When we need advice, who do we go to? We often reach out to a trusted person who cares for us. We place great value on the words of a person who has experienced what we are going through. I was thinking of this when reading through Paul’s letters to Timothy. In these letters, Paul was providing instruction and advice to his dear friend. Sprinkled throughout these letters are a few “trustworthy sayings” that Paul highlighted:
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15
When declaring that he is the worst sinner, Paul is pointed towards his past. A past that included his approval for the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1). He is not hiding his past… he is using it as proof of the abundance of grace that God has for us. Christ died, not for the righteous, but for the guilty.
Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him. 2 Timothy 2:11
When we turn from our old life and sin, we are given a new life in this body with Christ. This is not just a temporary event! This new life will also extend into eternity.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 1 Timothy 4:8–9
Here, Paul is urging Timothy to train himself for godliness, much like an athlete would train for physical events. If we put our energy into training our hearts to follow Christ, we are going to reflect that into the world. We will be an example of the love that God has for us. We will be ready to manage the difficult situations that life may throw at us in a Christ-like way. This is something that may not come naturally, which is why we need to be intentional in our training.
I’m sure our community group leaders would agree that spending time with others in Bible study and fellowship would be a great place to train! Information and sign-ups for our community groups can be found on our website. I pray that we will also find instruction and comfort in these words. Let’s accept these words and show that they are trustworthy. The elders are praying for you every week. Please contact an elder or deacon with any prayer requests.
FROM THE ELDERS—Matt Baker