In Timothy 4, we continue to see how Paul encourages Timothy to walk daily in Christ. How Paul lived out his faith, as well as Timothy, we are called to the live the very same way. You and I are called to act like true believers. We represent Christ and He calls us His Church. Go ahead and read 1 Timothy 4.
Notice how Paul starts out this passage. The Holy Spirit does all the talking in leading you in your faith. When you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, you gain a valuable asset. The Holy Spirit enters your heart. This means that God resides within you forevermore. Check out a few of these Scriptures to see what the Spirit does for you: John 14:15-17,26; Acts 1:8, 2:38; Romans 8:26. In Christ, you are never alone, thus, you are equipped to walk daily in the ways of the Lord like Paul is encouraging Timothy to do.
What does the Holy Spirit tells you and I in verse 1? Deception will occur for many. We must remember that outside of God, there is evil. Anything that is not from God is from the dark side which is soaked in evil. Many are blindsided by this because they lack discernment. We would recognize Satan if he came dressed in red with horns on, but he doesn’t. He comes dressed like an angel of light to lie, deceive, and take down as many as he can.
A great analogy on this: Place poison, in true form, on a table and tell children what it is and they shouldn’t touch it. They would leave it alone. It isn’t appealing. Now, place the poison inside M&Ms, and set them on the table. Don’t say they are poisonous and see if children would eat them. They would. If only small amounts of poison were in the candy, it may not make them sick at first, but after time, it would. This is how Satan operates. He’s subtle, cunning, and will catch you and I off guard! Many are eating poisonous M&Ms and they don’t even realize it.
What happens to your conscience; see verse 2? Think of your conscience being seared. The enemy wants to scorch you so you will dry up and wither. How does this happen, see verse 3? Satan has twisted the things of God. He distorts the truth. This is why believers are called to separate themselves from the ways of the world and follow Christ.
What do you learn about God in verses 4 and 5? For added insight, read Romans 14:14-18.
Paul encourages Timothy, as well as you and I, to talk and explain godly truths to other believers in verse 6. It is important to be in deep relationships with them. We are called to nourish one another with good teaching for we are worthy servants of Christ.
In the rest of this passage, Paul shows us the responsibility that God places on His children who represents His Church. If we don’t rise up and live the way God is calling us to live, then we are giving Satan a foothold and his dark ways will prevail. Let’s see what it looks like to walk in step with the King.
What is the first thing you learn in verse 7? What should you be doing?
Following Jesus is not automatic. Your flesh will naturally do its own thing, thus you are like Satan. He lives for himself. You must train yourself to follow Jesus. It takes discipline with a mindset that is alert to the reality of the dark side. You need to learn how to fight it or you will be consumed by it.
A poisoned M&M analogy is found in verses 8-9. You know that your body is made to move. Physical exercise is good for your body, but the world twists it around, to deceive you. This is Satan in his finest work. People become more consumed with physical fitness than with deepening their faith in Christ and following the Holy Spirit’s leading. If you have to choose to either work out physically before you leave for work in the morning or study the Bible and spend time with God, which would you choose?
Running 26.2 miles has become a popular sport. While running has many health benefits, did you know that your body was not made to run that far? It is unhealthy. Ask any medical professional or someone who has taken anatomy. The training it takes to run that far is consuming, yet look at how popular marathons are. Believers are being consumed by it. Now, I am not saying to not run one. If you want to challenge yourself, go for it, just be done then and move on. So many become addicted that it becomes ungodly.
Satan loves to lure you away so you become addicted and attached.
Satan likes it when you revel in your flesh and what it wants; “pay attention to me,” your soul yells out, “pacify my wants and desires.”
Paul doesn’t sugar coat what you need to do to keep in step with the King. In verse 10, you must work hard to abide in Christ. There are no short cuts. Christ must become first in your life. Your heart and mind must become in tune to the Holy Spirit as He teaches you to walk obediently with your Father. If Christ couldn’t take an easier way out to save you, you can’t either. Yes, you will struggle. If Christ suffered for truth to prevail, so will His children.
Why do you work hard and struggle like Christ, see verse 10? Without the sacrifice of Christ, you and I are without hope. What kind of God is God? May knowing this change you.
In verses 11-12, Paul tells Timothy to keep teaching godly truths and insisting that everyone learn them. You may not be gifted in teaching, but how can you encourage others to follow Jesus? When Christ enters into a heart, that person has the same mission or purpose as another believer. You and I are called to share Christ and His truths with whomever will listen. You and I are vessels of His love so unbelievers can change their resident from hell to heaven.
At the end of verse 12, how are you to be an example of Christ? List out what you learn and ask God to help you live this way.
In verse 13, Paul tells Timothy to focus on reading the Scriptures. I cannot emphasize this enough, you cannot remain on the narrow path that leads to heaven without knowing the Bible. Satan will keep you distracted my friend. Everyone needs encouraging, so how are you helping others in their faith walks? As Christians, you and I are to be open to learning new spiritual things for God is constantly guiding us. Everyday is a new day to learn from God. Do you prepare your day for Him?
You are not to neglect your spiritual walk. God has gifted you in some way or ways that is needed for His Kingdom. Whatever that may be, Paul tells you to “throw yourself into your tasks.”15 You are also to “keep a close watch on how you live and stay true to what is right.”16 Why is this important?
Salvation is at hand my friend. Today is the day to hear His voice and receive what Christ has for you. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 says, “As God’s partners, Paul (and I) urge you to not accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.'” Amen.
(United In Love is taking a short break. It is family time 🙂 We will resume studying 1 Timothy next week, after July 12.)