Todays readings.. Nehemiah 10, Amos 2, Timothy4&5
Paul, who told Timothy he was his “true child in the faith” [1 v.2], is very straightforward in his advice to him about making sure he grows spiritually. There are many verses in his epistle to him we can, and should, apply as his advice and encouragement to ourselves and so be ” trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine” [4 v.6]
“Godliness,” Paul tells him, “is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come…. to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God …”[v,8,10] Nearly all his advice equally applies to sisters. Timothy is to “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”[v.12] He was to devote himself “to the public reading of Scripture…”[v.13] as well as teaching. None of the believers would have had their own copies of Scripture, which would of course be our Old Testament! What a blessing we have! Do we genuinely appreciate this?
There is a danger that those who see their role as being in the forefront of working for Christ – start to fail in their own spirituality – there are sad and distressing examples of this. All such should note Paul’s advice to Timothy to “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.” Adding, ” Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” [v.16]
As our world grows ever more godless – and we encounter this godlessness in so many ways, almost every day – it is ever more vital that we take Paul’s advice to Timothy to ourselves to “keep a close watch on yourself.”