Setting an Example, One Way or Another

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1 Timothy 4:12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Spiritual maturity has very little to do with chronological age. “Older” Christians can learn from those who are younger.

My Advice – You do not live your life for yourself alone. One way or another you are an example to other believers, non-believers and someday to a family. Be diligent in continuing to be a good example in the ways listed and in others ways that people might look up to you.

Don’t Miss the Train

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1 Timothy 3:7Train yourself to be Godly. (NIV 1978)

My Musing – Godliness is not our natural state. It is our transformed state. While we are immediately justified when we accept Christ, it takes time and training to become Godly and Christ-like.

My Advice – In addition to taking time for your physical shape (exercise) and mental/emotional shape (rest and relaxation), make time for spiritual training (Church, Bible reading, prayer, small groups, fellowship with other believers).

A Sincere Faith

1 Timothy 1:5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – A sincere faith leads to a pure heart, which in turn leads to a conscience that is clear. The final result is love.

My Advice – Keep your faith in God and Christ sincere. It is the key to a pure heart, a clear conscience and love for others.

As For You

1 Thessalonians 3:13And as for you brothers, never tire of doing what is right. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We become discouraged when doing what is right rarely seems to make a difference. We are not rewarded for results. We are rewarded for effort.

My Advice – It may seem at times that there is no reward or that no one takes notice when you do what is right. Sometimes you may even be ridiculed or persecuted for doing what is right. Do not let that stop you. Right is right no matter what, and God notices.

Stand Firm, Hold On

2 Thessalonians 2:15Stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We do not live for ourselves only. We need to pass on to others the things we learn from God and from His Word.

My Advice – Remember the things your mother and I taught you and tried to model to you. Hold onto them. They are a part of who we are. By holding onto them you are holding onto a part of us, even long after we are gone.

Joyful Prayer in All Circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:16Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – If we continue in prayer, through the good times and the bad, if we thank God for the good and thank Him for being with us in the bad, we can learn the secret of being joyful always.

My Advice – Don’t let the pursuit of happiness be your primary motivation. It will disappoint you because happiness depends upon circumstances. Rather let the pursuit of joy be your motivation. You can have joy despite the circumstances.

Pay Back or Pay Forward?

1 Thessalonians 5:15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Our ways should not be the ways of the world, but the ways of the Lord. Rather than crush a foe, we should try to win a foe. After all nothing is gained by defeating another, but we can gain a friend by winning (not defeating) them over.

My Advice – Don’t seek revenge. This is the way of the world. You are called to be different. Rather, be kind to those who would harm you.