Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on September 14, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:1-21 (NKJV)
6:1 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. 2 And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
Grace be with you. Amen.
The Scriptures often exhort, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Nevertheless, not all hearing is to be commended. St. Luke 8:18 warns, “Therefore take heed how you hear.” Similarly, the pastor is exhorted, “Preach the Word, in season and out of season” (see 2 Tim. 4:2), and yet not all preaching is profitable. In today’s reading St. Paul warns Timothy, “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing…” The Word of God can be misused to puff up the reputation of the preacher with useless wranglings. It can be used to always stir up “disputes and arguments.” Others seek to use the preaching of the Word as “a means of (financial) gain.”
Timothy, the man of God, is directed to use “wholesome words.” Those wholesome words are both “the words of our Lord Jesus Christ” and “the doctrine which accords with godliness.” “Wholesome” is that which is balanced. Just as a wholesome meal includes a proper balance of the food groups, so Timothy is to use the Word of God to teach that proper balance of Law and Gospel. First, pursue the righteousness of Christ which comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Then the believer seeks godliness, out of thankfulness for the gift of salvation. The believer is to live a life of contentment with what God provides in this world, and he is to be willing to share with others. In this way, Timothy is to make “the good confession.”
Prayer: O Lord, may the preacher teach wholesome words and the hearer consent to them, that both may lay hold on eternal life in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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