Blog

Blog

1 Timothy

1 Timothy 6:17-21

Friday, January 04, 2019
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”—which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Some things that people who are rich in earthly possessions should and should not do:
 
Wealthy people SHOULD NOT “be conceited”. There is a temptation that resides inherently within monetary wealth for its possessors to think too highly of themselves. They can look at and think of their financial prosperity and mass accumulation of material possessions and think that, since these things make them better off than the average person, they make them better than most people. Friends, no amount of wealth that we can accumulate will impress God. In His eyes we are all the same. Black or white. Male or female. Rich or poor.
 
Wealthy people SHOULD NOT “fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches.” They can come to feel self-reliant and self-secured, not realizing that everything could all be taken away from them without a moment’s notice. Consider the man in Jesus’ Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:16-21. This wealthy man was convinced that he had many earthly goods for many years to enjoy. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:20-21)
 
Wealthy people SHOULD “do good” and “be rich in good works.” If we DO good things with our money and possessions, then they will truly BE rich in the sight of God. I love the wording in the previous parable about how we should be “rich toward God.” The proper consideration and usages of our earthly possessions should always be “God-ward”. We should always give thanks to Him for all of our possessions (on loan from Him), and always give consideration to His will when we spend, save and share them.
 
Wealthy people SHOULD “be generous and ready to share.” Only trust in God, and generosity to those He created in His image, can store up “the treasure of a good foundation for the future.” Putting our trust in our earthly wealth is building our house upon the shifting sand. Putting our trust in “the living God” (KJV) is the solid foundation that no storm of life can assail. No matter how good (or bad) our life on earth may be at any moment in time, if we store up our treasure in heaven—if we treasure the things that have true, eternal value—we will take possession of “life indeed”.
 
Lord willing we will have some introductory remarks on 2 Timothy for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 6:11-16

Thursday, January 03, 2019
“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
As we run away (flee) from the love of and longing for money (verse 10), we are to run toward (pursue) “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness” (verse 11). A godly, righteous life marked by meekness, faith and love does not happen by accident. It must be pursued with diligence. It must be fought for (verse 12). Faith is a “good fight” not a “pleasure cruise”. We need to “take hold of,” lock on to, the salvation that Jesus hung upon the cross to provide for us.
 
We enter into the “good fight” after we make the “good confession” before we are baptized into Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Timothy made the good confession of his belief that Jesus is the Christ in the city of Lystra before his baptism, just like the Ethiopian eunuch did on that desert road as recorded in (Acts 8:37). When Peter made this good confession in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus told him that “upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18).
 
Our salvation depends upon the truth, the confession, the conformity to a life worthy of the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. The Father made the declaration from heaven more than once that Jesus was His Son in whom He was well pleased (Matthew 3:16-17; 17:5). When Pilate asked Jesus if He was “the King of the Jews,” He responded, “It is as you say” (Matthew 27:11). This was the good confession of His Messiahship before Pontius Pilate (verse 13), that He is the King of a kingdom not of this world (John 18:36).
 
To the “blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” be all the glory, “honor and eternal dominion!”
 
Please read 1 Timothy 6:16-21 for tomorrow.
 
Have a blessed day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 6:9-10

Wednesday, January 02, 2019
“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
I do not believe that Paul is teaching that the desire for personal, financial improvement is a sin, or even, necessarily a problem. But, the desire to “get rich” presents just a multitude of difficulties. If our desire is to work hard, and excel at our profession or occupation, and make a good living for ourselves and our families, we will not necessarily fall victim to lustful desires or incur the Lord’s displeasure. But if the power that drives us is the “longing” for riches, we are doomed for “ruin and destruction”. Money is not evil. The love of money is.
 
Paul uses graphic terminology to stress the dangers involved in “the love of money”. Those who want to get rich fall into “a snare,” and it is often a trap of their own making. Like a dumb animal that gets lured by its lust into the hunter’s snare, people often take the bait that Satan offers with the promises of possessions, power and pleasure. When we determine to get rich at any cost, we will eventually find out that the price was much too steep to pay, and we may come to this realization only when it is too late.
 
The “foolish and harmful desires” that accompany great wealth and the desire for great wealth “plunge men into ruin and destruction.” Like a swimmer that swims too far from shore and has gotten into waters far too deep, the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh will plunge us into troubles that are over our heads, and they will sink us. The “ruin” Paul writes of refers to the physical consequences of a life dedicated to worldly pursuits, and the “destruction” is the eternal “perdition” that ensues from sin left unchecked and not repented of.
 
Make no mistake about it. People have “wandered away from the faith.” It is possible to be saved spiritually, and then revoke your privilege of eternal salvation. One way to do that is to love money and long after it to your own devastation. It will pierce you through with many griefs, and leave you among the wreckage of the foolish souls that have been strewn about on the broad way that leads to destruction. Snared. Plunged. Pierced. The love of money is one of those horrific lusts that we must flee from.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 6:11-16 for tomorrow.
 
Blessings!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 6:3-8

Tuesday, January 01, 2019
“If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Paul’s first letter to Timothy is all about the defense of the truth against the corrupting influence of false doctrine (1:3; 4:1; 6:3). There are many people who, falsely in the name of Christ, have a “morbid” (sick) interest in septic teaching, instead of a wholesome desire for “sound” (healthy) doctrine. An unhealthy addiction for “controversial questions” and “disputes about words” will make us arrogant, envious, selfish, unkind, distrustful and condemned. But if we feed our spirits on the words of Christ (not just the ones in red letters), and his unadulterated doctrine (2 John 9), we will be spiritually cleansed and healthy and godly and alive. Please do not be deceived into thinking that doctrine doesn’t matter. Spiritual hygiene is a matter of eternal life and death!
 
