Monday, February 12, 2007

1 Timothy 1:18-2:8

Daily Devotional – Tuesday Feb.13, 2007
1 Timothy 1:18-2:8
Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.

Today’s reading is a short and very direct pastoral letter providing instruction to Timothy a young Priest. Though Paul knew Timothy’s parents, the letter was probably not written by Paul but by an admirer of Paul who believed that Paul would approve. Timothy later joined Paul in his ministry and continued to minister after Paul was arrested in Rome.
The purpose of the letter is to give instruction in worship and church administration.

The writer offers Timothy these instructions so that he can.. “fight the good fight having faith and a good conscience”. The extension of this is that a guilty conscience will be a wall between us and God. Whereas Jesus provides a link to God, a guilty conscience can break that link. I am sure you would agree that a clear conscience is a truly wonderful thing and something we all strive for. Guilt on the other hand can destroy. It creates insecurity and the defensive behavior that goes with it. It isolates us from those around us and also from God. I have learned that my own bad behavior breeds more bad behavior.

As a sinner, I am guilty. The burden of sin weighs on my conscience. I am aware of my sin because Jesus has set the standard of God’s expectations of me. It was not until Jesus Christ entered my life that I was aware of my own sin and my own conscience. However, it was also not until Jesus Christ entered my life that I realized that my sins are forgiven. In my daily prayers I thank God for his love and forgiveness. I ask God for the strength to resist sin in all its forms. I also thank God for providing a living example in Jesus Christ. With this example in front of me, I know when I stray. My conscience tells me. It is through my simple prayers that my conscience is cleaned. I am blessed to have friends and family around me who know my weaknesses and short comings and love me anyway. God is ever present in those people. Praise God!

AMEN

John Dickie, Feb.13, 2007

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