Bible Reading: 1 Tim 1:1-7
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim 1:5)
Today’s world is not much different from that of Paul’s and Timothy’s in the time of the Ephesian church. In a very secular society, the Ephesian church flourished with all kinds of false teachings and beliefs that proved very detrimental to the faith of those who followed Christ. Similarly, in our secular age, much of the same false teachings have infiltrated our societies, churches, communities; even our minds.
Today, many lies concerning relative truth and agnosticism have circulated within churches. Though many lies may seem right and reasonable on the surface, deep down, like Ephesus’s context, they “promote speculations” that ultimately confuse the faith we believe in. We have ended up with a shallow Christianity that is feeble and susceptible to many false teachings that have lead many away from faith. This is the reality of the church around us. It’s a crisis amid our generation.
What are we to do in the midst of this sad reality? As children of God who have been graced with the abundance of God’s Word and the privilege to get to know Him, we are called to be the light in this world. As Paul urges Timothy to confront these lies in the Ephesian society, we too are called to confront our time’s falsehood and lies. The only way to confront this crisis is with a revival of God’s Word, a resurgence of true doctrine and sound theology.
Before thinking of serving others, we ourselves need to be changed. We need to be saturated with God’s Word. We individually need a revival of God’s Word. We need a new hunger and thirst for the truth. We need a renewed habit of diving deep into the scriptures. We need a transformed culture that encourages and builds one another up in the truth of God’s Word. Oh, pray for this! Ask for a renewal amongst us that we may have a new love for God’s Word, a new desire to know God, and a new longing to behold God’s glory.
We need purified hearts, good consciences and sincere faiths. These are all divine gifts from God – the working of the Holy Spirit through God’s Word. We really are nothing, and we really can do nothing. Ask for mercy that God works in us. Only then can we face the crisis of our generation.
What our generation needs, what the future church needs is the continuance of God’s Word in its full splendour and glory. Paul encourages Timothy and us to proclaim the gospel’s truth in a world of false and misunderstood teachings. Many times, people will not want to hear the truth. Most often, it hurts and pierces right through the soul. It hurts for us too. But this is what love is. Paul says to Timothy, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim 1:5).
Loving others as we are called to do is not to stroke their ego or please their desires. Loving is revealing people the truth. It means confronting the lies they believe with the harsh reality of God’s Word. That is the need of our generation. People do not need “nice”. People need sound doctrine and the depths of God’s Word. Only through God’s Word does the Holy Spirit work to change lives and bring people back to God.
Do we have that “love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith”? We are called to love others because God has first loved us with the greatest love. He turned us to Him through His Word when we were astray. Those out there need God’s Word. Let’s learn to obey. Let’s be people who speak up the truth in love.
Lord, what I need and what this generation needs are Your Word. Only if You speak to us and reveal Yourself will there be a change in our age. Please forgive and help me. Your love is so great for me. Help me to love You and serve You. Lord, I want to be able to proclaim the truths of Your world to my generation. But, how am I able to do that if You don’t first give me Your Word. You work in others’ lives, work in mine and take my life as an instrument of Your Gospel. Thank you, God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.