The gift of relationships may be the greatest gift, apart from the atoning work of Christ, that God has bestowed upon human beings. Relationships are such a vital part of our lives. We cultivate, pursue, disconnect, and enjoy relationships of many kinds every day. Most importantly we have been given an opportunity for a relationship with the Creator God, through the reconciling, sin bearing work of Christ on the cross.
Although relationships are vital, they can be problematic. Think about all the relationships that are represented by one family. Take a husband for instance: He is a son, husband, supervisor at work, friend, counselor, grandfather, father, and baseball coach. Now, think about the role of a pastor. Timothy was young and inexperienced. He was given the task of shepherding men who were older than he was (and in severe doctrinal error by the way), women who were older (some taking advantage of the church’s resources), men his own age and younger women (some of whom were pursuing sensual lusts). Can you feel Timothy’s stomach hurting like I can?
This week at Redeemer, we will listen it to Paul’s counsel to his son in the faith as we consider Gospel Ministry: Meeting Needs, from 1 Timothy 5:1-16. The major need cropping up in Ephesus involved the ministry to the widows. Apparently some widows were taking advantage of the church, and even pursuing “sensual desires” in disregard for Christ and “following Satan.” Paul warns Timothy how to lovingly shepherd these women, without causing confusion and dilution of the Gospel message.
Is your life centered on meeting the needs of others? What about those in your family? Are you seeking to make the Gospel clear to them? Paul reminds Timothy that the church is a family—composed of brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. Do you love and relate to your church family with the same sincere, unconditional affection as your natural one? Join us this week as we ask God to allow our joy in Him to overflow and meet the needs of others.
Blessing God for His Unconditional Love,