The “prosperity gospel” is false doctrine. Many people teach and believe that if we have faith in God, He will bless us with financial “gain” (verse 5). They see a life of poverty as an indication of ungodly living and God’s displeasure. These people may be rich in possessions but they are “deprived of the truth.” Godliness produces the greatest form of gain—peace and contentment on earth and a resplendent inheritance in heaven. It is a good thing to try to improve our lot in this earthly life, but not to the neglect of our spiritual prosperity. We will depart this earth with exactly as many of its possessions as we entered into it with—zero (verse 7). Let us strive to provide for ourselves and our family, both physically and spiritually, and to be satisfied with the blessings that the Lord has heaped upon us. If we do that, the best is yet to come!
 
Please read 1 Timothy 6:9-10 for tomorrow.
 
Happy New Year!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 6:1-2

Monday, December 31, 2018
“All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Slavery in America was evil and horrid and it is an appalling atrocity in the history of our otherwise great nation. To use this passage to justify the sins of cruelty and oppression is obscene and despicable. The New Testament does not endorse slavery. But since it was such a prevalent aspect of ancient Roman society, the Holy Spirit inspired men to deal with the reality of slavery in the best possible ways.
 
It has been estimated that there were 60 million slaves in the Roman Empire. God’s plan of salvation did not require or promote societal upheaval. If anything would have caused “our doctrine” to “be spoken against,” a bloody revolution certainly would have. The heavenly Father sent Jesus into the world to save the souls of sinners, not to demand social justice. You can be a slave and still be a Christian. You can be a slave owner and still be a Christian. But you are required by the Lord to be the most godly and honorable slave or master that you can possibly be.
 
“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:27-29)
 
Sin is the worst form of slavery because it has the potential to hold a person in torturous bondage for eternity. When we are baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, our old self is “crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-23)
 
Please read 1 Timothy 6:3-8 for tomorrow.
 
Have a blessed day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 5:21-25

Sunday, December 30, 2018
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin. No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Some quick thoughts:
 
The laying on of hands was a sign of approval and endorsement (Acts 13:3). If we “lay hands upon anyone too hastily” we will “share in the responsibility for their sins” if they prove to be deceitful and unscrupulous over the course of time (verse 22). Paul may have written this in regard to the appointment of elders. If so, this would make sense because a man should never be rushed into such an important position without first being tested and proven.
 
“Use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (verse 23). This statement does not authorize social or moderate drinking of alcohol. If this is fermented wine that Paul is writing about, then it authorizes “a little” wine for medicinal purposes only. One of the qualifications of an elder is that he must not be “given to much wine” (3:3). Much wine is a problem for anyone and condemned by the Bible in several places. A little wine was sometimes useful and necessary in the 1st century.
 
Another reason to not lay hands on anyone too hastily is “the sins of some men are quite evident” (verse 24). Given enough time, most people will reveal their true heart and expose themselves for who they are at their core. Some people hide their sins very well for a protracted period of time. Not to worry. If they pull the wool over your eyes, they have not escaped the notice of the God who looks into the heart of man and sees all. They will not escape the notice or the judgment of the Lord.
 
Good deeds work the same way (verse 25). Some people let their lights shine so that all can see their good works in the hopes that some people will be saved on the Judgment Day to the glory of God (Matthew 5:16). The good works of other people are done behind the scenes and go virtually or completely unnoticed by human eyes. Not to worry again. Your good deeds “cannot be concealed” from the Lord with whom you have to do. He sees. He approves. He rewards.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 6:1-2 for tomorrow.
 
We would love to have you come worship God with us today at the Taylorsville Road church of Christ.
 
We assemble at 3741 Taylorsville Road in Louisville Kentucky.
 
9:30 AM Bible classes for all ages. 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM worship services.
 
Have a blessed Lord’s Day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 5:17-20

Saturday, December 29, 2018
“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,’ and ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’ Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Paul gave the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and here he writes of the honor due to those who serve in the official capacity of “ruling” over the sheep of the Lord’s flock. He said in 3:1, “If a man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” When a man dedicates his life to overseeing the Lord’s sheep (along with at least one other qualified “bishop), honor is due him for the important and commendable and very difficult position that he has willingly undertaken.
 
“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor” (verse 1). Paul uses the familiar adage that is prevalent in inspired Scripture of not muzzling “the ox while he is threshing” (verse 18), to show that elders have every right to receive “wages” for the wearisome and sometimes thankless work that they do. If an ox is worthy of eating of the physical food he provides by threshing grain, certainly those who must give an answer for the souls they lead (Hebrews 13:17) are much more deserving of receiving material sustenance for the spiritual needs that they help provide for.
 
I am not personally aware of any elders who receive financial compensation for the work they do in shepherding the Lord’s people. All that I know serve in this capacity out of the kindness and goodness of their hearts, and for the love of the people that they lead. But if a financial need ever arises, these men are more than worthy of receiving the wages that they would need to cover the expenses of living a decent life—compensation worthy of the vital position that they hold. They earn it by their work brethren and friends.
 
We are not to “receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses” (verse 20). It is just as wrong to receive the accusation as it is to make it, unless there is ample evidence to back it up. This is actually a biblical principle and rule that should be afforded all people (Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16; John 8:17-18; 2 Corinthians 13:1; Hebrews 10:28). When an alleged infraction is proven to be true, the sinner (even, and especially if he is an elder) should be rebuked “in the presence of all” (verse 20). This serves a double purpose: to punish the guilty and to instill the fear of sinning in the church.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 5:21-25 for tomorrow.
 
Have a blessed day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 5:9-16

Friday, December 28, 2018
“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, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
The leaders of a local church should not spend the Lord’s money on just any “good cause” that they consider to be worthwhile. The funds that a congregation has accumulated from collections made on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) should be used on the work that the Lord commanded and authorized His church to do. The Lord gave “gifts” to the church to provide “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). Any use of a church’s money that does not involve teaching the saints (Christians) and tending to their needs and building up the body of Christ by teaching the Gospel to the lost, is a misuse of the Lord’s resources.
 
We see in today’s reading that even when saints are truly in need, discretion is to be involved when assisting them with money taken from the “church treasury”. Women were very dependent upon men for the daily necessities of life in New Testament times, and widows were a particularly vulnerable class of people. Paul forbade putting young widows on “the list” (verse 9) of widows that would be permanently provided for by a church. While temporary assistance would certainly be appropriate, the best course of long-term action was for “younger widows to get married” (verse 14) and have their husbands support them. We also see, again, that if a widow had family members with the means to support her, they should do so because “the church must not be burdened” (verse 16).
 
