January 7, 2020

Today you should read: 1 Timothy 5:1-16

As we have seen, young Timothy had a rambunctious church he was called to lead. Paul gave ministry wisdom to address the issues Timothy was facing. Our passage today picks up with great advice for us all. Paul instructed Timothy in his posture of correcting God’s Church (1–2). We are to maintain purity in our relationships, treating each person as a family member. 

In verses 3–16, Paul gets to a much stickier situation. Paul begins “Honor widows…” That’s good advice from Paul that’s been a standard among God’s people for centuries, “…who are widows indeed.” What, what? 

We saw back in chapter 2 that Timothy was facing a bit of a crisis among the women in the church. It seems that they were gallivanting around, showing off a little too much of what momma gave them, while loudly proclaiming opinions. What Paul states there is that he does not want women to concern themselves with external appearance, except to the extent that their dress reflects modesty (2:9). Instead, like with the attitude in prayer for men, mentioned earlier in chapter 2, Paul is more concerned with the internal position of a woman’s heart in her dress, than her external appearance.

In chapter 5, it seems likely that some of these same women are widows, expecting the church to supply their needs. Paul essentially said that the church paying for the excesses of these women is bad stewardship and makes the church look bad. There are real widows who have need, but the coffers are being used up by women who could find help elsewhere. Paul advises Timothy to help those who are past marrying age (9), who have no family (5a), hopes in the Lord and worships Him (5b), has a good reputation (10), was faithful while married and not promiscuous as a widow (9b). 

Conversely, some of the widows seeking assistance had kids who could help if they would have humbled themselves to ask (4), they were given to “wanton pleasure” (6), they had the potential to re-marry but weren’t (10a). Paul warned that resourcing these younger widows meant setting them up for promiscuity (11), idleness, and gossip (13). 

There are some cultural things that impacts Paul’s instruction in this passage that aren’t the same for us as modern readers. However, Paul’s theme of stewarding the resources of God in giving help to others is very important and relevant. 

You can apply this passage in two directions. First, God is overwhelmingly concerned with the suffering of the oppressed—with those who cannot help themselves. Center Point is a very generous church. Many of you want to help those in need. This passage advises care and wisdom in helping others. Make sure your help helps and doesn’t enable sin. 

Second, if you’re in need and thinking of asking for help, this passage offers some advice. Practically speaking, we offer the most help to committed members who love the Lord and have a temporary need—not a repeating need that budgeting and life wisdom would fix. 

Also, this passage encourages seeking help from those in your life first. This may require reconciliation. The church can only help so much if you have a trail of broken relationships in your past. After you have exhausted your relational resources, then go to the church for help. 

Often, we want to offer more help to people than we can—that’s true of CPC, but also for us as individuals. Sometimes we need to humble ourselves and ask for help. But no matter where we’re at, let us first be people of purity. Let us love the Lord before anything else. 

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

One of our goals as a church this year is that our people would be praying everyday. To help you be accountable, use the comment section to post prayer requests and experiences of how God has answered prayer and/or changed you through prayer! If you would like to be enrolled to get weekly prayer reminders, text @cpclex to 81010.


January 6, 2020

Today you should read: 1 Timothy 4:6-16

Paul starts this chapter by informing Timothy that some people will leave the faith because they listen to the false teachings that turn them away from things that God says are good.

Paul then tells Timothy to “put these things before the brothers” (verse 6). He follows it up with a word of encouragement to Timothy and urging him to train for godliness (verse 7). I think the next part is very fitting for this time of year where everybody is making their New Year’s resolutions to get fit and go to the gym more. In verse 8 Paul says, “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way.” So he says that being physically healthy has some importance, but spiritual health is much more valuable because it has value now and after this physical body dies (end of verse 8). This is the reason that we should work on our relationship with God just as hard as we work on our 2020 weight loss goals.

