Daily Reading: 9-8-16
1 Timothy 1:1-11 The Message (MSG)
The Good News of the Gospel is that we can know and enjoy the love of God when our hearts are open to making Jesus the Lord. God desires for us to open our lives up to His rule. As you will read in our passage today, the law was given to bring revelation to to God’s family, so they would know when their lives were off track; when they had wandered off to live according to their own desires and inclinations. The law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Now, when Jesus comes to live in our hearts, we are conformed to God by love and grace. The Spirit helps us turn from sin in order to keep our hearts pure before God. We are free, but not to live any way we want to live. We are to live freely under the authority of God’s Word.
1-2 I, Paul, am an apostle on special assignment for Christ, our living hope. Under God our Savior’s command, I’m writing this to you, Timothy, my son in the faith. All the best from our God and Christ be yours!
Self-Appointed Experts on Life
3-4 On my way to the province of Macedonia, I advised you to stay in Ephesus. Well, I haven’t changed my mind. Stay right there on top of things so that the teaching stays on track. Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stories and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience.
5-7 The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest idea of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence.
8-11 It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God.
Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus who keeps me spiritually on track and for the Holy Spirit who helps me turn from the sin that tempts me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.