The church of Jesus Christ is not the “benevolence society” that most people in the world make it out to be. Benevolence is one aspect of the work that a congregation is authorized to do, but even benevolence was relegated to the truly needed members of the Lord’s blood-bought body. We must do our best to not be a “burden” upon Lord’s church. There are only limited resources, and the bulk of them should be used on spiritual, not physical, pursuits. “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). “If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
 
Please read 1 Timothy 5:17-20 for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 5:1-8

Thursday, December 27, 2018
“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity. Honor widows who are widows indeed; 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. 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. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. 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.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Paul says we are to appeal to each other as fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers (verses 1-2). We are all a family in Christ and we should treat each other kindly and talk to each other respectfully. It is ironic that the people we love the most and spend the most time with are often the ones that we treat the most harshly and speak to the most “sharply”. It is just easy to get irritated with fallible human beings who all have their own personalities, quirks, habits and weaknesses, and who see things from different points of view. We must try and remember that as children of the Lord we have the most important things in common, and we are all striving toward the common goals of godliness on earth and eternity in heaven.
 
We have double responsibilities when our brothers and sisters in Christ are also our relatives by blood. God expects us to help tend to the material and financial needs of our parents and grandparents when they are unable to fully support themselves (verse 4). Those of God’s people who are “widows indeed”, and have no physical family to lean on during the tough times and the lean years, should be able to depend on their spiritual family to fill the void. But if we refuse to provide for the needs of our relatives, and especially for those of our own household, we have “denied the faith,” and are worse than unbelievers (verse 8). Very stern words and harsh warning. God takes the financial responsibilities we have toward our families very seriously. This is a critical part of being a faithful Christian.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 5:9-16 for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!

 

- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 4:11-16

Wednesday, December 26, 2018
“Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 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.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
“Youthfulness” is not a good excuse for sinfulness (verse 12). A young preacher, or any young Christian as far as that is concerned, should lead by “example” and not follow the crowd down the wide road to destruction. I am not suggesting that it is easy for young Christians to be exemplary in their faithfulness to the Lord, but the Bible shows us many examples of God’s young people doing this (Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Joseph, Solomon, David). And all of God’s children need to pay close attention to their “speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.”
 
We all need to “give attention to the…reading of Scripture,” whether it be in our “public” (worship services) or private lives. Learning, living and teaching sound doctrine will “ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you” (verse 16). I know this is aimed specifically at the duties of a preacher of the Gospel, but it applies to all of us. If we want to be able to exhort (encourage) and teach others the truth (verse 13), we must first learn what the will of God is. And not just learn it, but “pay close attention” to it (verse 16), “be absorbed” in it (verse 15).
 
The word of God is just too important to dabble in and fiddle around with. It is “the implanted word which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Matters of life and death are not to be trifled with. That is just as true for all people as it is for preachers of the Gospel.
 
By the way, I am not convinced that Timothy’s abilities as a Gospel preacher were miraculously endowed by God. It is very possible that the “spiritual gift” within him was his “ministry” to preach the Gospel that had been previously proclaimed by “prophetic utterance” (verse 14). The fact that he needed to read (study) Scripture and pay close attention to his teaching (verse 16) suggests (but doesn’t prove) that his gift was not miraculous. The “laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (elders) indicated their endorsement of him and His ministry, and not the impartation of a miraculous gift.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 5:1-8 for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 4:6-10

Tuesday, December 25, 2018
“In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Another “trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance” (verse 9) is that “godliness is profitable for all things” (verse 8). Whereas physical discipline (exercise) is of “little profit” by comparison, spiritual exertion for the purpose of godliness is beneficial on all levels. Physical exercise provides some good health benefits (albeit only for a limited time and scope) therefore I strongly recommend you hit the gym on a regular basis!
 
But spiritual exercise for the purpose of growing in godliness (piety, reverence and respect for God and His will) is infinitely more valuable, because it produces temporary blessings for the body and mind, and eternal benefits that will carry on into an everlasting life in heaven. So, hit your knees in prayer and flex your Bible page turning muscles and sprint to worship services as often as possible in order to “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (verse 7)!
 
Have you “fixed your hope on the living God” (verse 10)? The best way to truly be strengthened spiritually and grow in godliness, is to lock your mind on God and His word with single-minded focus and devotion. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24). It is an axiomatic truth that you cannot serve two masters. The inability to serve God and money simultaneously is just one specific example of this truth. You cannot make anything or anyone (including yourself) your master and still serve God appropriately.
 
It is foolish to place your hope in anything or anyone other than God. All other things and people (including yourself) will let you down. God never will. And only God can provide an eternal hope which He has promised to everyone who obediently serves and trusts in Him (1 Peter 1:3-5).
 
Please read 1 Timothy 4:11-16 for tomorrow.
 
Have a godly day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 4:1-5

Monday, December 24, 2018
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For 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.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Just a few more important points before we move on to the next few verses. We are living in the “later times” right this very moment, and these times have been in existence since the time that Paul wrote this letter. Hebrews 1:1-2 reads as follows: “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” The “last days” started when God began to reveal His will through His Son Jesus.
 
The Apostle Peter declared under inspiration of the Holy Spirit that when the Apostles miraculously preached the Gospel in a multitude of different languages on that Pentecost day in Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago, they did so as a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy of things that would take place in “the last days” (Acts 2:17). Many people consider our current world events to be evidence of the fulfillment of biblical, end-time prophecies concerning the “last days”. But the truth is that mankind has been living in the “last days” since the church of Jesus Christ began, and the final dispensation of God’s dealings with humankind will end when the Lord returns to judge the living and the dead, and destroy the earth and everything in it.
 
“Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude” (verse 5). There are no such things as “unclean” foods in this final dispensation of time (Acts 10:14-15; Romans 14:14). God has declared that all foods may be eaten, unless, of course, you should somehow violate your conscience by eating certain things, or tempt someone else to do the same (1 Corinthians 8:7). That is not to say that all foods are equally healthy for your body and mind! But, food will not affect our relationship with God (1 Corinthians 8:8), as long as we do not disregard our conscience, or behave in gluttonous or addictive behaviors.
 
So, receive your food with thankfulness knowing that God has declared it good in His word and by your gratitude-filled heart (verse 5)! “Eat your bread in happiness” (Ecclesiastes 9:7)!
 
Please read 1 Timothy 4:6-10 for tomorrow.
 
Have a blessed day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 4:1-5

Sunday, December 23, 2018
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For 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.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Christians can, and do, and will “fall away from the faith” (verse 1). This is a stern warning to all of us who think that we are standing tall and strong—we can fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). If we “pay attention” or “give heed” to the deception of the “deceitful spirits” of false teachers, we can fall victim to our own ego’s desire to have our “ears tickled” with a soothing message that pleases our own deceitful heart (2 Timothy 4:1-5). These are the “doctrines of demons” because what they profess is more in line with what Satan wants for us than what God wants for us.
 
I am a person who does not shy away from having my faith challenged, and I will usually give people the courtesy of listening to what they have to say. But it must always be done with the mindset to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Always, but always compare what you hear another person say about God and His will for you to the Bible’s clear teaching and the “simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:1-4).
 
Paul warns against hypocrites and liars who teach with a seared conscience that is past feeling or caring (verse 2). But there are also people who honestly believe the lies that they teach, and who truly believe that they have your best interests at heart. Either way you look at it, whether it be from false motivations or the best of intentions, your soul’s salvation is far too important to leave it in the hands of another fallible human being. Search the Scriptures daily, and do so with an honest heart that is open to the transforming truth of God’s inspired revelation. Please do not just assume that what you believe is the truth.
 
By the way, please do not ignore the specific warnings against the particular false teachings that Paul emphasizes in these verses. If you belong to or support a religious organization that forbids marriage for some or all of its members, and advocates abstaining from certain foods completely or during certain times of the year, let this serve as a wakeup call. Not only do these types of ascetic practices not originate from God, the Bible actually speaks expressly against them. “Therefore, 'Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you’” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
 
Let’s stay with 1 Timothy 4:1-5 for tomorrow and have a few more comments.
 
You are invited to come worship God with us today at the Taylorsville Road church of Christ.
 
We assemble at 3741 Taylorsville Road in Louisville Kentucky.
 
9:30 AM Bible classes for all ages. 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM worship services.
 
Have a blessed Lord’s Day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 3:14-16

Saturday, December 22, 2018
“I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Paul wrote this letter in large part to tell Timothy, who preached for the church in the city of Ephesus, to instruct the members on “how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God” (verse 15). Christians comprise the family of God, and we need to learn to behave like children of the King. “By common confession great is mystery of godliness” (verse 16). It is an undeniable truth that The Truth revealed in the Gospel is “mega” (great) important. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is “the doctrine conforming to Godliness” (6:3), and it instructs us to not only believe in the most godly person to ever live, but also to emulate and conform to the heart and behavior of our Savior as well.
 
Paul’s first letter to Timothy is loaded with exhortations for God’s children to be reverent, pious, godly people. We are to pray for government leaders so that we can lead tranquil, quiet lives in all godliness and dignity (2:2). Women are to dress and behave in ways that make a claim to their godliness (2:10). We are to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness (4:7-8). We are to flee from the love of money and pursue righteousness and godliness (6:11), because “godliness with contentment is great gain” (6:6). It is so important to live lives of reverence and respect for, and obedience to God, because that is the way that Jesus lived His life—a life that was well-pleasing to His Father in heaven.
 
Jesus was “revealed in the flesh” (verse 16). Deity took the form of humanity! Just wow! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Jesus, the Word, became flesh so that He could declare the Father and His love to us (John 1:18); so that he could empathize with us (Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15); so that He could live and die for us in order to save us; and so that He could set a perfect example for us to follow (1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6).
 
Jesus was “vindicated in the Spirit.” He was revealed in the flesh to be crucified by His enemies, so that He could be vindicated (justified) in the Spirit by His resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4). Jesus was “seen of angels.” Angels announced His lowly birth to His young, virgin mother, and to some shepherds tending their flocks in the field. Angels strengthened Jesus after His 40 day fast in the wilderness and His temptation by the devil (Matthew 4:11). Angels rolled away the stone of the grave that could not hold Him. And yes, He could have called 12 legions of angels to fight for Him and save Him from His sacrificial death (Matthew 26:53). But He died alone, for you and me.
 
Jesus was “proclaimed among the nations.” The blessed Gospel is for all people of all nations. God wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (2:4), and to live godly lives in imitation of His Beloved Son. Jesus was “believed on in the world.” He was despised and rejected by His own people and by the leaders of His day. And yet the ordinary people of the world accepted Him, believed in Him, loved Him and obeyed Him. And there are still people with good hearts out there that do the same and will do the same. Jesus was “taken up into glory” to reclaim His rightful place at the right hand of the throne of His Father in glory in heaven.
 
Great is the mystery of godliness!!! Great is the most amazing story ever told about the most godly Being ever to exist! Jesus is why the members of the household of God should conduct themselves with supreme dignity and godliness at all times, wherever they might be. We need to strive to show the members of God’s family and all the people of the world Christ living in us so that we can show them the way to the Father in heaven!
 
Please read 1 Timothy 4:1-5 for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor

Acts 6:1-7

Friday, December 21, 2018
“Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, ‘It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’ The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Even though this passage involves the Apostles and a special “untitled” group of servants selected to address a particular issue at the church in Jerusalem, Acts 6 serves as a good model for what elders and deacons do in local churches of Jesus Christ throughout the ages. So, what was the “problem” at the congregation at Jerusalem? They were growing! That is a good problem to have! And the spiritual leaders (the Apostles) needed help to carry out the more “mundane” issues that a church can incur so that they could devote themselves completely to the more important spiritual matters (verse 4).
 
