Tag Archives: 1 Timothy

Job 37

Obviousman

One of the things I truly enjoy is reading comics, some people call them the funny pages. Wiley Miller is the the creator of one named Non Sequitur. The name is Latin for “does not follow“, or loosely translated, “that doesn’t make sense“. He has several running story-lines and a cadre of assorted characters. One of my favorites is Obviousman. His super-skill is pointing out the things in life that are obvious or nonsensical. The crest emblazoned on his super-uniform is the word DUH with a red slash through it.

While reading through the book of Job I was struck by how Elihu is the equivalent of Obviousman. His revelations are mostly “DUH” statments.

Just look at how he starts out in chapter thirty-seven.

My heart pounds as I think of this. It leaps within me. Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice as it rolls from his mouth. It rolls across the heavens, and his lightning flashes out in every direction. Then comes the roaring of the thunder—the tremendous voice of his majesty. He does not restrain the thunder when he speaks. God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We cannot comprehend the greatness of his power. – Job 37:1-5

Duh!

Tell us something we don’t know Elihu. What a comfort he must be to Job, “Let me tell you everything you already know about God…”

Sady, many of us are Elihu’s or Obviousmen. We parrot things that others already know, but rarely do we take time to dig and wait on the Lord to reveal truth to us. God hides things from us for many reasons.

There are secret things that belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we may obey these words of the law. – Deuteronomy 29:29

Sometimes he wants us to pursue him. We learn so much through the chase, things we would have never learned otherwise.

But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. – 1 Timothy 6:11

But you Jan… follow, pursue.

Lord, please grant me the wisdom to know when I’m being obvious, when being silent is the better course of action. Also, please grant me the wisdom to know what to say when you want something said. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Duh! Jan

1 Timothy 6

Foolish Questions

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? This question can actually be found in a slightly modified form in Richard Baxter’s tract, “Reasons of the Christian Religion” written in 1667. I think the following is my favorite answer to this foolish question.

“Nowadays only four angels can dance there. Formerly there was no limit, but OSHA passed the Angel Safety Law recently, which also requires that the pin must be inspected twice each year for structural defects.”

As Proverbs states, answer a fool according to his folly.

One of my favorite foolish questions is, “Can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot move it?”

Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. – 1 Timothy 6:20

In my experience, questions like the one about the rock are thrown out by knaves who lack a true desire for a relationship with God. They merely want to talk about him rather than with him. As Paul wisely told Timothy, avoid those types of foolish discussions. They are a waste of time.

Father, please give me the wisdom to see when I’m being baited into a foolish discussion. May I know how to either move it into a more fruitful area of conversation or end it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

And for the record. God cannot make a rock so big He cannot move it. There can only be one absolute. Either God is all-powerful, or the rock is. You can’t have both.

Don’t waste time, you never get it back. Jan

1 Timothy 5

Don’t be hasty

“Haste makes waste.” I’ve heard this expression most of my life. As an adult I learned the phrase, “Measure twice, cut once.” It is referring to carpentry and directly ties in to “Haste makes waste”, since if I don’t measure something right before cutting it, I may end up with something too short, have to throw it out, and then need to purchase another piece of wood.

Earlier this year I helped my cousin purchase a large-screen TV for his home. He had picked out a vacated bookcase shelf for the new plasma or LCD unit. Unfortunately I trusted his measurements rather than checking them myself. The TV that we purchased was about 10 inches narrower than the shelf. There is a lot of wasted space on either side of the unit that could have been filled with viewable screen. Sigh… I guess it could have been worse, it could have been too large. Pity though that we were not more careful.

Last year in my men’s group, Wildmen, there were several guys eager to have a young Christian step-up to more leadership responsibility. The following principle kept rattling about in my brain and I voiced my concerns.

An elder must not be a new Christian, because he might be proud of being chosen so soon, and the Devil will use that pride to make him fall. – 1 Timothy 3:6

Never be in a hurry about appointing an elder. Do not participate in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. – 1 Timothy 5:22

Despite my reservations, he was put into a position of leadership. I’m not saying he was engaged in any open sin, but his immaturity exposed some wounds, offense resulted, and damage control had to be performed. All because we were hasty. It has taken some time, and things are now better. But it was a situation that should not have happened in the first place.

This does not relate to the situation above, but in looking at the second passage a bit further, it appears to me that Paul is tying the not being hasty to sin and purity. I suspect it is because if someone is put into a position of leadership too quickly, there has not been sufficient time to determine who he really is inside. What is lurking in there? And by putting him in charge of others, we make them participants in his sin if there is any.

