The Gospel Is 20/20 Vision
Loving Father, often the predictability of the routine dulls my capacity for the unexpected. Startle me with new insights today.
1 Timothy 1:1-11
Consider: Some of us need glasses because we do not have 20/20 vision. In a similar way, some of us have distorted views of the Gospel. However, this statement remains true: "The Gospel is 20/20 vision; your view is an opinion."
As usual, Paul begins by stating his authority (1) and identifying the recipient (2). He then brings his usual greeting (2b). During casual conversations, the references to "life" are often vague and general. The meaning of "life," or the extension of the term, is not always clear to us. In one instance, "life" refers to the cluster of circumstances an individual is a part of. Or "life" can mean the energy that keeps all the cells fulfilling their functions. "Life" may also describe the network of relationships with a common set of shared experiences. Or "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" (John Lennon, "Beautiful Boy").
When it comes to church life, the same difficulties emerge. It is a reference to the internal energy, as much as to the relationships and the circumstances in which all this takes place. This is the lens used for these notes on 1 Timothy. Each reading will highlight some aspects of church life, understanding "life" as a multifaceted phenomenon within a Christian community.
The Church is a community of faith that seeks the truth and rejects falsehood (3-4a). It does this by centering life on God's work (4b). All committed Christians have emotions, love, values, consciousness, relationships, etc., all subject to God's desires (5). But the attempts will not emerge naturally. We are required to be alert and fervently searching to be in church and be under God's desires (6-7).
Church leaders should not seek to build personal reputations under the same terms as happens in political or business arena. Christian leaders are ruled by God's principles and understanding of success, which may result in difficult personal situations or personal sacrifices in order to bless the people of God.
How eager are you in seeking to live under God's principles? How do you evaluate the priorities established by the culture?
Dear Lord, sometimes I really feel the pressure of living in two worlds, with two value systems. I am in You and in this world. Help me to live for You in this world.
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