The Way - Day 166 (1 Timothy 6)

Daily Reading:
1 Timothy 6
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
Even if we aren't "rich", compared to the rest of the world, Americans generally are considered rich.  How does vs 17-19 speak to you in that context?  How can we more align our hopes on God, not riches?  If you feel comfortable confess how you have failed or how you have refocused on God in these areas of your life.
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 81:10
OPTION 2: Proverbs 20:27
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:25-26
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for 1 Timothy 6 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
1 TIMOTHY 6:1-2
The Ephesian believers also received some instruction from Paul concerning the way they treated their place of employment. From every indication in these verses, it seems that the Christians were not taking their jobs seriously and presenting a negative work ethic amongst the community. Paul writes "let as many bondservants as are under the yoke [submissive role in a job] count their own masters worthy of all honor" (6:1a). Being a bondservant can be closely associated with our modern-day employer/employee relationship and Paul commanded employees to treat their bosses with respect. Why did Paul want the Christians at Ephesus to work hard? "So that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed" (6:1b). The way we work is a direct reflection on our Christian character. Regardless of the type of job, every follower of Christ should have an outstanding reputation in the workplace. In a day where everyone complains about working, be positive and work hard at your job. Paul goes on to give specific guidelines to those whose employers are also Christians: "let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved" (6:2). A Christian who works for another Christian may dislike the authority over them, but Paul commands that they be submissive. Take some time right now to examine your attitude in the workplace. Are you a source of division and strife? Does your boss constantly reprimand you for a lack of work ethic? Do you slack off when you employer is not around? Do you complain to other employees about your job? Do you take personal offence to constructive criticism? Do you get involved in being judgmental of persons in authority? Work hard because your attitude at your job is reflection of your Christian character.

1 TIMOTHY 6:3-10
Paul changes the subject again and warns against false teachers who do not "consent to wholesome words...of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness" (6:3). At the heart of these false teachers was the disregard for the authority of Scripture and its' resulting godly lifestyle. They were also "proud...obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings...who suppose that godliness is a means of gain" (6:4-5). Paul claims that the false teachers are only using people for a way to get money. With this in mind, he provides some important instruction about a person's view of money. He writes "godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out" (6:6-7). A Christian should be satisfied with what he has and recognize that money is only temporary (we cannot take money with us when we die). Instead of wanting more, a follower of Jesus Christ should be content with the basic needs of life because those who strive to be rich place themselves in a precarious situation (6:8-9). A lust for more money is said to bring "temptation and a snare, and into many harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition." There is nothing wrong with having money, but "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil...." (6:10a) An obsession with money can lead to a life of sin and destructive behavior. Paul mentions that by the love of money "some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (6:10b). Christians should never get caught up in thinking that if they had a little more money, they would be happy. Money does not bring happiness; in fact, Paul says it can bring "many sorrows." As a follower of Christ, do not allow money to become your obsession. Be satisfied with what you have even if it is a little. When you entered the world you did not own one thing and when you leave, you will leave with nothing. Life is not a quest for more things, but a journey of being content with what you already possess.

1 TIMOTHY 6:11-21
Paul leaves his final advice to Timothy, who is the young pastor at the church of Ephesus. He has used this letter primarily as a guideline for Timothy to conduct the church with decency and godliness. In the first and fourth chapters, Paul warned Timothy about the false teachers who would try to enter the church and destroy the members with their cunningness. In chapter 2, Paul wrote concerning the importance of prayer as well as the role of men/women in the church. Chapter 3 is dedicated to revealing the qualifications of a pastor and a deacon. The fifth chapter addressed matters of respect toward the widows, elders, and slaves. Finally, Paul spent the first part of chapter 6 discussing the dangers of loving money and its' ability to destroy our faith. Keeping all these instructions in mind, Paul writes to Timothy, "O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness" (6:11). Paul's advice is clear - stay away from the world's philosophy in order to follow after godliness. Paul continues to instruct Timothy, "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses" (6:12). Being a Christian brings us into direct conflict with the enemy - Satan and his evil system of values. Timothy must have courage to stand against these forces of evil and live as a light in a dark world. He was not to be characterized by the same attitudes and actions as the world - he was to be different until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (6:14-16)! Then, returning to the theme of money Paul commands those who are rich "not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living good, that they be rich in good works, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation" (6:17-19). In summary of all that Paul had said, Timothy was to guard the truth and avoid any form of false teachings, which ultimately leads to a sinful lifestyle (6:20-21). If you are a young adult, you should especially take Paul's advice to Timothy to heart because the church needs people to stand for the truth and not compromise. It is easy to be like everyone is easy to act like everyone else; however, God calls His followers to live with integrity, with character, and with passion. Be distinct from the lost world around you and do not let them tell you how to live. Let us be reminded of what Paul wrote to Timothy concerning his young leadership: "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity...for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (1 Timothy 4:12, 16b).

Dear God, make me a leader with character and integrity that others may be drawn to You by the way I live my life!