Through the Bible, November 24

Reading: 1 Timothy 1-2

Summary: Following Paul’s release from imprisonment at the conclusion of his trial, Paul went back to traveling. His stops included Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3), Macedonia, Crete (Titus 1:5), Miletus (2 Tim. 4:20), Ephesus (again, 2 Tim. 1:16-18), Troas, Corinth (2 Tim. 4:20), and Nicopolis (Titus 3:12).

It is likely from Macedonia that Paul wrote to young Timothy whom Paul had left at Ephesus after having visited there. Having traveled with Paul so many different places, young Timothy is now given the responsibility to remain at Ephesus and preach. Having known this church and these people for many years, no doubt Paul felt some level of comfort in leaving Timothy here.

Paul encourages Timothy in this letter to stand against certain false teachers and to instruct the church at Ephesus regarding prayer and the roles of both men and women in the church.

Devotional Thought:

Good Aim

They say you hit what you aim at. Consideration of my experience with a rifle and a bow seems to argue otherwise. Still, though, the principle is true. And not only of weapons but of attitudes as well.

At what do you aim with the Bible? Particularly in regard to other people? Is it to “fix” them? Disprove them? Show them up?

Paul said, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5).

A couple of things to notice here; well, three. First, of course, is that the objective or aim is love. Second, that the emphasis here is really on the one doing the teaching or leading; that it would be with a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. And third, that this is in a context in which Timothy is instructed how to handle “certain persons” who have gotten off track doctrinally and spiritually (see vv. 3-4, 6-7).

Beyond the Bible being truth, the word of God, words of eternal life, etc., God is every bit as much concerned with the attitude and approach with which we use His word.

Love is always the right vantage point from which to operate when using the Bible. Be sure your aim is good.

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