DATE POSTED: Thursday, May 25, 2023, and I was blessed to be at O’Brien, FL when God inspired me to write this blog post. In my Footnote, I explain how you might read or listen to this devotional, or any past devotionals.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE FROM THE Living Bible (TLB) IS FOUND IN 1 Timothy 5:1-3
THE BIBLE TEXT IS: Never speak sharply to an older man, but plead with him respectfully just as though he were your own father. Talk to the younger men as you would to much-loved brothers. Treat the older women as mothers, and the girls as your sisters, thinking only pure thoughts about them. The church should take loving care of women whose husbands have died if they don’t have anyone else to help them.
MY INITIAL THOUGHTS: To avoid decisions based on personal emotions alone, as God’s child, we must look to God’s Word for direction, or verification on whether His Word confirms our intentions. Timothy was a young pastor, so rather than picking up bad habits from those he would minister to, Paul gave him directions, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In today’s lesson Paul helps Timothy, and us, discover how to please God when dealing with other individuals. Stay tuned, as this will benefit us all!
APPLICATION OF THE WORD: As a Christian, most of us will probably feel like we must be good to others, because that’s what Jesus did. We might also feel compelled to give to the poor, destitute and widows until we no longer have anything to give, for Jesus loved and cared for others, even those whom others despised. Add to these feelings that you are about to embark on a journey of inviting the lost to be saved, and to disciple and lead the saved to a deeper faith in Jesus Christ. Can you see how easily we might let our personal feelings and emotions control our decision making? Praise God, we have One who gives us direction in all walks of life, and as we strive to please Him and follow in His footsteps, we have a resource that was left for us that contains the heart and mind of Christ, the Bible. Private letters are great, but God wanted this letter from Paul to Timothy made available to all generations for a reason. We are quick to grumble, and we may even share perfect solutions through our ingenious ideas! But when we look to the Word of God for direction, we will find what God knows is best for us and He will guide us into ensuring that the world sees Jesus in what we’re doing. We hear in the news about thugs beating up on old, poorly dressed, and battered looking homeless men and women on the streets of our larger cities, and we feel angered at the thugs and sorry for the elderly. But do we follow God’s commands in meeting their needs where they’re at, or even when they walk through our church doors? For those who regularly attend church, do we stop to listen to their story, hear what their needs are and try to do all within us to meet their needs? Don’t we tend to brush the older men aside assuming their thoughts and ideas are antiquated and not of any value to the church today? Do we try to treat these older men like we did our own father, or are we truly challenged to meet the direction given by Paul to his ‘son in the ministry’, Timothy? I can’t be sure about you, but I often feel out classed by our younger men leading our churches today, and that I may be a bother to them, so it becomes increasingly challenging to offer advice to them. Imagine if we could do something like Paul commanded of Timothy, and partner up with these younger men so we could share our lifelong experience with them. Brothers stand alongside each other and seek out the best for one another, shouldn’t we continue that into our senior years as we pray for, and simply share our experiences with younger men? Before I married my wife, she was told to watch for how her boyfriend or fiancée treated his mom, as it was a good indication of how he will treat his wife. Paul seems to indicate that children of God should also treat older women in much the same way. Those who are perfect in these actions highlighted above have nothing to fear, nor work on, but I believe the majority of us must be reminded of what God’s Word says in how we are to treat others. Because this is commanded of us, I believe that God will judge us on this. ‘Thinking of younger girls as sisters’ could apply to older women, or all men. ‘With pure thoughts’ will apply to the men. When you treat that younger lady like you would your sister, then you will understand how important it is to treat that lady with utmost respect, and help her though her concerns, prayer and needed advice, to complete her mission in life that God has ordained for her to do. I was intrigued by the advice to widows. I thank God for the woman He has placed in my life, but I dread to think about how she might survive on her own, should God take me out of here before her. Can I rest in peace knowing that my church will take care of her like they would take care of their own mothers? But Paul also addressed how this young pastor should treat younger widows. I believe that the church is so attuned to feeling sorry for younger widows, that they may fall prey to correction in these words from Paul. No two scenarios are the same, so good church leaders should carefully understand the needs and either help, or extend godly advice, to younger widows in obedience to their understanding of God’s Word and His direction, God being their helper and advisor.
BLESSINGS WORTH NOTING: Too often we search for ways that God, and the church can help us. But through today’s lesson our eyes are opened to ways that we can treat, and help others, no matter their age, or circumstances of life, God being our helper.
PRAYER BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT OF TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Lord Jesus, I am reminded of an older couple that I attended church with, in my younger days. One was almost blind, and one was crippled. But together they were able to help other seniors by doing their shopping for them. Unfortunately, I believe that too often we feel we are incapable of helping others, because of various circumstances in our life. But dear Lord, most of us can pray, or pick up the phone and call to encourage a shut-in or even our pastor who may struggle to make it through various burdens laid upon him each day. When we’re not doing something helpful, it’s like we declare Your good works in us is meaningless, and perhaps like You may have made something less than perfect. Just as was said about Esther’s purpose in the palace, I strongly believe that You have placed us where we’re at for such a time and place as this. Everyone needs Jesus, and everyone needs to know that they are loved and appreciated for who they are. Please teach us to do our part, while we wait for You to bring us into Your greater glory – in heaven with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There’s another page on my website, entitled ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to this page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin or continue your walk with Jesus. If you would like to see or hear more of my devotionals, please go to NuggetsFromGodsWord.org and read more, or go to Apple Podcasts and search for Nuggets From Gods Word to listen to more podcasts. You can also choose to freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s written devotional, or on the Apple Podcast app, simply search for Nuggets From God’s Word and click ‘Follow’ to be notified of Podcast updates. Please allow me to encourage you to find a church home near by your home and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!