Today’s Scripture: 1 Timothy 1
One of the most wonderful aspects of our faith in God is the confidence and comfort it imparts on our lives. When we surrender control of our lives to God, we are freed from the chains of the illusion that we alone are responsible for our destiny.
Faith also provides sustenance to combat the challenges we face. Today, as we step into 1 Timothy, we are presented with a lesson in the importance of faith in its many dimensions.
First Timothy is essentially a letter of encouragement and guidance from the apostle Paul to his protegee Timothy. Paul considered Timothy to be his “true son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). While Timothy was a trusted and respected man of God, historical accounts often make note of his timid nature. So, it is revealing that when Paul (who was anything but timid) departed Ephesus for Macedonia, he turned to Timothy to carry on with the important work he was leaving behind.
Ephesus was awash with turmoil over the teaching of the doctrine. In his epistle to Timothy, Paul challenged him “to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth” (1 Timothy 1:3). More specifically, Paul was imploring Timothy to stand against the rising tide of legalism, which strayed from the truth by focusing on man-made rules and outward appearances.
1 Timothy 1:5
5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
Nestled within Paul’s message to Timothy is a resounding statement of purpose. He is asking him to reorient local teachings of the doctrine to focus on the inward beauty of God’s love, rather than the pedigree and posturing of teachers who “don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently” (1 Timothy 1:7).
At the same time, Paul was encouraging Timothy through a different sort of faith—his confidence in Timothy’s abilities. This was difficult and dangerous work, and the timid Timothy may very well have been a flight risk. Given the task at hand, Paul’s demonstration of confidence and encouragement was well-placed.
Lastly, Paul’s message conveys that faith in God is paramount to faith in our own worthiness.
1 Timothy 1:15-16
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
The story of Paul’s transformation is surely one of the most dramatic examples of God’s love and mercy. Formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, Paul had once led the persecution of Christians. As Paul himself wrote, he was the worst of all sinners. And yet, God not only loved him, but he chose him to share the good news. Upon being saved, Paul was arguably Christ’s most devoted evangelist, authoring a substantial portion of the New Testament and serving as a model for all others who doubt their own worthiness.
In guiding and empowering Timothy, Paul provided a lesson in faith from which we all can benefit: Regardless of our past transgressions or current insecurities, trust in God enables us to strengthen the future of his Kingdom—by faith.
How often do you consider the blessings that come with placing your faith in God? If you tend to lose sight of these blessings, what can you do to be more mindful of the peace and freedoms that accompany true faith? If you find it difficult to place unconditional faith in God, what obstacles are standing in your way?
Set aside time today to quietly reflect on the blessings of your faith in God. Be thoughtful in considering how the knowledge that “God’s got this” can help you to live your faith and serve his Kingdom with a confident humility.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the immeasurable gift of your love and mercy. Help me to always be mindful of the freedom and comfort that my faith in you provides, and to use this faith as fuel for serving your Kingdom. Amen.
This post was written by Todd Romain. Todd enjoys sharing life with his wife Jessica and their family and serving at CedarCreek. He is a communications director at Owens Corning and enjoys reading, writing, music, and sports in his spare time.
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