Meditations on I Timothy
“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrine any longer or to devote themselves to myths or endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work - which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
I Timothy 1:3-5, NIV
When Paul went to Macedonia, he urged Timothy to stay in Ephesus. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when my friends move ahead to new things, I feel left behind. Here, we are reminded that God has a purpose for us to stay exactly where we are at. In this case, Timothy stayed behind to combat false teachings, myths, and endless genealogies. Why was this so important? Because, if not addressed, it could hinder the spread of the gospel by
creating controversial speculations. Afterall, God’s work is spread by faith not through confusion, controversy, or conjecture.
Timothy held a vital role in staying behind. God was not finished with the work He had for Timothy. Likewise, this may be true for us. When it feels like we are being left in the dust, perhaps it is because God still has valuable work for us to complete. It can be easy for us to become discontented and compare ourselves with those moving on. However, let us remember that God can and will use us where we are right now in this moment. For some of us, God’s work may only just be beginning!
Also, notice the goal Paul gives Timothy for commanding the Ephesians to cease with their false teachings. Love! Not a worldly love driven by self-serving motives, but a love derived from a pure heart, good conscience, and a sincere faith. After reading this verse, I was hit in the face with a question. Can this be said of my love to others? Can this even be said of myself? Because if we do not respond to people out of love, how than can we effectively communicate the message of the gospel? But, when we live life out of a sincere faith, pure heart, and a good conscience than God is free to use us in powerful ways to advance His work.
Oh God, create in me a pure heart, bless me with a good conscience, and grant me a sincere faith that my love may flow out of these things. Help me also work hard and be content with where You have placed me that I may be used to advance Your Kingdom.