Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. 1 Timothy 1:5
I have been struggling the last couple of days trying to decide if Timothy was the direction that the Lord would have me go. As I read the first chapter several times to pray about what to write about, I could not sense anything for my direction. Finally, I started asking God if I should head in a different direction, especially since Timothy is a book written to a pastor. I told God, this book is for pastors, not for me. Who am I to write about instructions to pastors? That’s when I finally had a break through. I believe God showed me that the book isn’t for pastors, it is for ministers and leaders. We all are ministers of the gospel and leaders in the kingdom of heaven, or at least we should be. I felt like that was the answer I needed to move forward in this direction. So, now to continue with 1 Timothy, I will proceed with a different mind set of how Paul’s words apply to all ministry, no matter what stage you are in.
So, in today’s text Paul is instructing Timothy to tell others not to teach other doctrines. As we read on, he says that the message should be brought in love from a pure heart and good conscience with sincere faith. This is also what the focus of our mission should be today. We are to minister the good news of salvation in love from a pure/clean heart and good/clear conscience with sincerity of faith. We are not to be distracted by other doctrines that causes separation. God doesn’t want us to try to argue someone into salvation. It is not a productive way to win people to the LORD and arguing usually in not done with a pure heart, clear conscience and sincere faith. Think about it. When we argue, usually the motivation is because we think we are right and want others to submit to our way of thinking. This is the exact opposite of the instruction given here. Arguing is prideful, because we are right and want others to know we are right. Arguing is not motivated from a pure heart because it comes from a force that we want others to admit they were wrong. Arguing and disputing certainly isn’t done in love because in your heart you believe the other person is wrong and should listen to you.
Effective ministry must be done in the love of God. Recognizing that the reason you are sharing with others is because God loves them and that is the reason you love them. Not because of anything they have or have not done to deserve your love or God’s for that matter. This is where a pure heart and clear conscience comes from. Lastly, it is a step of faith to love others with God’s love. You have to trust that God’s love will break through even the hardest of hearts. Especially when a person is underserving of your love, you can still love them with God’s love.
Today I want to encourage you in whatever ministry you have. Whether it is a position in your church, neighborhood or workplace, share the love of God first of all. As you speak words of encouragement and love to those around you, remember that it is God’s love for them that is motivating your heart and God’s love is first of all pure. Speak to others with the clear conscience that you are looking for nothing from them in return and your desire is only that they would know how much God loves them to the point of sending His son so He could have a relationship with them. Lastly, recognize the sincerity of your faith because you are trusting that as you share God’s love with others, He will show up and make it so real to them. It is not our place to prove God’s love for others is real, our job is to simply share it with other. After we share, God does His part and shows up in their life to make Himself real to them. That is what brings people to Him.
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Timothy 1:3-7