I believe that is why Paul gave the following instruction.

Before they are appointed as deacons, they should be given other responsibilities in the church as a test of their character and ability. If they do well, then they may serve as deacons. – 1 Timothy 3:10

In our microwave, fax, text-message, cell-phone, culture, we want things immediately. Rarely are we required to wait for anything; and when we do wait we are annoyed, or outright angry at being forced to do so. However, haste does make waste. We need to be like another metaphor of Paul’s.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. – Hebrews 12:1

The key is endurance, persevering. This is a long-term perspective, not a short term one.

Father, may I think twice and act once. Please give me the wisdom needed to not be hasty. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Slow and steady wins the race. Jan

1 Timothy 4

Atrophy

The word atrophy is defined as:

Disuse atrophy of muscles (muscle atrophy) and bones, with loss of mass and strength, can occur after prolonged immobility, such as extended bedrest, or having a body part in a cast (living in darkness for the eye, bedridden for the legs etc.). This type of atrophy can usually be reversed with exercise unless severe. – Wikipedia.org

My son Caleb has has several casts on his ankles in the last few years due to injuries. Each time a cast comes off, there is a painful time of remobilization that has to happen. His muscles have atrophied to some degree. But what if the cast was not take off for months, or years? the muscles would atrophy to the point where they could no longer be revived. They would have wasted away to virtually nothing.

Notice how Paul directs Timothy to spend his time and energy.

Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. – 1 Timothy 4:7b-8

I wonder how many Christians who came to know Christ years ago are now spiritually wasted away to virtually nothing?

For those of us who do want to receive a reward in this life and the next, what does spiritual exercise look like? I suspect that writing this, in some small way, is part of that spiritual fitness training. But what else is there? I’m not sure, but I want to know.

Lord, thank you for giving me a mind and body that can be useful to your service. May I train both in such a way that I attain your rewards. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Join me in God’s gym. Jan

1 Timothy 3

Fulfilled Service

I noticed an interesting relationship while reading the following verses.

It is a true saying that if someone wants to be an elder, he desires an honorable responsibility. For an elder must be a man whose life cannot be spoken against. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exhibit self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home and must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, peace loving, and not one who loves money. He must manage his own family well, with children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?

An elder must not be a new Christian, because he might be proud of being chosen so soon, and the Devil will use that pride to make him fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not fall into the Devil’s trap and be disgraced.  – 1 Timothy 3:1-7

There are several areas of life being written about; they are, church, family, and world. Even though many of the attributes overlap the various spheres of influence, how the elder relates in each is a bit different. Two of them stuck out to me. They are home and church.

In the home the elder is to manage. In other words, he is in charge of discipline, directing and delegating.

However, in the area of God’s church he is to take care of.

These are two rather different job descriptions. It seems to me that there is a very good reason why he needs to manage his family well and have them respect him. If the man is fulfilled at home, then he will have the ability to care for and to serve others, to be able to give of himself selflessly, despite how church members might treat him.

Being fulfilled at home means that he will not be serving, caring for others out of emptiness. He will be giving out some of what he has received.

Father, please help me to be fulfilled at home so that I do have something to share with those outside of my home. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Fulfilled at  Home = Cared for Church. Jan

1 Timothy 2

Deluded

I wonder, are you among those men who seem surprised when a police officer pulls you over for speeding? After all, it isn’t like your car doesn’t have a speedometer, and it isn’t like the speed-limit isn’t posted. Perhaps since so many others break the law, you have been deceived into thinking that it is not enforced and thereby moot.

In reading the following scripture I wonder if something similar didn’t enter Adam’s mind.

And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. – 1 Timothy 2:14

However, Paul omits a key piece of information in this brief passage. Look at the account of this transgression in Genesis.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. – Genesis 3:6

Her husband, Adam, was with her!

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. – James 4:17

When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. – Ezekiel 33:8

Adam was right there. He knew what the right thing, the good thing, to do was. He did nothing to stop Eve from sinning.

Eve might have been deceived, but Adam was deluded into thinking that God was not going to act. Perhaps Adam even used her as the food-taster. “Hmm, she didn’t drop dead. I guess it is OK to eat the fruit after all…”

Frankly, Adam sinned first, and in greater measure. It was his responsibility to care for everything in Eden, including his wife. He stood right there, watched what was happening, and did nothing!

How often am I deluded into thinking that my actions don’t have consequences simply because they are not immediate? How about you?

Father, please forgive me for my presumptuous sins. May I live my daily life with an eye to eternity, doing what brings you glory and pleasure. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Don’t be deluded. Jan