Notice the type of men that were selected to serve in this special capacity. They were men who had a “good reputation” (verse 3), or, you might say that they were “beyond reproach” (1 Timothy 3:10). They were “full of the spirit and of wisdom.” They were knowledgeable and experienced (tested – 1 Timothy 3:10), and were trustworthy to be put in charge of this particular situation. Even though their work was primarily of a “physical” nature, they maintained a strong spiritual presence and influence and they used good discretion when working with people.
 
The specific task that the seven men were selected to perform in Acts 6 was to “serve tables” (verse 2). Deacons are servants who help elders to carry out much of the work in a local church that goes unnoticed and unappreciated, but that is absolutely necessary for the wellbeing and functionality of the family of God. Church buildings need to be maintained, lights need to be changed, things need to be repaired, bills need to be paid, finances need to be handled, teaching programs need to be prepared, class rooms need to be organized, etc. Under the oversight of the elders, deacons are assigned a multitude of necessary tasks that help a congregation to function smoothly so that God can be worshiped in spirit and in truth, and His word can be taught, and His people can be served and edified.
 
Take the time to thank a faithful deacon!
 
Please read 1 Timothy 3:14-16 for tomorrow.
 
Blessings!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 3:8-13

Thursday, December 20, 2018
“Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
A deacon is a servant in the church, but he is one who serves in a special and “official” capacity. All of God’s people have been saved to serve, but a man who aspires to the position of deacon desires a higher calling. If he dispatches his duties with diligence, he obtains “a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” (verse 13)
 
A deacon must be a man of character (verse 8). He must be a dignified person who takes the word of God very seriously. He holds “to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience” (verse 9). Just like the faithful overseer does, the trustworthy deacon holds “fast the faithful word” (Titus 1:9), and obeys the commandments of the Lord with single-minded devotion. He is not a double-tongued, or two-faced person, and he lives his life free from addictions. A deacon who serves well is a role model for others to look up to and follow after.
 
A deacon must be a man of capability (verse 10). He is a proven person who has been “tested” in the areas of spiritual leadership. He must demonstrate his faithfulness by faithfully attending worship services and by his preparedness when leading in the various aspects of public worship that have been assigned to him. He has proven over the course of time that he is reliable and dependable and “beyond reproach,” and he is ready and willing to use his unique skillset to serve the Lord and the church as best as he is able.
 
A deacon must be a man of care (verse 12). He cares about his family and he manages his household with dignity and godliness. He demonstrated his love for the Lord and for his future children by marrying a godly woman who is also “dignified” and not a “gossip” and who is “faithful in all things” (verse 11). As “managers of their children and their own households,” deacons have the quality of being a good steward of some of God’s most precious gifts (their children), and he is also a good manager of his finances so that he provides adequately for their needs.
 
Read Acts 6:1-7 for tomorrow so we can get a glimpse at the kind of service that deacons are called upon to perform.
 
Have a wonderful day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 3:1-7

Wednesday, December 19, 2018
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
 
---End of Scripture Verses---
 
As we look over the qualifications of an overseer, we should be able to see that some of these requirements are outright and some are relative. A person is either a man or not. He is either married or he is not. He either has children or he does not. These are absolute requirements that exist or they do not. But many of these requirements are “relative” in the sense that they must exist in one degree or another. Some men are more hospitable than others, and some have a greater ability to teach than others. The warning here is to not look for perfection in any of these qualities in a human being or we will always find a reason to disqualify every man, including ourselves, from this most needed position of leadership in the church.
 
“An overseer, then, must be above reproach” (verse 2). Once again, this does not mean a man must be perfect in order to be an elder. If that were the case, there would be no elders in the Lord’s church. The term “above reproach” or “blameless” means that no accusation of evil can be proven. It doesn’t mean that accusations will not be leveled, but that they will not stick. And if an elder does sin in a public fashion, he will be cleansed of his unrighteousness by the blood of Christ if he confesses his sins and repents of them, as he is walking in the light of the Lord like the rest of God’s children (1 John 1:5-10).
 
He must not be “a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (verse 6). It was arrogance and pride that prompted Satan to “lift himself up” in his own eyes and rebel against the Almighty, and thus he incurred the Lord’s “condemnation”. Thrusting a “neophyte” into the position of elder could “puff him up” as well and bring the same harsh judgment. He “must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (verse 7). A dishonest, unscrupulous person will fall victim to Satan’s scheme to bring reproach upon himself as well as the Lord’s church.
 
Critical position. Serious undertaking. Serious consequences. Perfection is not required but wisdom and strong conviction are. We must not be more demanding than the Lord is, but we must also strive to not put unqualified men in the position of elder. Great harm has been done and will be done.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 3:8-13 for tomorrow.
 
Have a blessed day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 3:1-7

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
 
---End of Scripture Verses---
 
If any man “aspires” and “desires” to become an “overseer,” it is a “fine” or “excellent” or “honorable” position that he seeks. We have here the necessary qualifications for the office of “overseer” or “bishop” which is the Greek word “episkopos”. The words “bishop,” “elder,” and “pastor” (shepherd) are different terms that describe the same position in the Lord’s church.
 
The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:1-2, “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness.” Peter exhorted the “elders” to “shepherd” (pastor) the flock among them, exercising “oversight” (the verb form of the noun “episkopos”).
 
We can see from verse one of today’s reading that the first qualification required to be a “bishop” or an “elder” in the Lord’s church is that the person must be a “man”. This should be no surprise at all as we saw in yesterday’s reading that God forbade woman to teach or hold positions of authority over men in the church of Jesus Christ (2:12). And elder must be a man, and, as the name implies, not a young man or a “new convert” (verse 6).
 
The second qualification revealed in verse one is that a man must “desire” this position. Paul used two separate words which express this quality that are rendered “aspires” and “desires”. This is a most serious and important position and decision, and should not be entered into lightly and without a strong desire to lead the Lord’s people. Shepherds must watch over the souls of the flock that they lead and give an account for those souls on the Day of Judgment (Hebrews 13:17).
 
