NIV Discover God’s Heart Devotional Bible

Duration: 365 days

WHAT GOD WANTS

1 Timothy 1–3

God’s Story

Paul writes to Timothy, his “son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2), who is pastoring the church at Ephesus. He instructs him on “how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household” (1 Timothy 3:15).

False teachers in the church are emphasizing the Old Testament law. Paul explains that the law is useful for those who are outside of Jesus’ family, but not for those who are led by the Holy Spirit. The law is a list of dos and don’ts. Believers don’t follow dos and don’ts; they follow God.

Paul rejoices that God has chosen him, the worst of sinners, to serve him. God can change any heart. Paul reminds Timothy that God has called him to serve him too—prophecies have been spoken about Timothy. He is to keep fighting for God’s kingdom.

Paul gives Timothy his first rule for public worship: God’s people should be prayer warriors for all people because God wants everyone to come to know him.

Church leaders are to love Jesus and show evidence that he is active in their lives—that they know him and follow him.

And Paul includes a brief poem about Jesus, the beautiful mystery at the center of our faith, “from which true godliness springs” (1 Timothy 3:16).

The King’s Heart

God, the infinitely creative One, has the ability to make any person that he wants. So the people he did choose to create were crafted with intentionality, uniquely reflecting parts of his heart. While people living in darkness might be dim reflections of him—very broken ones even—they are made in God’s image. Each person is a God-design. And no matter how broken, God wants each person to come to know him. “God our Savior . . . wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3–4).

Insight

In Ephesus, the biggest temple was the Temple of Artemis. Artemis was a female deity, so the priests were all females. When Paul encouraged the women in Ephesus to study the faith and “learn” (1 Timothy 2:11), he was advocating something counter to the first-century Jewish culture from which he and the very first churches originated. But he might have added that a woman should not “assume authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:12) in part because the nearby cult of Artemis had elevated women to the place where men had become inconsequential, and he didn’t want Christianity to be seen as a new cult that did the same. So he reminded the believers of the gender roles that God established at creation.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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