I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. – 1 Timothy 3:14-15
Church conduct is a major theme in Paul’s first letter to Timothy. We are the Church – the Church of the living God – and it matters how we behave and how we worship. We are God’s household, God’s family – a great thing to remember as we prepare our hearts for worship, as we bow on our knees to pray and as we build relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
PRAY for ALL people
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase our freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating – just telling the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-7
The reconciliation of God and humanity through the one man, Jesus Christ. What a powerful message God has given us to relay to everyone – a message about faith and truth. This message is for ALL people, for God wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth of the gospel. All people, even our political leaders. How often do we pray for the leaders and elected officials in our country? God is calling the church to pray for all people to hear this message of salvation.
In every place of worship, I want me to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. – 1 Timothy 1:8
Why do we go to church? Our hearts should be pure and we should go to church to worship God. But how often do we spend more time preparing our appearance for Sunday morning than we do preparing our hearts? How often do we harbor anger or stir up controversy instead of praying for each other and interceding for each other, giving thanks for each other?
And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. – 1 Timothy 2:9-10
We want the focus of our worship to be God and not others. In the same way, we want to be careful that we are not a distraction to others as they come to worship God – not in our appearance or in our words. Women, men are very visual and it is important that we dress in such a way as to make it easier for them to concentrate on what God has to say to them instead of distracting them and allowing the enemy to use our bodies to take their minds to a different place than worship.
Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. – 1 Timothy 5:1-3
Not only are we to take care of the widows, we are also instructed to take care of our pastors.
Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!” – 1 Timothy 5:17-18
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Lord, purify our hearts and be pleased with our worship. Help us to always have our focus on YOU and your splendor instead of on others, instead of on ourselves. May we accept your call today and pursue righteousness, fighting the good fight with faith in YOU. Thank you for the spiritual gifts you have bestowed on us – may we never forget that these are gifts from YOU and not about what we are capable of doing for You. We love you and we lift up holy hands to worship You today! Amen.