Reading through the Bible together

Friday, May 15, 2015

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In this chapter, Paul gives advice for dealing with human relationships as they exist in a church family.  He begins with elders but writes mostly concerning, “widows” (vs. 3-16).  Jewish’ teaching required that widows and the fatherless be provided for (Ex. 22:22-24; Deut. 27:19).   The practice was being followed by Gentile Christians but guidelines were needed so that “care for widows” would fulfill its purpose and not be abused. Providing care for those in need blesses and transforms us who compose the church. 

Paul returns to the subject of elders.  We are to support and pray for those appointed as leaders.  It is a sad occasion when a leader fails.  Adding to Paul’s advice to Timothy is Christ’s own instruction given in Matthew 18:1, 18-21.  If a leader engages in open sin, it is to be rebuked before the church (v. 20), without prejudice or partiality.                                                                                                 

“Keep yourself pure” (v.22).These verses are more important in today’s sex-obsessed society than when Paul wrote them.  Impurity begins with our thoughts.  What do we do with all the suggestive paths that present themselves to us each day?  Look away.  Repeat Scripture, sing.  Entertain no thoughts for fulfilling fleshly lusts. “Whatever things are pure, lovely, good, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). 

Today’s prayer:  “May the good works of God’s grace grow more and more in my life.” 

David Manzano, Retired Pastor

Member of the Retired Workers Association

Collegedale, TN  U.S.A.