The Way - Day 164 (1 Timothy 4)

Daily Reading:
1 Timothy 4
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
Meditate on 1 Tim 4:7, think about how obsessed our culture is with bodily training (appearance).  What are some ways we fail seeing our walks with God as training.  What are some ways we fail to prioritize training for godliness over other areas in our life.  What are you convicted of today and what will you choose to change tomorrow?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 68:5
OPTION 2: Proverbs 20:19
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:22-24
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for 1 Timothy 4 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
1 TIMOTHY 4:1-11
Paul has already spent some time warning Timothy about the false teaching which always has the potential to enter a church if proper safeguards are not put in place (1 Timothy 1:3-11). In these verses, Paul gets very specific as to what these teachers are propagating. Paul refers to their teaching as a "depart[ing] from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron." From his strong language, the reader can conclude that Paul is warning Timothy about dangers of false teaching and ultimately the force behind it (Satan). In verses 3-5 the erroneous doctrine is revealed: "forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth." It seems that legalism (system of salvation by works) had infiltrated the church at Ephesus and manifested itself in the forms of a person remaining single and following certain dietary laws. Without adherence to these laws, a person could not be saved. Paul had already made it very clear that salvation only comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone without works; however, these teachers were attempting to add certain traditions to the free gift of salvation. Paul makes the argument that since God created marriage and food, He meant for them to be enjoyed, but the false teachers were setting up their own rules (4:4-5). Rather than creating his own doctrine, Paul encouraged Timothy to instruct the church in the truths of Scripture (4:6) and reject all forms of false doctrine (4:7). Instead of getting caught up in all these false teachings, a believer should focus on godliness (living according to God's standards) and look forward to the hope given through Jesus Christ (4:8-11).

1 TIMOTHY 4:12-16
Much advice had been written by the hand of Paul to Timothy about the structure and functions of the church. His words, thus far, included warning and guidance in how the church was to operate if it was going to effectively minister to people. Now, Paul turns his full attention to Timothy and gives him, what I believe, to be the most important instruction regarding his conduct in the ministry. Paul writes to the young pastor Timothy "let no one despise your youth" (4:12a). The society to which Timothy was ministering highly regarded the age of a person as evidence of maturity and a determination of respect. Since Timothy was young, many in the community probably did not give him the respect he deserved; after all, Timothy had been working directly with Paul from the time he was a teenager and had gained a wealth of experience. With this in mind, Paul did not want Timothy to be fearful because of his age nor did he want those who were under his leadership to look down on him. What could Timothy do to assure that people did not use his age against him? Timothy was to make sure his character was outstanding in these areas: in word (the way he talked), in conduct (the way he acted), in love (the way he served), in spirit (the way he was perceived), in faith (the way he was faithful), and in purity (the way he avoided immorality). In addition to these character issues, Paul wrote that Timothy must also "give attention to reading [the Scriptures], to exhortation [application of the Scriptures], to doctrine [teaching the Scriptures]" (4:13). Along with having godly character, Timothy should remember that God had given him the gift of leadership and preaching/teaching, which was also confirmed in him by the apostles (4:14). Keeping all these in mind, Timothy was to give himself "entirely to them, that your [his] progress may be evident to all" (4:15). Timothy was to give high priority to upholding the teachings of Scripture and support them through a holy life. Following these things would give indisputable evidence of his salvation (4:16). If you are a young leader, don't allow your youth to stop you from following God's will. Give yourself over to having character and a passion for doing what is good.

Dear God, help the youth of this world rise up and live the truth of Jesus Christ.