Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1 Timothy 4

The reality of a liberal, generous God is one defense against false teaching. God gives good things to be enjoyed with thanksgiving. It is not gospel to recommend earning points with God by giving stuff up. Things, stuff, are made holy as I submit those things to God's word and prayer. This is the opposite of stoics and ascetics.

In almost the next breath (1 Tim. 4:7-8) he says, "exercise yourself to godliness. The generosity of God is not an excuse for laziness or lack of rigor in personal discipline. Such exercise will be eternally profitable.

1 Timothy 4:12 used to be one of my favorite verses and more important to me than it is now. I hardly qualify anymore as a young man. I still hope, though, to be an example worth following.

The priorities in 1 Timothy 4:13 -- Reading, encouragement, teaching and giving close attention to doctrine are the means of saving those who listen. The instruction about reading is generally regarded as liturgical instruction, but seems to me that it is more of a personal development program. I love the idea that your profiting can bee evident to all! That's what I want.

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