- The Explore the Bible lesson for June 30 focuses on 1 Timothy 5:1-8, 17-21.
James 1:27 encourages believers to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” In doing so, God our Father will accept this as “pure and faultless.” Likewise, as the Apostle Paul continues to impart instructions for Timothy to share with the family of faith, he includes instructions regarding respect for all and caring for widows and pastors. We all are graced to do good works. In the following passage, we are stirred to help widows and pastors in practical ways. It is a religion that is “pure and faultless.” Further it demonstrates our responsibility to act on God’s instructions.
Respect All (1 Timothy 5:1-2)
The first chapter of the book of James ends with a discussion on religion that is worthless (having an out-of-control mouth) and a religion God accepts as pure and. If we are to have a religion God accepts, we will respect all his people by keeping a tight rein on our tongues and serving his people.
The first two verses of the fifth chapter of 1 Timothy note we are to treat all men and women, older and younger, with respect. Paul places emphasis on treating all older men and women as our own fathers and mothers and younger men and women as brothers and sisters. This show of respect is to be demonstrated by church leaders to those in his or her care. In a similar manner, church members are to respect those in authority. In a family context, respect is to be from the top down and from the bottom up.
How do we best show respect for God’s people? What are the benefits of treating older men and women as our own fathers and mothers?
Care for Widows (1 Timothy 5:3-8)
There are practical and everyday needs believers can be responsible for regarding caring for widows. We are to acknowledge the reality of widows’ needs and as Christians take care of widows without families. In most cases, these are long-time faithful believers who have come to a place in life where they are now in need. Children and family members who are related to widows should care for them when they can no longer care for themselves. As difficult as the caretaking may be, caring for widows pleases God. It is pure and faultless and has priceless blessings.
Widows who lean on God and depend on God will continue to live physically and spiritually versus a widow who lives outside of depending on God. Timothy is instructed to share this truth with believers, instructing them so they will know, be blessed and responsible to the faith as believers should be.
What are some practical everyday ways the family of faith can help widows?
Care for Pastors (1 Timothy 5:17-21)
Paul’s instruction to Timothy in these Scriptures is all about gaining an understanding.
Understand elders are to be esteemed, and because of their labor in the ministry of preaching and teaching, they are to be held in high honor. Further, we are to understand we must value and respect the labor of our leaders as well as compensate them.
Accusations against a leader must be substantiated by multiple individuals. Elders who are living beneath their calling and abusing their position by remaining in sin must be outwardly addressed in order to caution others of the consequences of sin.
Timothy is called on to implement these instructions without bias in favor of or against anyone. In so doing, he is being responsible to the word of God and teaching others how to be responsible. Ultimately, we all are responsible to God for the support or lack of we give our pastor.
Prayer: Lord, help us to intimately know your word, so that we can show our responsibility to it and thereby please you by putting our faith into action—serving your people, especially widows and pastors. Amen
Lisa M. Rainey, PhD., is a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas.