Dec 15 1Ti 5:1-2Ti 3:9; Pro 26:15-24

The minister is to treat all his flock as family. There is to be politeness and love within the bounds of propriety–no more, no less (5:1-2). The church will help those widows who really need help. But if they have families those must first help. Note the other stipulations (5:3-16). There is plenty of other scriptural precedent to refuse help to some (those who will not work, those whose sole “work” is conning churches out of cash, etc.).

Paul steps on some toes in 5:17-18 by saying that a good preacher is worthy of double pay! Most churches want to give them half pay. I heard of one minister who was paid so poorly that they say if he hadn’t fasted twice a week he would have starved!

Elders (pastors) must pass rigorous screening regarding their integrity, so when you have a busy-body making accusations, pay no attention unless there are at least two reliable witnesses. And when you have trouble in the church, rebuke the trouble-makers publicly (this will definitely squelch many other would-be problems (5:19-21). Verse twenty-two is in reference to the laying on of hands in ordaining others to ministry–be sure they’re fit. Verse twenty-three causes some to want their scissors to cut it out. Paul does NOT condone drunkenness, but he does admit the healthful benefits of alcohol used properly (and in moderation).

We have brought NOTHING into the world and that is exactly what we will take with us when we leave it. We SHOULD be content if we have food and covering (6:7-8). But those who worship wealth cause themselves all kinds of problems (6:9). Note verse ten carefully. “The LOVE of money is a root of all sorts of evil.” It is not money which leads to evil, it is the love thereof. Flee from these things and pursue the virtues. Fight the good fight! Instruct those who are rich in the things of this world not to fix their hope on that wealth, but on God alone! (6:17-19).

2 Timothy: Paul calls Timothy his true son in both these letters because he is the one who led Timothy to Christ. God has NOT given us a spirit of timidity (or cowardice), but (strong adversative, on the contrary) of power (related to dynamite!) and love and discipline (sound judgment, self control; 1:7).

“I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day!” (1:12). Then Paul goes on to mention that most of the disciples in Asia have left him and proceeds to name some of them. Frail humanity can and will fail. God NEVER fails!

I am curious about the services rendered at Ephesus (1:18b) because it was there also that Paul fought with beasts (1 Corinthians 15:32).

Your job, Timothy, is to teach others so that they can make disciples who in turn can make disciples who can repeat the process (2:2).

Don’t argue over words, but be diligent in your duties and able to correctly present the Word of God (2:14-15). Paul again names those who cause dissent within the church (1:17-18). This latter verse sheds some light on what we saw in his second letter to the church at Thessalonica.

Refuse foolish and ignorant speculation for you know they just produce quarrels (2:23). God’s minister must be gentle and patient, even with those whose mouths he may occasionally like to smash (2:24-26).

3:1-5 lists many groups (some overlapping) of those who oppose God. Some of these are always learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth (3:7).

Proverbs: The sluggard is so lazy that feeding himself wears him out. He is a true fool. One who would meddle in trouble that is none of his business would also grab a junk yard dog by the ears–how will he let loose?! Just as a fire eventually dies out when no more fuel is added, so too will strife end when there is no contentious person to stir things up. A hateful person says otherwise with his mouth, but his mind is working on how to take vengeance (watch his eyes!).