An elder must be “the husband of one wife” (verse 2). He must be a married man but not a polygamist. No matter how wise and willing a man may be, no matter how many of these qualifications he may excel in, if he is not legally married (in the eyes of God and government), he is not qualified to be an elder. He must also have children, and he must rule them well, because the home is the proving ground and preparation for leading, along with at least one other shepherd, a local congregation of the Lord’s people.
 
More on this passage for tomorrow Lord willing.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 2:11-15

Monday, December 17, 2018

“A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”

---End of Scripture verses---

“But women will be preserved through the bearing of children” (verse 15). The views on the meaning of this verse are many and varied. Some people think that Paul is saying that women will be spared unnecessary difficulties if they adapt to their God-given sphere of duties as a wife and mother and keeper of the home, just as man must not deviate from his role as the “breadwinner” who toils by the sweat of his brow in order to supply the needs of his family (Genesis 3:19).

But it appears evident that there is a direct connection between women being “preserved” and the actual act of “the bearing of children,” and not a woman’s motherly/wifely duties. God bestowed upon woman a very unique honor and privilege when He gave her the charge of childbearing. Through this feat Jesus was brought into the world, a privilege that man played no part in since Jesus had no earthly Father. Women have a unique connection to the original matriarch and the honor bestowed upon her in bringing the “seed” into the world that would ultimately crush the serpent’s (Satan’s) head (Genesis 3:15).

It also seems obvious that the word “preserved” bears the meaning of “saved,” as in eternal salvation, and not just the sparing of further difficulties. Whatever the role that childbearing plays in the “saving” of women, they must “continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.” In other words, just the mere privilege of bringing children into the world, and even having a part in the bringing of the Messiah into the world, is not a guarantee of salvation for women. Just like men, women must love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength, and live sanctified lives of faithfulness to Him, in order to be saved spiritually and live in heaven eternally.

Please read 1 Timothy 3:1-7 for tomorrow.

Have a great day!

- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 2:11-15

Sunday, December 16, 2018
“A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
This is a foreign text to many people in the denominational world, and even to many in Christ’s church, because a lot of folks either don’t believe or like what it teaches. In all honesty, this IS a difficult passage to read, and, in some respects, to understand. But one thing is clear from this and other parts of the Bible: women are to be in subjection to men in the Lord’s kingdom. There, I said it. No wait a minute. God said it. God said “entire submissiveness” (verse 11).
 
I believe that when Paul wrote in verse 12 that he did “not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man,” that he was commanding that a woman must not teach a man in an authoritative way. I was introduced to the truth by a wonderful woman (Judy Runyon). I thank God that He used her to plant the seed of salvation in my heart that eventually led me to obey the Gospel and become a Christian. She would always be quoting Bible verses to me. She was always inviting me to church services. These were exactly the kinds of things that God wanted her to do.
 
But, just as men are to be the ones leading prayers in mixed company (verse 10), men should be the ones teaching and leading and exercising authority in that setting as well. The reason that God has given men the role of leadership in His kingdom is because that is the order that He intentionally established from the very beginning of His creation of humanity. God, in His perfect knowledge, wisdom and authority, created the man (Adam) first, and then He made the woman (Eve) as a help suitable for him (verse 13). A second reason given for God’s arrangement is that “it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman” (verse 14).
 
More on this passage tomorrow Lord willing.
 
You are invited to come worship God with us today at the Taylorsville Road church of Christ.
 
We assemble at 3741 Taylorsville Road in Louisville Kentucky.
 
9:30 AM Bible classes for all ages. 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM worship services.
 
Have a blessed Lord’s Day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 2:8-10

Saturday, December 15, 2018
“Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
Much argument has been made over whether this command was given in reference to church worship services, or if “in every place” means anywhere Christian men and women may be in the company of one another. I won’t contribute to that debate here but focus on the details of the directives. It seems apparent to me that, since Paul is distinguishing what he wants men to do in verse 8 from what he wants women to do in the subsequent verses, that he is referring to the leading of prayers and not to prayer in general. God wants all people, male and female, to have a healthy prayer life, but He wants men to lead prayers when they are vocalized in mixed company.
 
Men must lift “up holy hands”. This is not a required prayer position, but was customary in that culture, and a metaphoric way of referencing prayer. It is the condition of the heart and not the position of the hands that make a man “holy” in the sight of the Lord. God does not hear the prayer of the unrighteous (1 Peter 3:12). We should pray “without wrath and dissension.” Our prayers should not be angry with or critical of God or our fellowman. That is not to say that we cannot approach the throne of glory for help when we are feeling irate or upset. But, as someone once wrote, “Do you pray against your brother? Your prayer is not against him, but against yourself. You provoke God by uttering impious words.”
 
Women must “adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly” (verse 9). Women should not dress in ways that would draw attention to themselves or to their bodies. What should set God’s women apart from the women of the world is their "proper" behavior and “godliness” (verse 10). “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 1:3-4). A woman’s actions and demeanor should speak louder than their words and their clothing.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 2:11-15 for tomorrow.
 
Have a wonderful day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 2:5-7

Friday, December 14, 2018
“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
As surely as there is only one God, there is only “one mediator also between God and men” (verse 6). And what a perfect and unique mediator “the man Christ Jesus” truly is. He is perfectly suited to this unique position, as He possessed the full attributes of humanity and deity simultaneously. “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16). Jesus not only knows what we go through because He created us. He knows the human experience because He became one of us!
 
Jesus, our perfect mediator, “gave Himself as a ransom for all” (verse 6). These seven words tell us a great deal about the nature of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior. First of all, He “gave Himself.” His was a voluntary sacrifice that was given lovingly, selflessly and willingly. Jesus was not a victim but the greatest of all victors who defeated death, the grave and sin for us. Secondly, He offered Himself as a “ransom”. His self-sacrifice was the ransom price paid to free us from slavery—the bondage of sin and death. Finally, Jesus gave Himself as a ransom “for all”. The only way we limit the atonement of Jesus Christ is if we refuse to accept the gracious offer of salvation that He has given to all of His creation. As Paul had just stated, God “desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (verse 4).
 
