Church leaders were largely to blame for Mark Twain becoming hostile to the Bible and the Christian faith. As he grew up, he knew elders and deacons who owned slaves and abused them. He heard men using foul language and saw them practice dishonesty during the week after speaking piously in church on Sunday. He listened to ministers use the Bible to justify slavery. Although he saw genuine love for the Lord Jesus in some people, including his mother and his wife, he was so disturbed by the bad teaching and poor example of church leaders that he became bitter toward the things of God. 1
This is a poem of Amy Carmichael’s,
“He said..’I will forget the dying faces, the empty places. They shall be filled again. Oh, voices moaning deep within me cease.’ But vain the word, vain, vain. Not in forgetting lieth Peace…
He said..’I will crowd action upon action. The strife of faction shall stir me and sustain. Oh, tears that drown the fire of manhood cease.’ But vain the word, vain, vain. Not in endeavor lieth Peace…
‘I will withdraw me and be quiet. Why meddle in life’s riot? Shut be my door to pain. Desire, thou doest befool me. Thou shall cease.’ But vain the word, vain, vain. Not in aloofness lieth Peace…
He said..’I will submit, I am defeated. God hath depleted my life of it’s rich gain. Oh futile murmurrings, why will you not cease?’ But vain the word, vain, vain. Not in submission lieth Peace…
He said..’I will accept the breaking sorrow which God tomorrow will to His son explain.’ Then did the turmoil deep within him cease. Not vain the word, not vain. For in Acceptance lieth Peace” (Amy Carmichael)
An ad appeared in a newspaper that read: “Farmer wants to marry woman, age 35, with tractor. Send picture of tractor.”
We laugh at this but it ought to cause us to think about just what kind of traits do make a woman attractive? In a moment we’ll begin to consider what God’s Word says about the qualities that God thinks are important women who profess to know Him.
John R. Greening, says this about the concerns Timothy faced in the church that Paul addressed in the book of 1 Timothy that we’ve been studying in recent weeks.
Photo by: Peyman (Creative Commons)
“A quick survey of the first epistle to [Timothy] will reveal what [he] was up against in the Church at Ephesus:
- He had contemplated resigning his ministry in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3; Paul had urged Timothy to remain in Ephesus).
- Problems existed in the educational ministries (1:3-7, 4:1-3, 6:3-5).
- Modesty in wardrobe was an issue (2:9, 10).
- Women were usurping authority from men (2:11-15).
- Some were distorting the process of spiritual development (4:4-10).
- People complained about the worship services (4:11-16).
- Pastoral staff salaries were substandard (5:17, 18).
- People were criticizing the pastoral staff (5:19-25).
- Labor-relations issues were dividing the congregation (6:1-5).
- Materialism was influencing the lifestyle of some believers (6:6-19).” (Back to the Basics of Ministry, pgs. 29-30 — John R. Greening is President of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches)
These were some of the problems Timothy faced and today the church still must deal with some of these same problems.
I just love the faith that children bring to prayer.
I read about a little 8-year-old boy that came home from school with a stuffed animal he had won at the class Valentine’s party.
His dad asked him that happened. “Well,” the little guy explained, “the teacher put all our names together, and then picked one out. I cheated, though, — I prayed!” (Davy Troxel, New Albany, Ind. Christian Reader, “Kids of the Kingdom.”)
We need that kind of faith in prayer don’t we?
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As we come to the second chapter of 1 Timothy we’ll find some essential teaching on prayer in the life of the church. Paul has direction from God about prayer that is especially important for us. This timely passage is found in the first seven verse of 1 Timothy 2.
A few weeks ago we began a study of 1 Timothy and as we approach our passage for study today we will discover, I believe, the unifying theme of this letter to Timothy from Paul. As you study a passage it is usually a good idea to look for the big idea. I think we’ll discover this big idea as we study the remainder of the first chapter of 1 Timothy beginning with verse 18…
In the early 1900’s a London newspaper carried an advertisement that read: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” The ad, signed by famous Arctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, brought Inquiries from thousands of men. Commenting on this in his book Be Faithful, Warren W. Wiersbe said, “If Jesus Christ had advertised for workers, the announcement might have read something like this: ‘Men and women wanted for difficult task of helping to build My church. You will often be misunderstood, even by those working with you. You will face constant attack from an invisible enemy. You may not see the results of your labor, and your full reward will not come till after all your work is completed. It may cost you your home, your ambitions, even your life.’” 1
As we began last Sunday the study of 1 Timothy, we established the author of the book, Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ. We noted the importance of understanding the kind of authority Paul had as an Apostle. Jesus Christ himself appointed the Apostles. Paul’s authority to speak on matters of the church comes from Jesus Christ. We would do well to take these words seriously and not dismiss them as irrelevant to us today but as Scripture that is to be understood and adhered to in our conduct as believers in the body of Christ. I think we can agree that it should be our aim as a church to test and approve all that we do by the standard of God’s Word.
1 Timothy 1:1-2
Higgins Lake Baptist Church
Kevin Pierpont, Pastor-Teacher
A pastor was invited to have dinner with a family in his church. While waiting for the meal to be served he asked the young son what they would be having to eat. The boy informed the pastor they would be having goat.
"Are you sure?" the pastor asked.
"Yes, I’m sure. I heard Dad say to mom, ‘let’s have the old goat for dinner today."
Unlike the man who referred to his pastor as an old goat, Scripture refers to the pastor as a shepherd. We begin a new study this morning in the book of 1 Timothy and one of the topics, among others, that we’ll be talking about is the pastor. The book of 1 Timothy is one of three pastoral epistles that Paul penned. The other two are 2 Timothy and Titus. As we study the book of 1 Timothy in the weeks ahead we’ll discover a variety of topics.