Although today’s scripture just focused on three verses, this chapter really focused on leadership. I read the NIV, The Message, and The Voice, but really like the NIV the best. Here is the entire chapter…just 16 verses total.
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 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. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Abandoning faith will happen, so be careful who you listen to and just because someone speaks doesn’t mean we should follow. False speakers will try to get us to follow them and abandon God. We must hold onto the truth of God’s Word. How interesting in verses 3-5 that it talks about forbidden food and how nothing is to be rejected. Receive everything with thanksgiving! Speak what is written and with care and concern. Never speak and change the wording to suit yourselves or give you power above others. Furthermore practice what you preach or you will never be trustworthy in the eyes of others. Godless myths, old wives tales…nothing trustworthy about them…nothing Godly. Put hope into the Living God! Those that can speak the truth shall do so, but stay true to the Scriptures!
I am quickly learning that anything I hear, or anything I wish to speak about in a Godly way requires talking it over with God first! Prayer, reading the scripture, then prayer to ask for clarification. Then, I must think before speaking, speak with clarity, and never speak what you yourself cannot do. Do not twist the words to further your own agenda. Speak as if Jesus is physically there and ask if He would approve what our words and actions are. I don’t have the strength to do it, but God will give me what I need, provided I listen to Him and not ignore it and have my own agenda.
Lord, the tongue is quick to speak what the mind thinks. We say our first thoughts without thinking things through. We say words to make us look better than we are, to look smarter than we are, to make other think we are more powerful than we are. Help me, Lord, to speak only the words You have written in the exact way they are written so that I don’t mislead anyone astray, but rather right to You! Help me to question what others preach, just as those that listen to what I speak should question. Help guide me to Your Word so that I can verify what is spoken. Help me to listen to Your voice and only Your voice, even among the chatter. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.