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From Trials to Hope

Reflections on 1 Timothy 1

On March 9th, I announced to the "world" that I was going to memorize an entire book of the bible, that of 1 Timothy.  Admittedly, I started out with a bang and then fizzled in the month of May when I got to some verses that I just couldn't get into.   Do you know that feeling?   I started trying to memorize 1 Tim 1:9-10 about who the law was really made for and the list got too long.  Consequently, I fell off the memorizing wagon.

But alas, I'm back on.  I recommitted vs 1-9 solidly to memory and now I've also gotten down 10-11 as well.  So what have I learned so far?

1) Focus on the best, not the good.  Paul gave Timothy one charge (at least this is what he saw fit to include first in his letter to Timothy).  That charge was to remain in Ephesus and protect that church from straying from sound doctrine (1 Tim 1:3).  It is so easy in our churches today to get sidetracked from our first love - the gospel and the love of God and His Word - with all of the fun and good activities and ministries that can take place.  Selecting the best, which leads to godly edifying (1 Tim 1:4), is key.

2) Be real and keep pure motives.  Of all of the verses I've memorized so far from this chapter, 1 Timothy 1:5 has meant the most to me.  If we have a pretend faith, do not love others and have ulterior motives for our actions rather than pure ones, we are not glorifying God.  We are playing church, and are probably quite miserable souls when it gets right down to it.   I don't want to "turn aside unto vain jangling", desiring to teach because it is the cool thing to do. (1 Timothy 1:5-7)

3) Be a good steward.  From v 11, my freshest memory verse, I am reminded of the good news, of the beauty of God and the responsibilities I have been given.  The verse says:

According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. (1 Timothy 1:11)

Just as Timothy was charged by Paul, I am and you are, to whatever extend we were individually called, to guard ourselves and those around us from false teaching.  We have been given the glorious good news of the saving power of Jesus' blood directly from the God who loved us enough to sacrifice His son so that He could have a relationship with us.  We are entrusted with this glorious gospel.  What are we doing with it?

This is the end of my official post for today, so if anyone is tired of reading, they can rest assured that I have no more of my own wisdom (for whatever it is worth) to impart.  Now though, I'm going to see if I can't type what I've memorized so far from memory, just for practice.  Corrections will be in red or marked through. (FYI - I'm going to correct the punctuation without the strikethroughs - KJV punctuation is brutal!)

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, while  when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine.

4 Neither give heed to fables and endless geneaologies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience and of faith unfeigned:

6 From which some having swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling;

7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

8 But we know that the law is good if a man use it lawfully;

9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10 For whoremongers, and for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.