Highlights In Today's Reading:
Government and order in the local church. Must have sound doctrine (Ch. 1). Instructions on prayer (Ch. 2). Qualifications for Church officers: Bishops (Elders), Deacons (Ch. 3).Instructions to those ministering: how to walk (Ch. 4); their duties (Ch. 5); more warnings on false teaching (Ch. 6).
As the athlete disciplines his body to develop better physical endurance and alertness, the believer is urged to discipline himself daily with a definite time set aside to be alone with God to pray and read His Word. Daily study of and meditation on the Scriptures must be directed with one desire — to conform our lives to the instructions of the Word of God.
In my brief lifetime of about 88 years, Christians have drifted away from the godly principles of the Bible. In this day of materialism it is not even popular to remind believers to follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14), that bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come (I Tim. 4:8).
Paul writes: Godliness with contentment is great gain (6:6). Godliness means much more than obeying a series of laws and regulations. It begins when God imparts His nature within us. Then, as we desire the sincere milk of the Word (I Pet. 2:2), we grow in godliness and are drawn away from the world and into a personal fellowship with Him. We have the choice of either disciplining ourselves to submit to His will or remaining spiritually powerless and vulnerable to Satan's deceptions. Bible reading provides spiritual manna and is as important to our spiritual life as eating regular meals is to our physical well-being.
Our lives will be occupied either by the Holy Spirit or by self and the standards of the world. There can be no sharing of authority, and there is just one true safeguard against deception — it is knowing all the Word of God. Paul also encouraged Timothy to be a good minister (servant) of Jesus Christ (4:6), to remain loyal to Christ and His authoritative Word (6:3-4), and to fight the good fight of faith (6:12). God had entrusted the Gospel to Paul (1:11), and Paul was faithful to pass it along to Timothy (1:18-19; 6:20), as well as to the children of God to this day.
Ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:6-7).
Thought for Today:
Discipline is a little known word these days, but without it our lives become a spiritual wreck. Discipline yourself to spend time daily reading God's Word.
For I Tim. 5:18: See Deut. 25:4.
1:5 unfeigned =b> genuine; without hypocrisy; 1:10 menstealers =b> kidnappers, people who enslave (control) others for their own evil purposes; 2:9 shamefacedness =b> modest behavior; 2:12 usurp =b> domineer over a man; 3:2 husband of one wife =b> married only once; vigilant =b> disciplined, self-controlled: 3:8 greedy of filthy lucre =b> craving wealth; 3:13 purchase to themselves a good degree =b> gain a good reputation; 5:11 wax wanton against =b> allow their passions to draw them away from Christ; 6:4 questions and strifes of words =b> controversial, contentious speculations, attacking the authority and reliability of Scripture.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts in the Middle East sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Casmir A. Zuranski • Staff: George Kopchak • Government Officials: Rep. Mary Fallin (OK), Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Rep. Ciro Rodrigues (TX) • Country: San Marino (25,000) inside north-central Italy • Major language: Italian • Religious freedom • 95% Roman Catholic; 5% atheist • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for understanding of the Word of God as you read each day (Ps. 119:34).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 2:21