March 31, 2022 – 1 Timothy 5: 17-25 – Be Careful

Today we are reading from 1 Timothy 5: 17-25:

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; 18 for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves to be paid.” 19 Never accept any accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels, I warn you to keep these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing on the basis of partiality. 22 Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.

23 No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

24 The sins of some people are conspicuous and precede them to judgment, while the sins of others follow them there. 25 So also good works are conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden.

Paul finishes up his teaching to Timothy with these warnings – be careful.  

Be careful about integrity.  Be careful about ordaining people too quickly, give them time to make sure they are ready for the responsibilities of leadership within Christ’s church. 

Be careful about always believing the worst of others.  Listen to witnesses.  Consider the truth.  

Be careful about who you associate yourself with, keep yourself unstained from sin. 

Be careful about your health. This is my favorite one of Paul’s words. This is a loving father telling his son to take care of himself.  I really love that.  Who is your spiritual father? Who looks after you, cares for you, wants the best for you? That’s what Paul did for Timothy. 

That’s why Paul could speak some, sometimes hard words. Because Timothy knew just how much Paul loved him.  

Who in your life have you given permission to to love you in that way?  And who are you seeking to love in the same way? 

Be careful out there.  Walk with balance.  Walk with truth. Walk with love. Walk with care.  Paul tells Timothy, be careful in this position that God has you in.  Use it for good. But be careful. 

A good word for us today, as well. 

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