Duration: 365 days
THE FUN GOD INTENDS
False teachers are declaring that marriage and certain foods are bad. Many people in the church at Ephesus have come out of a dark, idolatrous culture in which drunken feasts and orgies are common. As a knee-jerk reaction, false teachers are making blanket rules that marriage (sex) isn’t good, nor are certain foods. It’s dangerous teaching. Everything God created is good.
Paul urges Timothy to give himself completely to training in godliness like he would train physically. He wants Timothy to teach God’s Word to the people in his church. And when people look down on him because he’s young, Paul wants him to remember that God called and gifted him for this role. He will sustain him.
Timothy is to exhort members of the church with loving gentleness—they are his family members. Widows are to be taken care of. Teachers should be paid for their work. And Timothy should do nothing out of favoritism.
Paul warns against the love of money. As believers, we are to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). We are to put our hope in God, “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). When we are rich in good deeds, we “lay up treasure for [ourselves] as a firm foundation for the coming age” (1 Timothy 6:18–19).
The King’s Heart
“Everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4).
God could have made the world quite a bit less good, and it would still be good. But he chose to make it very good. We could get sustenance by eating bland gruel for every meal. But he chose to create strawberries and blueberries and acai berries—and he chose to give us minds to create even more flavors. The world could have a uniform smell. But instead God gave different scents to roses, crisp fall mornings, and campfires. He could have designed us to reproduce by giving high-fives. But he chose to make it intimate and passionate and pleasurable.
We know the parameters God set up for these good things. Within the boundaries God set up, he gives us complete freedom to run and play. And he wants us to; it is his design.
In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul quotes a verse from Deuteronomy alongside a statement from Jesus that was recorded in Luke—calling both “Scripture.” Even in the AD 60s, portions of the New Testament (or what ultimately became a part of the New Testament) were considered Scripture, on par with the Old Testament.
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