I mentioned a few days ago that I was going to start memorizing the book of 1 Timothy, not just for knowledge's sake, but so that I can better understand what God has for me in his Word and be able to recall it when necessary. In case I didn't say this before, I chose 1 Timothy because it is here that Paul passes on the wisdom he had learned in all of his years of ministry to his "son in the faith", Timothy. This weekend, I came to 1 Timothy in my daily reading, and I have to admit that I am a little intimidated now at the thought of memorizing this book! After all, the last and only attempt I've made at tackling such a feat did not end at its completion!
What I did learn last time, however, was just how much each verse means in the bible, including the salutations at the beginning of each of Paul's letters. Usually I skim over the greeting to get to "the good stuff", but if I memorize, I can't very well do that...so I learned something, then and now. I've decided I'll share my gleanings from 1 Timothy 1:1 with you.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; (1 Timothy 1:1)
1. If you are in a position of influence, use it humbly for God's glory. First of all, I noticed the way Paul gives his credentials in the letters opening. He was an apostle of Jesus, and is writing because he is commanded by God and Jesus. This means something personally to me because I had a lot of difficulty deciding whether or not to mention in this blog that I was the director of Women's Ministry at my church. I didn't want to be self promoting, but at the same time was hoping to add some credibility to my thoughts. After consulting with some wise counsel (thank you, bro) I decided to mention my position. Leaders, God has placed you a position of influence. Keep in mind that I'm not saying to strut around bragging about a title by any means. I'm just saying that if your position can help bring more glory to God's kingdom, don't be shy.
2. Remember that you have nothing to say. Paul shared his credentials, but also gave God ultimate credit. Paul did not say that he was writing because he had something to say but because he was commanded to by God. Paul was aware of who he was, a humble servant of the Saviour of his soul. I thought it was interesting how Paul chose to say that God was our Saviour. I usually think of God as God and Jesus as my Saviour, but I suppose that God is also my saviour because He sent Jesus to do the hard work, and after all Jesus is God too!
3. Give credit where credit is due. The Lord Jesus Christ is our hope. This is huge. When I think of how little I have to offer without God's hand on my life, it is very humbling. Jesus is our hope of godliness here on earth as well as our hope for eternal life in heaven. Col 1:27 speaks of the mystery of Christ among the Gentiles: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Without Christ in us, we would lose the battle against ourselves.
Thank you, God for being my Saviour and my authority. Thank you Jesus, for being my Lord and my hope. Thank you for giving me Your words of life to think on, pray back to you, and to teach others about who You are. You are my Rock and my ever faithful Friend.