1 Timothy 3:1).  However, I challenge you to check you motives because the position of an elder has no room for pride or selfish gain.

Posted by:Chad Wiles