Please read 1 Timothy 2:8-10 for tomorrow.
 
Blessings!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 2:1-4

Thursday, December 13, 2018
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
 
---End of Scripture Verses---
 
How important a part does prayer play in your life and in your faith? Paul gives it a place of primary importance by “urging” us to consider this privileged avenue of communion with the Father in heaven “first of all” (verse 1). We should arise in the morning with our thoughts focused upon our dependency on our Protector and Provider. Our pillowed heads should rest in appreciation for the day that God blessed us with. And all points in between, we should be “instant in” (Colossians 4:2) and “devoted to prayer” (Romans 12:12).
 
Prayer is such a fundamental foundational element of our life in Christ that Paul mentioned the four primary “elements” or “forms” of a solid prayer life. We should make “entreaties” to the Lord for the things that we urgently need, and “prayers” that may be considered requests of a less critical nature. We should make “petitions” to God on behalf of the people that we know are in need of the Lord’s special care, and “thanksgivings” for all of the things, blessings, people and promises that fill our lives with joy and hope.
 
I can tell you from personal experience that if you frequently express appreciation to “the Father of lights” for “every good gift” (James 1:17), your prayer life will improve greatly, and your overall outlook on life will take a major upswing. There is no exact formula for the percentages of “entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings” that make for the best prayer life. But I’m thinking that if “thanksgivings” predominate and outshine the others, we are going to know a greater sense of God’s care, presence and blessings.
 
Well, who should we be making “petitions” for? The short answer is “all men” (people). When we pray for others, we actually make our own lives better. When we pray for those “who are in authority,” our petitions help to provide for us a more “tranquil and quiet life” (verse 2). One of the greatest and most worthwhile things that we can pray for others is that the Truth will touch their hearts, and that they will obey the Gospel and be saved. God “desires all men” (people) “to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (verse 4). Let’s please God. Let’s pray for people’s salvation, and let’s pray for open doors to personally be instrumental in helping them learn the truth.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 2:5-7 for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 1:18-20

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
“This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.”
 
---End of Scripture Verses---
 
“Fight the good fight” (verse 18). Faith is not merely belief. Faith is more than just trust. Faith requires more than obedience. Faith is often times the fight of our life. When we want things for ourselves that God knows are harmful, we have to do battle with our own stubborn wills. When the temptation to do wrong is about to overpower us, we must fight against Satan and his strong allurements to commit sin. When we are weakened and tired from the toils and struggles we face from day to day, we must fight the temptation to grow weary in doing good. When our brethren are battle-wearied and in danger of becoming casualties of this spiritual war, we must fly to their side and fight for them for fear of their eternal ruin. If we are not fighting we are being defeated. The fight of faith is always a “good” fight.
 
Some have “suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith” (verse 19). It is such a dreadful shame when the soul of a once-loyal child of God is reduced to the wreckage of an abandoned faith. But the truth is that it could happen to any of us. Faith is a fight, but it is also a voyage, and we must stay the course unto our final destination. As we navigate our vessels through the seas of adversity and the oceans of enticement, we must be ever-watchful for the obstacles that generate weakness and discouragement and sin. Hymenaeus and Alexander grew weary and steered off course, and they were “handed over to Satan, so that they” would “be taught not to blaspheme” (verse 20). Sometimes we need to be disciplined in order to feel the sting of living in sin. But disfellowship is always done with the hope that the “spirit will be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5).
 
Please read 1 Timothy 2:1-4 for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 1:12-17

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
 
---End of Scripture Verses---
 
Paul was “shown mercy because” he “acted ignorantly in unbelief” (verse 13). That is not to say that ignorance and unbelief are an excuse to do the wrong things, like being a “blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor.” But God showed Paul “mercy” by putting him “into service” even after his heart had been set upon destroying the church of Jesus Christ with great zeal and intensity. Paul did this in all sincerity and good conscience, thinking that he was serving the Lord the whole time. But, when Jesus appeared to him on the Damascus Road and convicted him of his sins, Paul did a complete 180 by repenting of his sins and using that same zeal and intensity to become arguably the church’s greatest champion.
 
Paul set himself up as the perfect example of the grace of God reaching the vilest of sinners (verses 15-16). If Paul could be turned from his sinful ways to serve the Lord, then anyone can. Paul said that “the grace of the Lord was more than abundant” to cover his sins, but he was required to respond in the “faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus” (verse 14). Ephesians 2:8 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith. When we acquire and exhibit trusting, penitent, obedient faith in the Lord, God will heap His loving, saving grace upon us. Where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds all the more (Romans 5:20)! He has grace greater than all our sins!
 
Do you believe that you have committed such heinous sin in your life that God would never be willing or able to forgive you? If you do, friend, you greatly underestimate the magnitude of God’s grace and love. Before Paul became an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, he was complicit in the murder of the Lord’s people (Acts 9:1)! And yet God forgave him when he believed in Jesus and turned from his sins and had them washed away in the waters of baptism (Acts 22:16). God sent Jesus into the world to save you from your sins, not to condemn you. But, like Paul, you must be willing to turn loose of them and give your life to the Savior.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 1:18-20 for tomorrow.
 
Blessings!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 1:8-11

Monday, December 10, 2018
“But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men, and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.”
 
---End of Scripture Verses---
 
Quoting Marshall Patton from his Truth Commentary on the meaning of Paul’s statement in verse 9, “that law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious…”
“Law was primarily for the purpose of revealing the knowledge of sin and restraining wickedness…It is a matter of emphasizing truth by use of a strong negative, a common occurrence in the Scriptures. For example, Jesus said, ‘They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick’ (Matt. 9:12). This does not mean that ‘they that be whole’ do not need the counsel, warnings, and guidance of a physician in maintaining good health. Rather it means that primarily the purpose of the physician is to heal the sick. So it is with law. Its primary purpose is to reveal knowledge of sin and to turn the sinner from it. This does not mean, however, that the righteous man is without the beneficent blessing of counsel, warnings, and guidance in maintaining his righteousness. Remember, he is under law to God (1 Cor. 9:21). Again, Jesus said, ‘Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life’ (John 6:27). This does not preclude our laboring for physical food (Gen. 3:17-19; 2 Thess. 3:10), but it does obligate us to seek primarily spiritual food ‘which endureth unto everlasting life.”
 
