1 Timothy 4:11 (NIV) 11 Command and teach these things.
On verse 11: Can a pastor command his congregation to do certain things? According to Paul in verse 11, yes a pastor can, but always with gentleness and respect and always leading by example (as we’ll see in the next verse). Western culture tends to focus so much on individual freedom and equality, such that we tend to downplay or even ignore the truth that our pastor or spiritual leaders have authority over us. When met with the idea that we must follow and submit to our pastors and spiritual leaders, we might retort, “Well, we are all broken and prone to error.” Paul recognized that we are all broken and prone to error, but he still told Timothy to command and teach his church. He urged him to step courageously into his role as their leader and spiritual authority.
That’s a good lesson for all of us — for those who are in authority and those under authority. Those in authority must exercise their God-given authority to command and teach with great care, courage, wisdom, humility and love. Those under their authority must practice humble submission, team play and a teachable spirit. It’s about believing that God works when we submit to our leaders, broken and imperfect as they may be. Just as children are to obey their parents, broken and imperfect as they may be, we are to obey our spiritual leaders. For it is in such unity that God bestows His blessing on His entire family and enables a church to thrive, grow, and make a lasting impact.
1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV) 12 Don’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.
On verse 12: This was one of my favourite verses growing up, one worth memorizing. Godly leaders don’t just message people about how to follow Christ; they model it for them too. I pray that in your home, in your church, in your workplace or school, and among your friends, you would set an example of what a Christian should be in the way you speak (speech), the way you live (life), the way you treat others (love), the way you trust and believe God’s Word (faith), and the way you seek the please God with your life (purity).
1 Timothy 4:13 (NIV) 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
On verse 13: There’s a reason why at Thrive we read Scripture together a lot and why we place a great emphasis on strong preaching and teaching. It’s because there is power in the public reading of God’s Word, and the preaching and teaching of it. It’s no wonder Paul told Timothy to devote himself to the reading, preaching and teaching of Scripture.
1 Timothy 4:14 (NIV) 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
On verses 14-16: Apparently Timothy was a gifted communicator and leader, but he might have been a little timid and prone to giving up too early. That’s why Paul tells Timothy not to neglect the gift God had given him (v14), to give himself wholly to the calling God had on his life (v15), to watch his life and what he is teaching, and to persevere (v16). In doing so, he would “save both yourself and others” (v16b); in other words, he would fulfill his destiny and be a blessing to others.
What can we learn from this? Do you want God to use your life in a powerful way? Then develop the gifts God has given you. Watch that you’re living a life that is pleasing to God. Teach with care and precision. If you keep on doing these things and don’t give up even when you fail, you will fulfill the destiny God had for your life and bless many others in the process. Heavenly Father, thank You for the calling You have on each person reading today’s GAME sharing. You’ve called us to worship Jesus, to grow more like Him, to serve Him with our talents, to lead others to Him, and to love our spiritual family. Thank You for the gifts You have given us. May we develop our gifts so that we can use them effectively and excellently for Your glory. May we be careful to live in a way that is pleasing to You. Help us to love and follow our spiritual leaders well, to be excellent team players and good followers. Through both our example and our words, may we clearly and lovingly teach others who You are. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!