Episode #196. Today we’ll read 1 Timothy chapter 6 together: Paul gives Timothy final instructions for leading the church at Ephesus; warns about greed in the church; and urges him to fight the good fight.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #196. Today we’ll read 1 Timothy chapter 6 together: Paul gives Timothy final instructions for leading the church at Ephesus; warns about greed in the church; and urges him to fight the good fight.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of another book of the New Testament! I hope you have found this gem of a book to be as helpful and instructive as I do. Reading the Bible is like that longest journey that begins with just one step: if you put one foot in front of the other and just don’t stop, you will eventually get there.
And what do you do when you get there? Why, start all over again! The Bible is not a book that is meant to be read once and then put on a shelf along with that old Tom Clancy Novel and the cookbook you got for Christmas last year. The Bible is so full of information, so necessary for a Christian walk, that it is impossible to digest it all in one reading…or two or ten, for that matter.
Read the Bible Everyday
That is why I encourage you to read the Bible every day, weekend or weekday, workweek or vacation, winter, spring, summer, or fall. There are a lot of distractions in this life of ours, and we need continual reminders, regular refocusing and strengthening of our faith. And it is what God instructs us to do!
Invariably, someone will ask us about what we believe and why we believe. Or someone will say something about the gospel that may sound questionable to us. If we are well-versed in the word, we do not have to guess about such matters – we can answer in confidence or find the answer we need in the Bible.
Tomorrow we begin 2nd Timothy, which many scholars believe to be Paul’s final letter. I hope you will join me then. And if you get a moment, please ;et me know you thoughts about Paul’s letters to Timothy…or anything else that’s on your mind, at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
1 Timothy Chapter 6
All who are under the yoke as slaves should regard their own masters as worthy of all respect, so that God’s name and his teaching will not be blasphemed. Let those who have believing masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brothers, but serve them even better, since those who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved.
False Doctrine and Human Greed
Teach and encourage these things. If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Fight the Good Fight
But you, man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you to keep this command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. God will bring this about in his own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see, to him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
Instructions to the Rich
Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life.
Guard the Heritage
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding irreverent and empty speech and contradictions from what is falsely called knowledge. By professing it, some people have departed from the faith.
Grace be with you all.
Paul begins this chapter by urging Christian slaves to obey their Christian masters. I realize that this notion of “master” and “slave” offends our modern senses, but slavery was a common practice in the day of Christ, and Paul was addressing a very real situation: it was not uncommon for an entire household to come to Christ, including their slaves. Paul is urging slaves to respect their masters and not take advantage of their brotherhood in Christ.
Paul also sums up a passage on greed by saying perhaps the most mis-quoted sentence in the entire Bible in verse 10: “For the Love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Of course, we hear this most often as, “Money is the root of all evil.” This over-simplification does not accurately represent Paul’s thoughts on the matter.
Learn to be Content
It is the love of money that is the source of the problem, not the money itself. It is idolizing wealth and putting our hopes and happiness in material goods. Do any of you know unhappy people who buy lottery tickets every payday, hoping to hit the jackpot and cash in? How many stories have we heard of families winning that lottery, vast sums of money, only to be dead broke a decade later, their family torn apart by bitterness and greed?
This does not mean that having money is necessarily a bad thing. If our money is managed in such a way that we can be a blessing to others, it can be a particularly good thing indeed. But as Christians, we are not to put our hope and faith in material possessions. Instead, we are to imitate Paul and learn to be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, because we already have the greatest treasure of all, Jesus Christ our Lord. Let’s pray.
Oh, gracious father, thank you for your mercy and your grace and the daily blessings in our lives. Help us to always remember that we have a hope and a faith that is far greater than anything this world can ever offer us. Helps us to fight the good fight, to be prepared always to make a good confession about the sacrifice of Your Son on the cross. In Jesus’ holy name we pray, Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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