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April 22 | 1 Timothy 5:1-8


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Practical Advice

by Pr. Dave Mann


In these verses, the Apostle Paul gives some very practical advice to young Timothy as he prepares to assist in the training and encouragement of the newly planted Christian churches.

 

First of all, in verse 5, Paul teaches Timothy how to relate to various segments of the population of the body of Christ:

              Older men as fathers

              Younger men as brothers

              Older women as mothers

              Younger women as sisters

 

For the younger women, Paul adds an exhortation—“in all purity.”  It seems that the challenges of sexual purity have not changed much in 2000 years. In general, Paul’s encouragement is to treat everyone as though they were family. Indeed, they are family—the family of God. Everyone is regarded with respect.

 

Then in verses 3-8, Paul gives instructions on how Christian families should show honor and care for aging members of the church.  He references only widows. It appears that the same was true in the 1st century as it is today, that women normally outlast men in the department of length of life. So, the church should be ready to help believers in need (usually widows), but only if there are no younger kin available to care for their elderly family members. If there are, they should be the first to step forward to provide for those nearing the end of their life on earth. Paul had also earlier written instructions about this matter in Ephesians 6:1-3: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise — “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Many biblical scholars believe that Timothy was charged particularly with the care of the church in Ephesus. Thus, Paul’s exhortation to Timothy echoed what the apostle had previously written to the entire church in Ephesus.

 

We often interpret these verses in Ephesians as applying to young children and young parents. But they also apply to the care of elderly parents by their middle-aged children. See Proverbs 23:22: “Listen to your father who gave you life and do not despise your mother when she is old.”

 

The elderly are not left without any exhortation of their own in this paragraph. They are challenged to place their hope in God, to live lives devoted to prayer, and to avoid carnal pleasure.

 

All in all, Paul gives Timothy very practical advice.

 

PRAYER

Lord God, thank you for honorable and trustworthy leaders in the church. We ask that all of us allocate the necessary resources to care for our aging parents and family members, so that they may place their hope in God and rely devoutly on You until that day when you call them home, in Jesus’ name, Amen.






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chuckcoleman25
4月22日

Needed to hear that one today. Amen!

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