Monday, January 18, 1Timothy 1
The letter to Timothy was written as instruction and encouragement for a young church leader, but clearly it speaks to each of us today as we continue Paul’s mission of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Verse 8 says the law is holy and good when used as God intended (Romans 7:12, 16). Paul also taught that we are “free from the law,” (Romans 7: 4, 6) and free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). What does this mean to you? Verses 16-17 certainly show us how God’s grace changes people. How has God’s grace changed you? In verses 18-19, what instructions does Paul give to us today?
Tuesday, January 19, 1Timothy 2
Chapter 2 instructs us concerning prayer. Verses 3-4 refers to knowledge of the truth. What is that knowledge as stated in verses 5-6? Why is it important that we know the story of Jesus? Verses 9-15 give some customs and standards for women of that time. But in Luke 8:1-3, Matthew 28:8, Luke 24:10 and John 20:18, we learn of the valuable contributions of women in the life of Jesus. Read these scriptures again and reflect on the value of women in that culture, the laws regarding who could and who could not lead, and then move forward in your thoughts to our culture today. How far have we come in regarding women as equal to men in serving God and proclaiming His message? Does it seem obvious to you that God calls both to live Godly lives?
Wednesday, January 20, 1Timothy 3
The qualifications of those who watch over the spiritual welfare of the church are defined in verses 1-13. What are these qualifications? In light of these qualifications, what should we, as the church, be able to expect from them? We realize that Godly lives are as important as knowledge. Do you think these qualifications apply to our lives also? In verses 14-16 we are told that the mystery of Christianity is Jesus. It is not easy to understand how Jesus can be both human and divine. What parts of your Christian faith seem like a mystery? What parts are easy for you to share with others?
Thursday, January 21, 1Timothy 4
Verses 1-3 warn us of false teaching regarding salvation, and yet in verse 4 we are told, “everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected (Colossians 2:20-23). We know that strict disciplines of the body cannot remove sin; Christ removes sin. Holiness does not depend on legalities but on a relationship with God. Only through a prayerful relationship with God can we thankfully acknowledge him as the source of all wisdom and guidance, and begin to see our lives as holy. What difference has your relationship with God made in your life? Are you bound or free?
Friday, January 22, 1Timothy 5
Chaper 5 defines for us the way to live out respect and honor for all through Christ. A title for this chapter might be “A Church that Cares.” Read the entire chapter slowly and prayerfully. As a church, how do we honor God’s people? I believe the church that learns to care in special ways for the old, the young, the male, the female, and those with special needs, is most certainly the church Paul had in mind. Take time to pray for our church, our leaders, and what God is calling you to do. Verses 17-25 once again instruct those who lead. Without trying, we model our values. What does that say about you? About our church?
Saturday, January 23, 1Timothy 6
In Paul’s time there was a great social and legal difference between slaves and masters. But as Christians, we have become spiritual equals (Galatians 3:28). These guidelines could just as well apply to employer/employee relationships today. (Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:22-25). Our work should always reflect our love and faithfulness to Jesus Christ. Although Christians are at different levels in our earthly society, we are all equal before God. What are these verses saying to you today? In verses 11-20, Paul gives final instructions for living and faith. After reading these verses, pray about what verses 18-19 are saying to you. Verse 21 tells us that knowledge without God is empty and futile. How is it that we can know so much, and yet miss the most important thing in life? Spend some time praising God for his forgiveness, grace and love. Ask him what his assignment is for you, in this day, in this place. Pray for the strength to do it.
Sunday, January 24, Psalm 62
Read Psalm 62 and reflect on two things: Where does our rest and hope come from? What do we do to get this rest and hope? God calls us to faithful obedience to his way of life, to trust in him for deliverance from our enemies. Is this easy for you to believe? To follow? Verse 7 speaks to us about salvation and honor. Are they more valuable than what you can achieve in this life, like wealth, power and success? And if they are, does your life reflect that? Stand silently before the Lord and ask him to give you eternal eyes and a life that overflows with his fullness.