Journal 1 Tim 5 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “…let them first learn to show godliness to their own household…” 1 Tim 5:4b
“So also, good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.” 1 Tim 5:25
Observation: Godliness and good works are related but should not be thought about as the same…
Analysis: 1 Tim 5 is difficult this year. Journaled about for about 4 years prior, all the cherry- picked verses (as few as they are) have been written about. Time to dig in without prejudice. Note to journalers: To journal well, nothing you read in the Scriptures is off limits to your personal journal. Remember that all scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for changing lives.
Of this chapter, 58% is directly about various stages in a woman’s life. The remaining 42% are either about men and leadership or general verses that could be applied to either gender in the Church. I never considered 1 Tim 5 to those female specific bible references before today. Being a guy in today’s social environment, I would find it difficult to preach on this because I wouldn’t know if I was preaching to a hostile or receptive audience. That’s why guys like Kel get the big bucks.
And thus, because I am chicken to the max, I snipped these two references perhaps out of context so I can gain illumination today.
I pound on godliness, because godliness is what I am called upon to walk in whether I am with someone or not. Strike that: because Jesus is ALWAYS with me, I am called to walk godly in His Presence. You know those times where I want to “let my hair down” and “just be real?” Those are the times to target real transformation to godly character—not “put on” stuff.
Hebrews 3:12-13 instructs to encourage (exhort) daily. This is a direction to believers, not unbelievers (although it can apply). But it is not stuff like “good job” or “well done” primarily. The best encouragement comes from verbally recognizing godliness in another. “I see grace coming out of you/being formed in you in [this way].”
These two scripture snips are about three things:
- Godliness as an effort to your household. Men and women have this injunction alike, and it is something LEARNED and PURSUED.
- Good works (perhaps as a result of Godliness, I’ll bet) are conspicuous. They are evident if looked for. See 1 Tim 4:15b.
- The bestest good works are those done in secret. “…so that your giving (also serving) may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matt 6:4) But those same good works will not be secret forever: “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17) If I do something, I should not toot my own horn: Let God toot it for me at His own time and place.
- This is where the latter part of Heb 3:12-13 comes into play: Recognition of evidence of Grace is to be done daily because people are weak daily. Feeling like they are toiling in the darkness, by themselves, sin can easily overtake them—they can fall to sin’s temptations. We can be an active part of countering sin in another’s life by just paying attention to Grace and telling them about it.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the redemptive love shown in your Scriptures. Thank you for Paul giving us guidance in 1 Tim 5 and that it is not limited to the society of the First Century Church, but it is applicable today as well. Help me and all who read this learn to follow You more radically today.
Open my eyes to evidences of Grace in others, learning how to serve them in this.