Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Greetings Friends,

The book of first Timothy was written by the apostle Paul to his son in the ministry Timothy.  It is one of the Pastoral epistles as it is filled with wise pastoral instruction.  Paul is developing Timothy to be a strong Christian leader.  Paul introduces himself and then gives a common salutation to young Timothy, I would like for us to focus on verse 5.

1Timothy 1:5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

The end of the commandment. The fulfillment of the word of God in the life of a believer, the maturation of the very life of Jesus Christ in you is Charity. Charity is God’s agape love released through the believer to those in need.  But the end of the commandment or the release of grace through our lives to those in need is not a one time experience.  It is to be an ongoing relationship between God and man as we become vessels sanctified and meet for the masters service.(2 Timothy 2:21)  Paul said it this way to the church at Galatia.

Galatians 4:19
  My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

The grace of God releases love through our lives to minister to the needs of others.  Praying for and encouraging others to follow Christ and to give their life in service is something of great importance. Jesus said in John 13:35.

John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I have been involved church ministry long enough to know there are widows and widowers in every local assembly who are lonely, fearful, and often become depressed because of the loss of their mate. With such a significant loss also comes a significant struggle. That is why we are called to have intimate relationships with those in our body.

John 15:12
  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Romans 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Galatians 6:2
  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Ephesians 4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Ephesians 6:18
  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

John 13:14
  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

Loving, serving, giving, praying for is washing one another’s feet.  It is allowing the Spirit of God to love those through you. Could there be a Thursday night meeting in your church that gathered those who are widowed together for fellowship, prayer, ministering one to another.   Are there individuals in your church body that could be vessels sanctified and meet for HIS service in this area.

I wonder would it be possible to have a Tuesday night meeting for single parents, men and women, who have been devastated by their loss and face incredible challenges.  Do all of us realize that unless both partners in a marriage are working most families will be living below the poverty level. 

What of those individuals who have suffered such brokenness they are ashamed and feel they cannot be open with the wounds that they carry.

James 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Is it possible that your church could have a Monday night meeting for couples who are struggling in their marriage.  From a distant perspective, things appear to be okay, they are coming to church, their little girls have cute little dresses, but at home things are not well and are getting worse.  If there were a Monday night meeting of couples that was led by a solid married couple who would allow the Spirit of God to love these couples to freedom and a stronger marriage relationship, do you not think people would come?

Beloved the possibilities for ministry in the body of Christ are endless.  But there is a price to pay.  You must become that vessel sanctified and meet prepared for every good work.  Our text tells us how to do this?

1 Timothy 1:5
  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

The end of the commandment. The fulfillment of the word of God in the life of a believer The maturation of the very life of Jesus Christ in you is Charity. A pure heart is a heart that has learned to deal justly and honestly with his sin before God.  We do not hide it.  We do not excuse it.  We do not cover it up.  When the Spirit of God convicts us of our need we simply respond in faith to HIM.
Secondly, we have a good conscience.  We have a conscience void of offence toward God and man. 

Matthew 5:23-24
  23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Jesus died so that we might be reconciled to God and man.

Thirdly faith unfeigned, which is, faith that is sincere and without hypocrisy.  Let us learn to be real.  Let us learn to allow the Spirit of God in us to love through us to those in need.

John 13:35
  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

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