I am continueing on in 1Timothy wrapping up chapter 4 – man this has been good for me!!! Here are the last 10 verses in chapter 4 –
6 If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters,[c] Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. 7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle,[d] for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.
11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.”
I am to the place in my walk with the Lord, ,my understanding of the Word, my dependence on the Holy Spirit that this little section of Scripture is so meaningful to me. Paul writes to Timothy as he is mentoring him on how to properly lead people when it comes to the Word, he warns him of many things but the CENTRAL thought here is the WORD! He tells him if he explains these things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a WORTHY SERVANT of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith…..
In my last 2 years of preaching I was convinced that my preaching would never be the same again! That the Lord had instructed me to only use the Word and to teach ONLY the WORD! I heard Him say without a doubt that people need to KNOW the word of GOD, not hear about the Word of God! The last 2 years of preaching that is exactly what I did and this is how I will for the rest of my Life. In my own private studies, reading, teaching it’s only the Word. Here Paul says that “you will be a worthy servant” man that is my desire!!!
“Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives tales….instead, train yourself to be godly….” This is SO huge for the body of Christ, not just leaders but everyone. I am amazed by the arguments that come up in the name of Jesus, over thoughts, Scriptures, etc….As a pastor I would get so many emails, letters, phone calls, personal visits about “thoughts” or idea’s or whatever on scriptures, old wives tales, NEW ways of thinking, what that Scripture really means….etc etc…. I hated it and it could waste much valuable time just searching for the correct answers to prove them wrong…. Paul says “train yourself to be godly…….for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this iife and in the life to come”
I have come to realize and understand when most come with what they believe about something and challenge you, they usually cannot persuaded to change their mind…. they LOVE to argue…..they love to debate…..I have found most of the time they have a hardened heart on many issues. I had one man that many times threatened me to leave the church if I could not come around to his way of thinking, he would not partake in some things such as communion if I did say the “right” words while serving it etc… I allowed him to run me ragged until I finally understood this scripture…. then I was free and he was free to leave…. after this took place in MY heart (after 10 years of it) things changed, he STOPPED and ended up leaving. He would get me so upset and so mad…..hours of precious time wasted in ministry, family life etc..
11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity”
Paul tells Timothy to “teach these things and INSIST that everyone learns them” What things is he talking about? Go back to chapter 3 and into chapter 4 – JESU!!! The truth of our faith, The HOLY SPIRIT, the one who teaches us THROUGH THE WORD, beware of false teachers and people who argue the truth!!! Pretty simple and a very good job description for a pastor/elder. So between our (Pastor’s/Elders/Teachers) dedication to the Word and the pure lives that we live being an example to all believers in what you say, the way you live, love and the faith you have…..PEOPLE WILL FOLLOW, LEARN, GROW, and FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS.
The very next verse Paul says “Focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them” and then he closes this chapter out with “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you”
So there it is…..the job of the pastor! One thing hits me pretty hard “for the sake of your salvation and the salvation of those who hear you” I blew it pretty hard in my life and in ministry…..with so much damage done, so many lives affected and I’m afraid I really don’t have a clue how deep it goes. The world (so many people) says that each person is responsible for their own salvation, they cannot blame me if they turn away from God because a pastor fell. I have told myself that many times, my counselor, my wife, and so many others. But then I run into a Scripture like this!! What do I do with it? It says the opposite of what the world says.
I praise God that all has been exposed, that I was caught and had the chance to repent and turn back to Him, restore my marriage, family and friends. But there are still a lot of people out there hanging…….some I will probably NEVER had the opportunity to sit face to face and seek forgiveness. I not even sure if that is what needs to be done at this point. Here is what I hear the Spirit saying to me about this at this moment. First of all I want to give thanks to the Spirit for meeting with me this morning, as I read, study and write these things out so much comes to light, truth is spoken, lies revealed and it’s changing me forever. In some area’s its very painful and in other’s it’s freeing!
I know that the spiritual is so different from the natural, in the natural I could spend a lifetime (which is not that long for me now day’s) trying to make things right with people and probably never get to the end of the list. But in the spiritual, my heart, my repentance, my sorrow, my brokenness, and my RESTORATION will change the atmosphere in the lives of many. I am not sure how or anything else, but I’m very confident that HE IS ABLE and HE CAN do miracles in the spiritual that we cannot see. It is the Holy Spirit that brings forgiveness, heals brokenness, reveals truths about situations in our lives. IF my pastor falls it is up to me to forgive him, move on with my life in the Spirit….. THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT this is possible for EVERYONE!!!
Does this mean I’m free from having to face people and seek out forgiveness? Restoration? NO NO NO and a thousand times I say NO!! It means that the Spirit will lead me to the right people and the Spirit will call the right people, and the Spirit will ……..
I pray that I came across right in this post – I pray my heart shows through in every word I’ve written. GOD IS GOOD!!