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3rd June 2012
After encouraging Timothy about training for godliness, the apostle Paul moves on to the subject of how we reflect that godliness to those around us. Paul is pointing out to Timothy that his lifestyle must match up to his words – when Timothy sets an example in action, his words will be validated; but when his life doesn't match up, he becomes a hypocrite and so his words will be undermined.
When God's Church is reflecting His heart, it is beautiful; but when it is plagued with hypocrisy and individuals in the Church are saying one thing but living differently, it is failing to reflect the brilliantness of Jesus. We are called to be different in word and deed, being what Jesus called "salt and light" to a lost and broken world.
The apostle mentions five areas where we are to be aware that we are on display and ought to set an example: speech, life, love, faith and purity. In my speech, do I tell the truth, speak honestly, building up rather than tearing down? Am I known as someone who practices what I preach through my life? Do I choose to love rather than fighting, quarrelling and wanting my own way? Am I living a life of faith, trusting and following Jesus, not being thrown by the winds and circumstances of life, but instead standing firm in Christ? And am I living in purity, a life that honours and pleases God, rather than gratifying my own desires?
It's not about striving to 'be good' or being obsessed with ourselves ("Look how good I am!"), but about taking control of ourselves ("I want my life to reflect what I believe and value!"). God is deeply interested in our lives. He is transforming us day-by-day to be more like Jesus, reflecting Him to those around us.
The key is staying close to Jesus and keeping in step with the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5). As we do this, our lives reflect Christ and we become more and more like Him. We don't do it in our own steam – that's religion! Rather, we let God work in us. By his grace at work in your life, what sort of person are you becoming?
Verse: 1 Timothy 4:12
Food for thought:
Posted by Santino Hamberis
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