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WORTHY OF HONOR

1 TIMOTHY 5:10

having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.” 

Just look at the list of this widow’s character traits making her worthy of honor by the church. She has a good reputation. She is a child raiser. She is hospitable, service oriented, full of mercy and devoted. Wow! That’s some woman!

But shouldn’t we all be like that? I mean, look at the list again. Which one of those traits don’t belong in your life? The bottom line is she puts others before herself. Therein lies the rub. We don’t want to do that. We want to see ourselves first. We want to meet our needs first. It’s always me, me, me!

APPLICATION

Well, this is a no brainer. As parents, we are constantly teaching our little Gertrudes and Elords how to not be selfish. We teach children to share because they are naturally selfish. We teach them to watch out for their little brother or sister because they are not concerned with that. 

But once again, this is better caught than taught. We must model these behaviors. When they see us showing mercy to someone, they learn from that. When they observe us serving someone else, they watch how it’s done. We are living out the traits they need to embrace. So, be very careful what you do and say. Little eyes and ears are watching and listening.

How are you in regard to these traits? Are you hospitable? Do you show mercy or wrath? We may not be a widow who needs to be put on the church list, but we still need to live out these same godly traits. And what is amazing is that when we do these things, we are the ones who are blessed. Be a blessing!

I do enjoy blessing others, Lord. Help me see their need even before it is apparent. Let me be Your hands and feet to them.

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YOUR REP

1 TIMOTHY 3:7

“And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

This verse intrigues me. Why would Paul say an elder must have a good reputation with those OUTSIDE the church? Why be concerned about those people? Isn’t the church the important thing. Of course, the church is important. But Paul is telling Timothy that those outside the church are watching us. We may be the only example of Christ they ever see.

So, it is very important to keep your reputation up among the world. They may not like you, but they need to respect you. If we let our reputation falter due to our own sin and lifestyle, we have lost every opportunity to bear witness for Christ. After all, isn’t that the important thing – sharing Jesus?

APPLICATION

Our children must be taught this important lesson. Their reputation can be damaged in a second. An impulse decision in a weak moment can lead to years of reputation rebuilding. How do we teach our children the importance of maintaining their reputation? 

I truly believe it is by teaching them that they are not just representing themselves and their family. They are representing Christ (if they are a believer). It is Christ’s reputation who is damaged by our disobedience and rebellion. Nothing we can do can diminish who Christ is, but we can cause people to turn away from Christ based on our behaviors. 

How’s your rep? Do you represent Christ in the world? Do your lost friends and neighbors know you stand with Christ? If you have anything in your life that you would not share with Jesus, get rid of it. If Christ wouldn’t do it, you shouldn’t either. Let your reputation reflect Jesus every day.

I want to be an example of Your everlasting love. I want others, lost or saved, to be drawn to me because of my love for You. Thank You for loving me despite my failures.

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GOOD WORKS

1 TIMOTHY 2:10

“but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” 

To properly understand this verse, you have to go back to verse 9. You know that is true of every verse in Scripture. You can’t just take the verse out of context. That’s what causes a lot of confusion and dissensions. Stick to the context.

And here, you have to go back to see Paul discussing how the ladies should adorn themselves. Paul is saying what you wear and how you look outwardly isn’t the important thing. The important thing is to let your walk match your talk. He is NOT saying good deeds is the mark of godliness. That would go against all his other teachings. He is saying that if you claim to love Jesus you will be about doing good works, not because you have to but because you want to.

APPLICATION

This is so important to teach our children. We do not want them thinking they have to “perform” to get our love or God’s love. It’s what is in the heart that matters. Their behavior or good deeds are merely an outpouring of their love for us and God. We obey and do because we are loved and because we love. We don’t have to do those things to be loved.

How can you teach this? The next time your little Johnny really blows it (and he will, lol) show him love. You may still have to discipline him in some manner but pull him close and hug him tight. Let him know that nothing he can do will ever diminish the love you have for him. He can’t earn it. It is just yours to give freely.

Are you trying to get God to love you more by doing stuff for Him? Stop it. Your godliness is not portrayed because of your good works. Your godliness is shown through submission to your holy God. Then as He tells you to do certain things, you do them to honor Him, not to get Him to love you back.  Isn’t that great? His love is freely given. 

Father, I desire to please you in all I do. Thank You I don’t have to earn Your love, though. Thank You for loving me despite me being me.

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