1 Tim. 4 - What Do You Want To Hear?

Specific Text: 1 Timothy 4:1-8

In some respects, it may seem like this passage doesn't apply to you. Paul is speaking directly to his young protege, Timothy, and to those who God has called to be preachers. "They're not going to like what you're telling them, Timothy" Paul writes. "When you don't tell them what they want to hear, they'll ditch you and find somebody who will."

But this does apply to you. True, not all of you will become full time preachers, but all of you are called to submit yourself to the gospel message, and you need to be aware of the tendency we all have to just listen to what we like.

What we like to hear about ourselves is that we're basically good people who mess up every so often, but God loves us the way we are, and He wants us to live a fulfilled, happy life. The 'sound doctrine' Paul writes of, however, is quite unpopular: You are a sinner who needs to repent, you've been saved by grace alone, and now you must live a life pleasing to your savior.

You must surround yourself with this sound doctrine. Sometimes it will correct and even rebuke you, but it will always encourage you. It will keep you grounded in the truth rather than turning aside to myths. It will keep your mind prepared for action (the word translated here as 'keep your head' is the same word we have seen Peter use over and over).

You have the blessing of having lots of choices and methods for 'doing church.' There are many styles and options in the music they sing and the words they preach, which makes sense. God's People are really diverse, so the church will in many ways look different in every situation. But above all, the kind of solid church you want to align yourself with will fully proclaim God's Word - both the parts you like to hear, and the parts that you need to hear. Stick with that church so that your life can be summarized with the words found in vs. 6-8.

Prayer For The Day - Dear Father in heaven, thank you for loving me enough to care about the quality of my life. Thank you for your Word which is the truth, and for the churches which faithfully proclaim it. Help me always to be open to your correcting and rebuking when I need it, and thank you for the encouragement your Word & Church provide. Amen.

Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church

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