10th June 2012

Stuff to Live By

Following on from the previous verses (which we looked at last week) about setting an example in our speech, life, love, faith and purity, the apostle Paul goes on to write to Timothy about how to live, laying out four principles for his young disciple.

Starting with 'devote yourself…', Paul exhorts Timothy to devote himself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and teaching. We are to be those who highly prize God's Word (the Bible), not changing it to fit around us, but instead letting it shape us and change us.

Paul also instructs Timothy to look after the gift that God has given him – to ensure he doesn't neglect it – so that it won't be tucked away on a shelf, but will be benefitting the church and blessing those around him.

Once we have discovered our gifts and who God has made us to be, we're to honour the Giver (God) by being diligent with what we've been given. In Matthew 25, we read Jesus' parable about the talents, which illustrates that God wants us to be good stewards of our gifts, exercising them, developing them, and glorifying him with them.

Lastly, Timothy is told to watch his life and doctrine and persevere. In another translation of the Bible, this passage reads: "Keep a close watch on yourself…" It's very easy to see how others need to change or to listen to a sermon thinking 'I hope so-and-so is listening to this', but we're told to watch ourselves – to make sure we are not just going through the motions, turning up on Sundays, without growing in our relationship with Jesus and maturing in our faith.

Verses: 1 Timothy 4:13-16

Food for thought:

  • How can you devote yourself to being shaped by the Bible?
  • What are you doing with the gifts God has given to you?
  • Which of these instructions do you find most difficult to follow, and why?

Santino Hamberis

Posted by Santino Hamberis










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