READ: 1Timothy 4:1-16
- Chapter 4 sets up a contrast between the unfaithful and the faithful. There are those who will waver [we saw that back in chapter 1]. They are described in this chapter as those who create rules to follow and which, by the nature of rules, tend to put boundaries around who is in and who isn’t. The chapter then continues with an emphasis upon what would constitute faithful ministry for Timothy.
- Faithfulness doesn’t happen by accident. We train to be strong in our faith and thus have the capacity for faithfulness. Paul compares the temporary, while still real, value of bodily exercise with that of exercising the spirit. Both have value, but the value of the Spiritual exercise lasts for eternity. We all know the temporary nature of bodily exercise and that if you don’t keep it up you lose ground.
- We live in a world where unfaithfulness feels like it’s the norm. We don’t trust politicians, public officials, even the police. In some cases we’ve been hurt deeply by the unfaithfulness of those we most expected we could trust—our spouse or parents or children. The world needs a resurrection of perseverance and commitment to faithfulness.
- Describe a time when you’ve been treated unfaithfully. What was your response?
- Why do you think it’s so hard to find faithful people these days?
- What can we do as families to do a better job teaching our children about being faithful?
PRAY: Commit yourself to a life of faithfulness to your spouse, family and ultimately to God. Pray that others will see and appreciate your faithfulness. Pray that we are faithful in our corporate and private times of worship.