The Way - Day 165 (1 Timothy 5)

Daily Reading:
1 Timothy 5
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
In our culture of blame first, ask questions later, explain how vs 1-2 if fully accepted change the world.  What is one way you can embody that today and can you share a time you failed to do this and what would you do today if you had a "redo".
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 5 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
1 TIMOTHY 5:1-16
In writing to Timothy, Paul now turns his attention to the proper treatment of members in the church. He makes a brief statement mentioning that young men should give respect and reverence to older men (5:1-2). Specifically, Paul was referencing a situation when an older man was sinning and must be confronted by those who are younger. Instead of arrogantly approaching the sinning older man, the younger men should address him with love and kindness. After making this brief statement to the younger men, Paul uses the great majority of his words in chapter 5 discussing proper treatment of women who have lost their husbands (widows). Paul states the obvious reminding his readers to honor widows (5:3), but gives further instructions on the differences between older and younger widows. In verse 4, Paul gives a command to the family of a widow to take care of her so the church is not burdened with the situation. Children and grandchildren have the first responsibility to care for a widowed woman. However, if a woman is widowed and left with no family to care for her, let her be dependent on God for help continuing to live a godly life and the church will take care of her needs (5:5-7). Restating what he has already said, Paul again challenges children and grandchildren to care for a widowed woman, declaring that anyone who refuses to do so is worse than an unbeliever (5:8). Paul then defines older widows as those who are over the age of sixty and have lived a godly life - these women are to be given the proper respect. Younger widows, who almost always desire to marry again, should "marry, bear children, manage the house, and give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully" (5:14). Apparently some of the younger widows were causing problems in the church (5:12-13) and Paul wanted the church to only take care of those who were seeking a godly life (5:16).

1 TIMOTHY 5:17-25
Paul has already written that Timothy (and the congregation) should give honor to older men as well as widows who have sought to live a godly life (5:1-16), but now he gives instructions about honoring the elders (pastors) of the congregation. Paul writes "let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine" (5:17). When read in conjunction with verse 18, we can carefully surmise that Paul is referring to money. 1 Timothy 5:18 reads "For the Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain' and 'the laborer is worthy of his wages.'" For those pastors who faithfully carry out the ministry and labor in the word, Paul commands that they be paid well. Quoting from Deuteronomy 25:4, he uses an illustration of an ox who is treading out grain. Since this ox is doing a lot of work, it should not be muzzled from eating. The illustration is clear - a pastor who works hard should be compensated accordingly. Paul was not saying the a pastor should become rich, but that he should not be forced to struggle acquiring the basic necessities of life. It also becomes obvious the church at Ephesus needed direction on how to handle accusations toward a pastor. Paul's instruction is clear: "Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses" (5:19). There may have been people falsely accusing pastors simply because they did not like them, but Paul commands that any accusation must be at the mouth of 2-3 people. For those pastors found guilty of sin, Paul instructs that they should be "rebuke[d] in the presence of all, that the rest may also fear...observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality" (5:20-21a). Then in reference to ordaining a man to preach the gospel, Paul warned Timothy not to participate quickly but rather examine the character first (5:22). Paul's letter to Timothy was a challenge for him to remain pure and have integrity. If you are a leader, put all of these things into practice knowing that people look to you for an example to be followed.

Dear God, help me to closely follow the instructions you have given to the church. May I count my pastor as worthy, pray for his strength in temptation, and fight for his integrity. But provide the strength for me to follow Your ways and have a high standard of leadership.