Thursday, February 15, 2007

1 Timothy 5:4-7

4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame.

I was asked to teach 1 Timothy 5 & 6 next week. I will be filling in for Dr. Andrew Jackson who is teaching a 10-week in-depth study on the pastoral epistles (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) for Grace Bible School. I have been preparing my notes for chapter 5 which is heavily focused on how the church and families should handle widows. It is easy to gloss over these passages because “how do they apply to my life”? Well, I am discovering that they apply more than one would initially think. I have parents and grandparents. If my parents can no longer take care of themselves, then I need to step up and help. I need to take care of them and thereby “Put my religion into practice”. This sounds familiar to the commandment to “Honor your father and Mother…”. Paul is serious about this instruction and considers one who ignores this responsibility as worse than an unbeliever and one who denies the faith (God). This is something we all need to remember when we are faced with decision about how to take care of our parents and grandparents as they age.

Verses 5 and 6 also have some universal and relevant truth. The admonition to put your hope in God and to remain in an attitude of prayer (day & night) rather than living for pleasure (v5-6) is a universal truth that we can all take to heart and apply to our lives (v7). The result of ignoring this admonition is rather severe – spiritual death. We are called to live for God and not for ourselves.

There’s a lot of other good stuff in chapter 5 and a large handful of nuggets in chapter 6. I will share some of these things in future posts.

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