Lord, I praise You for being such a good and generous God to me. I’m very thankful for your goodness.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 3:14-4:16
 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that,  if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.  Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.  The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.  They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.  For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,  because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.  If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.  Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.  This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance  (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.  Command and teach these things.  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.  Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.  Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat general principle does Paul give here (4)?
It’s easy for us to become too familiar with the name of Jesus, forgetting how special and unique he is. The hymn in v. 16 mentions the incarnation when Jesus became a human like us. He was vindicated through his resurrection on Easter Sunday, glorified through his ascension to God’s right hand, and is now preached about throughout the world—a vital mission of the church.
My church organizes short-term summer missions in which you can get a taste of missionary work. If you have never served God in this way, it might be worth thinking about participating in this type of service.
It sounds sad that people would ban marriage which is one the happiest events that can happen in a person’s life. Marriage is one of the greatest gifts God can bless us with, and married couples play a vital role in the Christian community. Paul warns about the false teachers who forbid marriage and eating certain foods (2). Paul says this is due to a hardened conscience that is unable to distinguish between the truths stated in v. 16 and their own thinking.
Pray that God through his Spirit may guide you to distinguish clearly between truth and falsehood.
Lord, I thank You for all the many good things You have given me. Help me always to appreciate them.
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