This next part is the place that I really want to sit on for a minute because it’s something that you see Paul talk about multiple times in his writings. It’s the idea that our words and deeds matter. Paul tells Timothy to, “ Command and teach these things” (verse 11). He then follows it up not with words to tell them, or a sermon outline, or a prayer for him to recite, but instead tells him to “set the believers an example” (verse 12). He then ends this chapter by saying, “Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (verse 16). It would be easy for one to say, “God will forgive me so it doesn’t matter what I do as long as I ask for forgiveness.” Only part of this statement is true. Jesus did die to forgive us of our sins, and when we ask for forgiveness he gives it (See 1 John 1:9), but it is wrong to say that this means that our actions are meaningless. We should be an example of God’s love for others to see. If your actions do not reflect Jesus, then maybe your New Year’s resolution should be to strengthen your relationship with God.

By: Jacob Kerr — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice: Worship and Students 

One of our goals as a church this year is that our people would be praying everyday. To help you be accountable, use the comment section to post prayer requests and experiences of how God has answered prayer and/or changed you through prayer! If you would like to be enrolled to get weekly prayer reminders, text @cpclex to 81010.

January 4, 2020

Today you should read: 1 Timothy 4:1-5

In our passage today, Paul is telling Timothy that people are going to leave the faith. Paul says the people will do so by, “devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (v.1). The people who depart from the faith will start believing in what is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we know that Paul has spoken truth in this passage, because so many people have departed from the faith in our world today. 

When I think of people who have walked away, one name comes to mind: Joshua Harris. In 1997, he wrote a book titled, Kissed Dating Goodbye. This book focused on Christians moving from dating to marriage. It sold over 1.2 million copies since it was released. But over this last year, Harris has since divorced his wife, and has denounced the faith. (You can read more about it in this article).

You might be wondering, “I thought the Bible taught that people cannot lose their faith, can people actually lose it?” Well, in the article, Albert Mohler writes, “The answer is no. The Bible is very clear about that. Once one has been regenerated by the power of Christ, once one has become a genuine Christian and been united to Christ, nothing can separate us from Christ, not even our own sin.” 

This means for Joshua Harris and for others that have “departed from the faith”, they are in either two places. First, they never actually had faith in God. Secondly, they have faith, but sin is currently blocking that relationship, and one day they will return and have a restored relationship.

Our job as Christians for people who have left the faith is to do two things. First, we pray for them. We ask God to work in their hearts. Secondly, we remind them of God’s goodness, just as Paul did in verses 4-5. Our hearts should break for those who have come in contact with God but never experienced Him. It should also motivate us to share Him with others. We have the greatest news in the entire world, why would we not share it to others?

By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice

January 3, 2020

Today you should read: 1 Timothy 3:14-16

In these very important 3 verses in this letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul shares the purpose for this entire letter: how to live and act as the church of God (v. 15). The apostle Paul knows that the recipient of this letter is leading others within his church as the pastor and shepherd. As Timothy’s mentor and discipler, he wants to make sure that he does this well. He’s already halfway through the letter with a few more things to address and he wants to make sure Timothy knows why he’s talking so much about the importance of doctrine, warning against false teachers, giving qualifications for elders, showing examples of those who have walked away from the faith and giving further instructions to leaders in the church.

If the church is the household of God or a family, as he mentions in verse 15, then we must behave as one. In other places in this letter and in other places of Scripture you can see what that means as FAMILY but in these few verses he focuses in on the OF GOD part. As the family of God, we represent God in two very important areas:


He first mentions how the church is a pillar and buttress of TRUTH. Although we’re all still sinners saved by grace, we represent God’s truth and that is why we need to strive to be examples of integrity and character. It’s why ethics matter as Christians and the stereotype of hypocrisy needs to be fought against. It’s why we have elders who help lead us with right doctrine and why we are to prioritize God’s Word when preaching and teaching.

The second thing he briefly mentions is holiness and how it’s a mystery to a certain extent (knowing that we are still sinners saved by grace). This mention of mystery here is referring to salvation more than anything, talking about a holy God who took on human flesh to bring us His holiness in place of our sin. We know that we must individually and corporately strive toward holiness as examples of God’s family but that holiness is in direct result of the gospel, which is still somewhat of a mystery as we’re stuck in between the already but not yet of final consummation and God’s kingdom to be connected with a new heavens and earth with no more sin in the world. 

As God’s family let’s continue to strive toward truth and holiness, knowing this entire letter was written as instruction in how to do that.

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor