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SIGN THEM UP

1 TIMOTHY 5:9

“A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man,” 

I’m a list maker. I didn’t used to be. After my bout with chemo several years ago I lost some of my short-term memory skills. So, now I have to make lists or poof – that thought vanishes. You are probably asking yourself, “Carl, what does your short-term memory loss have to do with today’s verse?” I’m glad you asked.

Widows and widowers are quickly forgotten. When their spouse dies, we all run to their home to console and love on them. However, after a few weeks, we forget about them. We get back into our routine and forget their routine has been forever altered. 

APPLICATION

Why don’t you get your family to “adopt” a widow or widower? Of course, you may have one in your own family to care for, but if you don’t, I am sure your church has a list of them who need someone to come alongside them. What a great way to teach your little Susie how to love others.

It’s the little things that are needed by them. Things a widow’s husband would have done around the house go undone. Even little things like changing that light bulb in the ceiling light are huge for them. For the widower, it might be missing those homecooked meals by his wife. Let your children help you as you minister to one of these on the list.

Who do you know right now who could use that kind of TLC? Give them a call and tell them you want to take them out to dinner this weekend. Drop by with your tool box and ask if they need anything done around the house. Ask them first. They will probably welcome the visit.

Father, forgive me when I overlook those who have such simple needs. I want You to use me to help them with these daily tasks. I know they are precious in Your sight.

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RESPONSIBILITIES

1 TIMOTHY 5:8

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

In Book Two of the Every Man A Warrior disciplemaking study, Lonnie Berger says this, “After becoming a Christian, marriage is the most life changing event in your life. When you marry, you give up your life in order to live it for someone else. You work for the other person. You begin to think about permanence, buying a house, saving for the future and providing for your children. You come to a whole new level of maturity.”

The phrase “does not provide” in today’s verse would lead you to think Paul is merely talking about food and shelter. No! The word actually has more to do with what Lonnie said. It’s about respecting your family. It’s about thinking about them first. It’s about acting according to God’s will on behalf of your family. That’s showing responsibility.

APPLICATION

Fathers, teach your sons to be men. Now, I am not taking ANYTHING away from the strength and power of women. We men would be doomed without them. But God intended for men to care for their families. The father is expected to provide for his family. Our society has downgraded that responsibility to the point that some men ignore that.

A real man loves his family. A real man comes home at night to his wife and children. A real man thinks about his family BEFORE he makes his plans. A real man consults his wife BEFORE he makes a purchase that can affect the household budget. A real man follows God.

Do you get the picture? Today’s blog is more directed toward the men, but ladies, you too have a responsibility to put your family before yourself. For most of you that is not a problem. But if it is, stop and correct that. And teach your children the same.

O God, thank You for my family. Thank You for convicting me when I become selfish in my time and energy. I want to please You as I care for my family.

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UNAPPREHENDABLE

1 TIMOTHY 5:7

“Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach.”

I’m not sure “unapprehendable” is a word, but it is now, lol. I use that to describe “above reproach” for a reason. The Greek word means someone is trying to accuse someone else of something of which there is no evidence of their guilt. It’s a baseless charge. Therefore, they cannot be apprehended.

This Greek word is only used in 1 Timothy (3:2, 5:7 and 6:14) by Paul. I wonder why. Why did the Holy Spirit tell Paul to use that word only in this letter to Timothy? It’s a great word and could have been applied to a lot of Paul’s letters. It doesn’t matter why – only that it is used here.

APPLICATION

Oh, what an important thing to teach your little Gertrude and Elrod. They need to live in such a way that they are above reproach and unapprehendable. They should live surrendered to Jesus so completely that no accusation hurled against them can stick. They are guiltless before man. 

If we live that way, we don’t have to keep watching over our shoulders hoping no one finds out about us. We have nothing to hide. Our lives are an open book, so to speak. The devil loves to dig up our dirt and throw it back on us. But if we live like Paul is saying here, there is no dirt to be used against us. 

Are you unapprehendable? Or are you constantly trying to keep stuff hidden from others? How tiring! We can literally wear ourselves out hiding stuff. One lie leads to another lie. Don’t you get tired of that? Praise be to God! He sets us free from that. He knows our dirt and still forgives us. Won’t you live in that freedom today? Allow Him to walk with you wherever you go. He will NEVER lead you to a place that you are ashamed. 

Blameless! That’s the way I want live, Lord. Lead me in Your ways every day, so that I have nothing to hide.

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DEAD WOMAN WALKING

1 TIMOTHY 5:6

But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.”

Have you heard the expression “Dead Man Walking”? It implies someone who is alive but living and acting as if he is dead. He has a careless disregard for life. Death is just all over him and is ready to snatch him away. Well, today’s verse says the same thing about this widow, the one who chooses “wanton pleasure.”

Now, what is wanton pleasure and how do we help the widows we know not live like that? “Wanton pleasure” means to live extravagantly or luxuriously. It’s the widow who has no regard for the cost of things. She spends money like it grows on trees. Paul is not saying it’s bad to have money. He is saying it is sin to live with that mindset. 

APPLICATION

Teach your children the value of money now. If you begin early, they will understand when you say, “Honey, we just can’t afford that right now.” Some parents don’t want to ever tell their little Johnny or Susie no, so they give them anything they want. That will lead them to live like the widow in today’s verse.

Instead, help them earn some money through extra chores or small jobs around your house. When they are old enough help them get a job in the neighborhood mowing grass or babysitting. As they get older, they will be ready for that first part-time job in the community. However you do it, teach them that money is simply a tool God has given us to live. It’s not what we live for.

How do you see wealth? Did you know that money is mentioned over 2,000 times in the Scriptures? It must be important for the Lord to spend so much time talking about it. He wants us to understand why He blesses us with the resources to live. Take some time and do a word study on money. You may just learn something. I know I did.

I know all I have belongs to You. Thank You, Lord, for blessing me with the means to care for my family. Help me be more generous with the resources You have given me.

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FORSAKEN BUT FAITHFUL

1 TIMOTHY 5:5

Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day.” 

That may seem like a strange title for a blog, but that is exactly what this widow was. To be “left alone” literally means forsaken. But despite that, she continues in her faith. She prays specifically for needs and prays generally for others. She knows her only source of help and comfort comes from above.

Do you know a prayer warrior like that? I do. In fact, I know several. Their solace is in spending time with the Lord, studying His Word and talking to Him. They know He will never leave them or forsake them. They may be “alone” in this world, but they are never alone spiritually.

APPLICATION

Children need to learn this peace early. They need to know that our God and Father will never leave them, if they are one His children. They may think they are alone and the world is against them. But He never leaves their side. Drive that truth into Him. They need to hear that over and over again.

Do you ever have to leave your child to go on trips? I am sure that is hard on them and you. When you come home there are kisses and hugs, right? Just think of this – God is always with us giving us those kinds of hugs and kisses. Now, I don’t mean physical hugs and kisses. But His presence is just as soothing and intimate.

Do you feel His presence in your prayer life? Do you spend the time you need to each day to commune with your holy God. He is waiting to talk to you. He won’t barge in on you. He waits for you to come to Him, but He’s always ready. Isn’t that unbelievable?  

Father, thank You for always being there for me. I praise You for your steadfast love and compassion and the way You show it each and every day to me.

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PAYBACK CAN BE A GOOD THING

1 TIMOTHY 5:4

but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.”

I’ve said a number of times how important it is to respect our elders. In today’s verse, we see it again. Paul is telling Timothy that the care of the widows belongs to their family first. Sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters have the first responsibility to care for their widowed parent or grandparent. 

I mean, look at the last phrase of this verse – “for this is acceptable in the sight of God.” This word “acceptable” is only used twice in the New Testament, both times in 1 Timothy (2:3 and 5:4). It means to be gladly received because it is pleasing. You see, when we care for our widowed parent, it pleases God. Who doesn’t want to hear that?

APPLICATION

I truly believe children will take care of their parents in the same way their parents took care of them, for the most part. If we are loving and nurturing to our children, when we are old and in need, they will be loving and nurturing. If we are harsh and cruel, well guess what. They will be harsh and cruel.

God intends for family to care for family. The church steps in to assist when the family isn’t there or refuses to help. Your children can be taught to care for the widows now. Contact your church and ask if there are any widows or widowers who need to be visited. Most churches have a long list. Call and make plans to visit them. It may seem awkward the first time, but your children will brighten their day.

Are you willing to care for your family’s widows? Who in your family needs you right now? Don’t let someone else pick up your God given responsibility. Be obedient and see how pleased God is. Remember, you are doing this not so much for your family member. You are doing it for the Lord.

Thank You Lord, for allowing me to care for those in my family who need me. Remind me that this is all for You, not them. I want to please You.

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HOW TO HONOR

1 TIMOTHY 5:3

“Honor widows who are widows indeed;” 

Do you know any widows? I am blessed to know a lot of widows. In fact, my widowed mother-in-law lives with my wife and I. I also know a group of widows at the church I serve. They call the group “Women of Grace.” They truly are that. So, when I read this verse, I asked myself if I am honoring them, as God’s Word commands.

First of all, this word “honor” is a command. We are commanded to do this. Secondly, this word means to “assign value (give honor), as it reflects the personal esteem (value, preciousness) attached to it by the beholder.” You will only honor what you value. 

APPLICATION

What or whom do your children honor? What do they place value in? If your child does not honor their elders, they must not place much value on them. But why should we teach them to do this? Well, perhaps because one day that might be you (the widow or widower). Do you want them to value you? Of course, you do.

But also, we teach them this because it is the right thing to do. Widows and widowers have lost their husband or wife and have that gap in the life. As fellow believers we are commanded to come alongside them and make them feel valued and honored for who they are. That is EXACTLY what Christ would do. In fact, He did just that. Even on the cross, He honored His mother by telling John to take care of her.

