Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 30, 2020

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Timothy 5:3-8.

“Honor widows who are widows indeed;  but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents;  for this is acceptable in the sight of God.  Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day.  But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.  Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach.  But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  1 Timothy 5:3-8.

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God set up the family to be the first resource for financial support.  Family members should take care of each other.  Parents should feed, clothe, and shelter their young children.  Adult children who work should provide some financial support for their elderly parents who no longer are able to work and who need help.  

Today’s Scripture gives us a specific example.  The church should not be a first resource to a widow where her family could help her.  

“but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents;  for this is acceptable in the sight of God.”  Verse 4.

“‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.” Deuteronomy 5:16.

Jesus considered certain Pharisees and scribes as hypocrites who tried to excuse helping their parents by claiming that the financial support should be given to God instead of their parents.

“but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother;  thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down;  and you do many things such as that.”  Mark 7:11-13.

How often today do we also see people who claim to be religious neglect their parents!

And, how often do ministers seem willing to ignore this Scripture and look the other way and only care that the members of their congregation fill the collection plate!  

Consider the strong warning in today’s Scripture!

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  Verse 8.

But, there is hope!

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.  He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”  Malachi 4:5-6.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;  and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  …  We love, because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:7 and 19.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, …”.  Galatians 5:22. 


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