1 Timothy 4:6-16: Embody the message.(please click here for todays passage)

‘’Restlessness is discontent, and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.’’ Thomas Alva Edison.

Timothy was given a tough assignment. He had to work in the same arena where the false teachers were active and stand his ground. Here are some things he was told to do:

  • Teach the truth (6, 11, 13, and 14). Where there is darkness the entrance of light will dispel it. Whereas Timothy was to teach God’s Word verbally, he also was expected to do so visually; to live it out before men. ‘’Teach believers with your life…’’ The Message. He was called to lead by example (12); to embody the message. Indeed, Paul wanted people to be able to see Timothy’s ‘’progress’’ (15), both as a preacher and as a man. Apparently the godly Scottish pastor, Robert Murray McCheyne , said, ‘’What my people need most from me is my personal holiness.’’ It remains the case that leaders/preachers should ‘’Watch’’ their lives and doctrine ‘’closely’’ (and) pursue growth constantly. ‘’Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it.’’ The Message. Timothy’s teaching was to have at its heart the gospel message of salvation in Jesus (9, 10)
  • Turn away from error (7). We can’t help others reject heresy if we are enamoured by it ourselves. There can be an unhealthy fascination with unimportant speculative material.
  • Train to be godly (7b, 8). The idea of training implies work and effort. You think about an athlete training for a big race, and how he or she is disciplined; how they keep working, working to improve their time, even if only marginally. They are constantly straining to get better, and make numerous sacrifices in the process. They push themselves. They don’t take the easy option. We should all want to become better people, more and more like Jesus. Those of us who lead ought to have a strong desire to get better at what we do. This involves trying alongside trusting. We try even as we trust solely in Christ’s power. ‘’Exercise daily in God – no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this.’’ The Message. Timothy had the example of Paul to copy as he read his words, for the great apostle (and his team) certainly put their backs into their ministry (10): ‘’This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally.’’ The Message.

‘’If believers would put as much effort into the spiritual life as they do their recreation and hobbies, what a difference it would make! Physical exercise is important, but spiritual exercise is even more essential. Both discipline and devotion are needed to make a winning athlete and an effective Christian.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, p.799.

Prayer: May other see Jesus in me more and more.