Is there a widow or widower in your life to whom you need to honor more? Today make an extra effort to do just that. Take them out for a meal. Give them a call. Drop by to say hello and pray with them. Somehow today let them know just how valued they are by you and by their heavenly Father. I promise you will be the one who is blessed by doing this.

Father, show me the widows to whom You want me to honor today. Feel their lives with joy, hope and blessings. Help me to see them as You do.

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TREAT THEM HOLY

1 TIMOTHY 5:2

the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.”

Treating women special has been around a long time. God has always commanded it. Sin changes that. Look at today’s verse. Paul tells Timothy (and us) to treat women “in all purity.” That word comes from the Greek word for “holy.” Treat them as holy? Really?

Paul isn’t saying we should worship them. He is saying, though, that we should treat them as set apart by God according to His purpose and plan. All women deserve respect. But those who are seeking to follow the Lord in their daily life should also be treated as holy and pure. That’s what God intends for them all.

APPLICATION

As parents we need to instill in our little boys and little girls that girls are different than boys. There is NOTHING belittling about that statement. In fact, it’s meant to be just the opposite. We should let all our daughters, sisters and wives know just how God sees them. They should be treated that way – as special creations in the eyes of our God.

It is up to the husbands, brothers and fathers to do this, however. So, do me a favor. Challenge the men in your life to treat women this way. And dads, YOU have to model this to your sons. They will treat their mom and sisters how you do. They will treat their future wife the way you do. 

So, how are you doing with this? Ladies, do you see yourself as pure? Men, do you see the women in your life as pure? If not, reread today’s verse. This is a command, not a suggestion. If you need to change your view of women, start with God’s view and go no further.

Father, forgive me when I do not see ALL women as you do. Thank You for the godly women you have put in my life. I am blessed because of them.

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RESPECT YOUR ELDERS

1 TIMOTHY 5:1

“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,” 

We have ANOTHER one-time used word in today’s verse. The phrase “sharply rebuke” is the Greek word epipléssó, which means to hit or strike in a vunerable place, to speak harshly or rebuke. You get the picture. Paul is telling Timothy that he needs to be careful how he talks to his elders. After all, he was already having trouble because of his youth. He needed to make sure he was respecting those older than him, even if they needed to be corrected.

In America there seems to be less and less respect for the elderly. You hear all the time about senior adults being abused or attacked. In days past that would have been seen as just horrible. But now it hardly makes the news. God’s Word hasn’t changed. So, today’s verse is just as applicable as it was when Paul wrote it.

APPLICATION

Wow! Here’s a no brainer! Our children must be taught to respect their elders. Unless that person is an abuser of some sorts, they should be treated with respect and honor. As parents, we have the responsibility to teach our children this. I have witnessed firsthand too many children who are allowed to disrespect adults. Don’t let your little Johnny do that. It will not help him later in life.

Why is it important for children to learn this early? Because respect for elders will help them also respect their bosses, their spouses and even themselves. Respect is something that has to be taught and lived out. They must be held accountable when they don’t show it. Anything less only leads to poor choices.

Do you respect your elders? Do you treat them with courtesy and honor? It’s hard sometimes, especially when they turn on you and make your life difficult. Regardless, we are commanded to treat them as He would. Today, show an elder in your life the respect they deserve. God will be honored.

Forgive me, Lord, for not showing proper respect for my elders at times. Remind me daily to honor them as You do. Help me come alongside them to aid them in their walk with Christ.

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SAVE YOURSELF

1 TIMOTHY 4:16

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”

I know what you are thinking.  “Save yourself? What are you saying, Carl?” Before you call the heresy police, let me explain. Paul is instructing Timothy to be careful to continue to teach true doctrine and follow it himself. By doing this he will show to others that he is a true follower of Christ and a faithful minister of the Gospel. His first concern should be his personal spiritual growth and then secondly, the salvation and growth of others.

There was a problem already arising in the early church of false teachers and preachers. They saw an opportunity to deceive others by preying on their desire to know God. So, these false teachers would teach false doctrines pointed at benefitting themselves. Paul was warning Timothy about appearing as one of them.

APPLICATION

We, as parents, should similarly instruct our children to have as their first priority to grow spiritually. Through Bible Study, prayer, worship and fellowship with other believers, they can continue their growth as a disciple of Christ. And then they will be prepared to reach out to the lost around them. But you can’t fully disciple others until you are grounded yourself.

I have seen far too many new converts get sidetracked trying to go back into the world to reach their lost friends. The lures of their past are strong. It is so easy to get sucked back into them. So, we need to help strengthen their resolve before unleashing them to pursue others. I am not saying they shouldn’t witness to others. I am saying they should be prepared to do so.

This does not give you an excuse to keep your faith to yourself. We are commanded to go witness to the world. But the Lord wants us to guard ourselves against the wiles of the devil. He knows our weaknesses and will throw everything he can at us to distract us or bring us down. Prepare yourself and be faithful to share.

Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank You, Lord, for making me whole. Thank You, Lord, for giving to me life more abundant.

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