“But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5 NASB
Jon Courson tells the following story in his New Testament Application Commentary:
“Son,” said the concerned father, “you’re not studying the way you could.
When Abraham Lincoln was your age, he didn’t have computers or electric lights.
He walked fifteen miles through the snow to check out books at the library—and then walked fifteen miles home so that he could read them by the light of the fireplace.
When he was your age, that’s what he did.”
“Well,” replied the son, “when Abraham Lincoln was your age, he was President of the United States!”
How true! We exhort our children but do not demonstrate what we teach through our actions.
1 Timothy is a book we should turn to often – it teaches us how to minister to others and the importance of how transformed lives can make an impact on the world around us.
Too often we are tempted to teach or instruct others by saying, “do as I say not as I do”.
But Paul teaches our instruction should come from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.
A heart, a conscience and a sincere faith focused on the gospel.
A life that leads others closer to Christ.
How often have I heard how parents would exhort their children to read the Bible and pray – yet the kids now adults, never saw their parents reading scripture or praying.
How easy it is to fool ourselves into thinking if we send our kids to Christian schools, Sunday school, summer camp, or other Christian activities, we are absolved from being the example or responsibility to live a Christ-centered life ourselves.
In 1 Timothy, Paul is calling the church to Christ-centered, gospel-centered godliness for the sake of the church and its impact on a lost world.
Paul teaches that by pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness – we will in effect fight the good fight of the faith.
How? Through a spirit-filled life, grounded in prayer, lifting holy hands, praying for others without anger or quarreling.
We fight not with fists or anger – we fight through prayer, we wage the good warfare interceding for others, trained in the words of faith and good doctrine, a life filled with love for others, demonstrated by the steadfastness of our faith and actions.
This is how we make an impact and accept our call – to bring others one step closer to Jesus, helping them further along the journey.
It is always a matter of the heart. Paul teaches that we should train in godliness – it has value both in the present and in the life to come.
Godly prayer comes from a godly heart – rooted in the gospel.
Paul is calling us to walk the talk.
Until next time… keep reading!
Sources used for this blog: Gospel Transformation Bible