Archive for the ‘1 Tim’ Category

Unhealthy craving for a word brawl

April 22nd, 2017 by Maureen

If someone does not…adhere to the healthy words of our Lord Jesus Christ, that person is puffed up with conceit, understanding nothing, but has a sickly craving for speculations and fights about words…I Tim. 6:3-4

Jesus offers so many constructive and beautiful ideas for us to spend our time exploring, so many soul-sustaining experiences and interactions for us to enjoy. Why do so many people crave argument? When winning arguments over scripture (or anything else) becomes the main focus and purpose of our communication…that doesn’t seem healthy for anyone involved. I have a feeling Paul might have struggled with this craving too. The healthy words of Jesus were full of love and grace. He spoke healing and comfort to those in need. He spent time abiding with His friends. He encouraged others to embrace the freedom and connection with the Father He enjoys. Certainly Jesus challenged legalists who were so sure they had cornered the market on truth, but He wasn’t about enjoying the verbal beat down.

Lord, I want to crave love, grace, communion, and peace as healthy sustenance for my soul and to make debate the very occasional snack.

Find your personal holiday aesthetic

November 25th, 2016 by Maureen

tree-pictureAnd you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at His birth. Luke 1:14

Materialism-driven events like Black Friday make an ascetic approach to the holidays look like a good option. But before jumping into a complete purge of the material and secular, consider engaging in a gentle edit instead. What makes you rejoice at His birth? What makes Christmas beautiful to you? What makes this season meaningful? What beauties of the season truly inspire? What gatherings, events, music, decorations, foods, etc. make this time feel like authentic celebration? Keep the good stuff, even if your good stuff seems quirky or kitchy to somebody else, find your own holiday aesthetic and rejoice with it!

Lord Jesus, Your birth is worth celebrating in a big way!

Thankful for who? Seriously?

November 2nd, 2016 by Maureen

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…This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. I Tim 2:1, 3-4

Praying, interceding and wishing everyone well, I get, but thankfulness? I generally pray for protection from mean, greedy, stupid, violent, selfish people. I don’t thank God for them. Can I be thankful for that guy who cut in front of me in traffic? For politicians I don’t like? For the people who press my annoyance button throughout the day? Maybe thankfulness helps make us more aware of the way God loves, values, and desires relationship with and restoration for each person. Maybe thankfulness is what inspires prayer and intercession and goodwill towards all.

Lord, show me how to be thankful for all people. Help them to know You. Help me to reveal You in how I respond to them Adjust my attitude beyond my ability to adjust it.

How to live a good life

February 3rd, 2016 by Maureen

Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer. I Tim. 4:4-5

We can overindulge ourselves or unnecessarily deny ourselves when we lose perspective on the stuff we have, the activities we enjoy, and even the people in our lives. God intends for us to enjoy the lives He gave us as we fulfill His great commandment to love and His great commission to reveal Christ’s redemption. When we filter our choices through the Holy Spirit we can discover good ways to enjoy the good things our good God has provided and to trust that He can redeem everything else to His good Self.

Lord, help me to live like life is as good as You’ve made it. When things don’t look good, help me to recognize and embrace Your redemptive goodness rather than trying to impose my version of good.

Start here

August 25th, 2015 by Maureen

May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace. 1 Tim. 1:2 & 2 Tim 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. 1:2

This is how Paul began both letters to Timothy. He started many of his letters this way as did Peter. Both writers understood that grace, mercy, and peace needed to motivate and inform everything else they had to say.  More conversations should begin with mutual prayers for grace, mercy, and peace.

Lord, help me begin what I have to say with grace, mercy and peace.

Mind over matter

May 3rd, 2015 by Maureen

Godliness with contentment is great gain. I Tim 6:6

This sounds simple until we start trying to define “godliness,” “contentment,” and “gain.” “Gain” is the easier one: we acquire something we didn’t have before. The Greek word “eusebia” which is translated as “godliness,” or in some translations, “piety,” refers to “real, true, vital, relation with God.” Contentment means “inner self-sufficiency” or “a mind satisfied with it’s lot.” Before and after verse 6 Paul makes it clear that “gain” does not refer to earthly wealth. So if we can’t attain godliness or contentment from acquiring money and stuff we cannot attain it through vows of poverty or other “sacrificial” adaptations of our lifestyles either. Changing our minds changes the way we live our lives, but the emphasis here is on attitude and outlook that begin within.

Lord, let my thoughts, my desires, my hopes, and my expectations derive from my love and dependence on You and help me to recognize all that I gain through relationship with You.

Just your average sinner

February 28th, 2015 by Maureen

The grace of our Lord completely overflowed in me with faith and love which are in Christ. Trust the gospel and accept it completely: “Jesus came to save sinners.” And I am the worst of them. 1 Tim. 1:14-15

Paul basically said he was the worst sinner ever. Not to encourage comparison but to make the point that the worst person ever is as eligible for God’s grace as the most righteous. Faith and love are responses that happen within us because of grace. The best person ever can’t manufacture within himself this sort of genuine faith and love and worth person ever can exhibit it genuinely because of Christ.

Lord, I might be the most average person ever, but Y0ur grace, faith, and love in me is extraordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice aestheticism not asceticism

October 16th, 2014 by Maureen

Some turn away from true faith by forbidding marriage or demanding abstinence from food that God created to be received with thanksgiving…since everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the Word of God and prayer. 1 Tim. 4:2-5

Asceticism is deliberate, disciplined self-denial. Aestheticism is a devotion to beauty. Christ’s beautiful gift to us is lavish, joyful, exceeding abundance. The results of embracing the beautiful grace of Christ is not deliberate, painful, white-knuckle self-denial but the joyful abundance of a grateful life that His Holy Spirit has filled with beautiful things that actually bring happiness and satisfaction.

Lord, thank You for all the good gifts You’ve created for me to enjoy.