The value of a healthy conscience

Just how important is a good conscience? Some people possess a tightly wound conscience. Others exemplify a relaxed conscience. Sometimes those with a more permissive conscience may poke fun or denigrate others who are very conscientious.

Paul had some important principles to teach about our conscience. We would do well to meditate on his words. Continue reading “The value of a healthy conscience”

Taking a stand

How will we be part of truth’s foundation?

My former missionary colleague told a story reminding me about Paul’s first letter to Timothy. My teammate recounted that before he came to Christ, a friend had guided him into delving into scripture.

After a period of time God’s word penetrated his heart. His desires and how he viewed the world changed. Continue reading “Taking a stand”

The leadership of God’s people

Paul wrote is that this is something that a man must aspire to.

“This saying is trustworthy: ‘If someone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work.’ The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity. But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become arrogant and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact. And he must be well thought of by those outside the faith, so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap.” (1 Timothy 3:1-7 NET)

There is very much a contrast between what we might call ‘worldly’ leadership and Biblical leadership. To be a leader of God’s people is not about positions of importance. It isn’t about authority. It isn’t about being in charge. Continue reading “The leadership of God’s people”

Trustworthy – what it means for us

Our world is inundated with competing voices. From political posturing to divergent social opinions, from social media rants to conflicting economic forecasts. It can seem like we are surrounded by confusing chaos.

Ever long for a quiet moment to reflect upon something reliable? Three times within 1 Timothy Paul wrote, “This saying is trustworthy.” Literally he wrote, “the word is faithful.” These affirmations are worthy of reflection. Let’s consider the first one.

Continue reading “Trustworthy – what it means for us”

Just a prayer meeting?

How do we view God’s people gathering to pray?

If Paul were to write a little handbook about congregational worship and functioning, what might be foremost in his mind? Where would the emphasis lie?

1 Timothy can remove the speculation. Within this letter Paul provided Timothy with instructions regarding, “how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God” (1 Timothy 3:15). Where did he place the priority? Continue reading “Just a prayer meeting?”

Ideas matter

R. C. Sproul tells the story of a philosophy professor who occupied a university teaching position when the Nazis came to power. Because his ideas conflicted with Nazi ideology, this professor lost his career and eventually his family was executed. Ideas have consequences.

During Jesus’ ministry, Jesus announced the kingdom was near. He described principles for kingdom living and criticized the religious establishment. Jesus claimed he possessed authority to forgive sins. The religious leaders considered Jesus’ claims blasphemous. Jesus was crucified.

Do ideas matter? Yes they do. Although it was God’s plan for the Messiah to suffer and die to provide redemption, nevertheless Ideas have consequences. Continue reading “Ideas matter”

Personalities and scripture

Personalities differ. Some of us thrive on what’s new and exciting. We love change. Others prefer the familiar, safe and tested. Don’t change anything! Still others of us are practical. We gravitate toward whatever is most efficient in producing desired results.

Such preferences can contribute toward dissenting ideas about congregational practices and worship. Let’s hang on to this thought for a moment. 1 Timothy offers us a practical lesson even though Timothy’s situation in Ephesus did not involve personalties.

Continue reading “Personalities and scripture”