Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 28, 2020

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 4:11-16.

“Prescribe and teach these things.  Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.  Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.  Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.  Take pains with these things;  be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.  Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching;  persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”  1 Timothy 4:11-16.

———-

Today’s devotion will focus on two basic elements in being a good teacher.  

First, we need to pay close attention to our teaching.  We need to accurately handle the word of truth. 

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15.

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2.

“… give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.”  Verse 13.

“Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, …”  Verse 14.

“Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.”  Verse 15. 

Second, we need to pay close attention to our self.  We need to avoid worldly and empty chatter and not get entangled in the affairs of everyday life.   

“But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,”  2 Timothy 2:16.

“… in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”  Verse 12.  

“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”—”  1 Timothy 6:20. 

“No one can serve two masters;  for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and wealth.”  Matthew 6:24.

“So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.  Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”  Acts 6:2-4.

“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”  2 Timothy 2:4.

In summary, we need to pay attention to both our self and to our teaching.  

There are some who, although they at least superficially impress others with their teaching in the beginning, they think that they do not need to be devoted to their teaching, but rather, they think that they can do every thing else that they want.

And, there are others who, although they at least superficially appear to live simple and pure lives, they do not have a spiritual gift for teaching, they do not truly delight in it but rather try to do it out of a fleshly sense of duty, and they do not accurately handle the word of truth.  

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching;  persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”  Verse 16.


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