“… stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.” 1 Timothy 1:3-4 (NIV)
Background: The Apostle Paul had founded the church in Ephesus (about A.D.52) and later taught there for 2 to 3 years (about A.D.54-56). The church had grown large and influential. In the mid-60’s, Paul got word about a group of leaders who infiltrated this influential church, spreading incorrect views about Jesus and what it means to follow him. Paul sent Timothy and Paul’s letter commissions Timothy to confront these leaders and restore order in the church.
Below is a present day letter sent from a TJC author to his mentee and “adopted” son (also named “Tim”), inspired by a recent reading of 1st Timothy:
Tim, you have got your hands full as we both know you are surrounded across our culture, including churches not teaching the truth. People have to learn how to conduct themselves and you are ordained for such a time as this. You’ve grown wise as a professional warrior, policeman, business owner and political consultant. You have achieved amazing influence and impact for someone as young as you are; kept pressing in.
I know you’re familiar with the struggles of a new church, volunteer workers, and in-experienced or ill-focused staff and leaders. This new assignment is going to demand even more of you, of all of us- for we must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have good reputations.
As Paul closed to his trusted friend Timothy - you and I can press into the same now:
“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. Grace be with you all.” 1 Timothy 6:20-21
Daily Battle Order:
My son Tim has faced similar challenges especially across churches. You will as well, as have I. Take a moment today to read the qualifications for church leaders in chapters 3 and 5 - it is great advice for all of us as we aspire to “Be Holy”