Saturday, September 29, 2012

1 Timothy 5:17-19

Summary retelling of 1 Timothy 5:17-19

Paul says that we should treat the elders who lead with a special level of honor – especial the elders who are active about teaching and proclaiming the Word of God.  Paul reminds Timothy that those people who are actively working for the mission of the church do deserve to receive help – either in the form of reaping from their work or in the form of wages.  Paul tells Timothy to be careful about allowing people in the congregation to talk about those in the church whose track record has proven themselves to be faithful.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
This section has much to do with how we treat our spiritual elders.  It is difficult to live a life of devotion to God.  We know that the world does not respect such a life.  Within the church, we need to make sure to take extra care and respect those who are making a point to be obedient to God.  We need to be quick to respect those who are vocal about teaching God to others as well.  After all, without them, how would God’s Word ever get preached to us?

Why is it so difficult to live a long faithful life to God?  Why is this something that we should respect and honor within our communities?  How can this passage help inspire you to become one of those respected elders at some point in your life?

Second Thought:
Paul speaks to the fact that those who are devoted to the ministry of the church deserve their wages.  There are two sides to this argument.  First, it does give a precedent for paid ministry positions.  Those who are genuinely working deserve to reap from that work.  However, it does also imply that only those who are genuinely working should be paid.  We don’t need to create a system that pays just anybody.  Those who are paid should genuinely be working.

What are the dangers of paying someone to work in ministry?  What are the dangers of not having someone paid in ministry?

Third Thought:
Paul is also quick to tell Timothy to be careful about how he lets people talk about leaders in his presence.  Yes, everyone is capable of sin.  Yes, everyone has a right to their own opinion.  However, we shouldn’t allow just anything to be said about our leaders in our presence.  When our leaders have issues – and they can be susceptible – it should be validated by multiple sources.

Why do you think leaders are prone to being attacked?  Why do people sometimes believe they have the right to attack leaders?  What can a congregation or the other church leaders do to protect a congregation’s leadership?

Passage for Tomorrow: 1 Timothy 5:20-21
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