Take a look at this short list of sins that God labels as lawlessness, rebellion and ungodliness. He groups liars in with murderers, homosexuals in with kidnappers. Within this list are sins that some people would consider to be “minor offenses” or merely “lifestyle choices”. In God’s eyes all sin is rebellion against Him and the sinner will incur His wrath unless he repents and turns from his lawless ways. Please don’t make excuses for your sins. Own up to them. Repent of them. Fight against the temptation to commit them. Confess them. Pray God for His forgiveness and for assistance to help you overcome them.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 1:12-17 for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 1:1-7

Sunday, December 09, 2018
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, to Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
“The goal of our instruction is love” (verse 5). Unlike the bitter fruit produced by strange doctrines, myths and endless genealogies, the beautiful bounty brought forth by teaching the pure truth of God’s word is love. God is love (1 John 4:8), and His only motivation for sending His Only Begotten Son to die for the sins of the world was love (John 3:16). When we love our fellowman and our fellow Christians and treat them the right ways, from a heart full of care and concern, we fulfill God’s law concerning His expectations for our interactions with the precious souls He created in His own image.
 
“From a pure heart.” We must guard our hearts with all diligence because from them flow all the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). Jeremiah tells us that the heart is deceitful above all else and desperately sick and cannot be fully trusted (Jeremiah 17:9). If we allow it, our heart will take us places that our head would never approve of being (Matthew 15:19). We must strive earnestly to keep our hearts unpolluted by the world by feeding them on the purity of God’s word (Psalm 19:8). We cannot love the Lord and humanity (and ourselves) in the healthy ways that God wants us to unless we purify our hearts (James 4:7-8).
 
“And a good conscience.” A good conscience is one that is working right, functioning in the ways that God designed it to. The word “conscience” literally means “knowing with”. Paul describes a properly functioning conscience as one that bears witness to God’s law, and alternately accuses us when we do the wrong things, and defends us when we do right (Romans 2:15). A good conscience is not sufficient alone, unenlightened and undirected by His perfect word, to justify us before God when we stand before Him in Judgment. But we must work hard to not violate it just the same. And when we do, it will prompt us (in consort with God’s word) to feel remorse and to repent of the sins that we commit.
 
“And a sincere faith.” There is no room for fakers in the kingdom of God, which is the church of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18-19). God looks right into the heart of us and sees whether our hearts or pure or not, and whether our faith is sincere or just for pretend. We can fool the people sitting in the pews next to us on Sunday mornings, but there is no deceiving “the God who sees” (Genesis 16:13). “The genuineness of your faith” is “much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7)
 
Please come worship God with us today in all truth and sincerity at the Taylorsville Road church of Christ.
 
We assemble at 3741 Taylorsville Road in Louisville Kentucky.
 
9:30 AM Bible classes for all ages. 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM worship services.
 
Please read 1 Timothy 1:8-11 for tomorrow.
 
Have a blessed Lord’s Day!
 
- Louie Taylor

1 Timothy 1:1-7

Saturday, December 08, 2018
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, to Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.”
 
---End of Scripture verses---
 
When Paul had met with the Ephesians elders in Miletus toward the end of his third preaching journey, he conferred upon them the following charge: “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-30)
 
At the time of the writing of this letter, “certain men” had already begun “speaking perverse things” and teaching “strange doctrines” (verse 3). Others were trying to pass off mere “myths” and fables for the truth, and trying to impress people by their supposed illustrious ancestries (verse 4). There is not the slightest indication in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that our salvation depends upon our “genealogies” or bloodlines, but only upon the precious blood of the Son of the living God. We should not “pay attention” to anything other than the “sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1) that can only be derived from “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 1:9).
 
Please do not base your soul’s eternal salvation upon mere “speculation” and conjecture. There are numerous people in the world, and many with good intentions, who base their spirituality and relationship with God upon feelings, visions, dreams, and subjective things of this sort. But life and truth and eternal salvation can only be acquired by the pursuit of pleasing God through the objective, inspired revelation of the Lord’s will found only in the Bible, and specifically in the New Testament. When Paul encourages us to further “the administration of God,” he is telling us to stick to God’s clear-cut plan of salvation that can only be found in “the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 1:3).
 
Please stay with these verses for tomorrow. Lord willing we will focus on what Paul wrote in verses 5-7.
 
Have a blessed day!
 
- Louie Taylor

Introduction to Paul’s first letter to Timothy

Friday, December 07, 2018
We are introduced to Timothy in Acts 16:1-2 during the Apostle Paul’s second preaching tour: “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:1-3)
 
Timothy was Paul’s faithful traveling companion and worker during his second and third preaching journeys as Paul and his companions trekked about the Roman Empire teaching the Gospel and converting souls to Christ and strengthening brethren in the faith. The bond between Paul and Timothy was so deep and strong that Paul referred to his younger protégé as his “beloved son and faithful child in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:17), and his “true child in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2).
 
Paul likely wrote this first letter some time after his first Roman imprisonment, from the region of Macedonia, to the young evangelist Timothy who had been left behind in the city of Ephesus to preach the Gospel there (1 Timothy 1:3-4). I like Marshall Patton’s simple breakdown of this letter in his Truth Commentary from the Guardian of Truth Foundation: “The subject matter of Paul’s first epistle to Timothy may be viewed from a threefold viewpoint: (1) Warnings Against Departures From the Faith, (2) Proper Behavior in the House of God (church of our Lord), and (3) How to Save Ourselves and Those That Hear Us.”
 
Please read 1 Timothy 1:1-7 for tomorrow.
 
Have a great day!
 
- Louie Taylor