Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January 24th, 2018

 

 

Prayer of the Day

Lord Jesus Christ, You have always given to Your Church on earth faithful shepherds such as Timothy to guide and feed Your flock. Make all pastors diligent to preach Your holy Word and administer Your means of grace, and grant Your people wisdom to follow in the way that leads to life eternal; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Psalm 71:15-24
Acts 16:1-5
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Matthew 24:42-47

Bio:  St. Timothy had Christian believers in his family. His mother, Eunice, was a Christian woman and was the daughter of a Christian woman named Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). Acts records that St. Paul met Timothy on his second missionary journey and wanted Timothy to continue on with him (16:1-3). Over time, Timothy became a dear friend and close associate of Paul to whom Paul entrusted mission work in Greece and Asia Minor. Timothy was also with Paul in Rome. According to tradition, after Paul’s death, Timothy went to Ephesus, where he served as bishop and was martyred around AD 97. Timothy is best remembered as a faithful companion of Paul, one who rendered great service among the Gentile churches.

Reflection by  Fr. Valerius Herberger (21 April 1562-18 May 1627, German Lutheran preacher and theologian):

Dearly beloved, today we celebrate the commemoration of St. Timothy. He was born in Lystra (Acts 16:2); his father was a pagan, but his mother, Eunice, born an Israelite, had accepted the Christian faith and had committed her son, Timothy, to be raised by her mother, Lois, who was also a Christian. So Timothy learned the catechism from his grandmother. See, dear parents, what the diligent training of children can do! Now since he was a good, excellent thinker, St. Paul accepted him as his colleague or chaplain, and since he improved himself daily, Paul eventually ordained him as bishop of Ephesus, where he was also killed by the raging pagans. St. Paul loved him dearly, which we can see from both epistles that he wrote to him. In 1 Timothy 1:2, he calls him his true son in the faith. From these two epistles, many passages shine forth like the stars of heaven:

  • 1 Timothy 1:5: “The aim of the commandment is love from a pure heart and from a good conscience and from a faith unfeigned.”

  • 1 Timothy 1:15: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

  • 2 Timothy 3:12: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

Since St. Paul and St. Timothy were dear friends, they were put beside each other in the calendar, and also on the day of St. Timothy, the Gospel of John 15:9-16 is read, which speaks of pure love and friendship.

(From The Treasury of Daily Prayer)

Reflection:  According to tradition, Timothy, Preacher of the Gospel, was martyred by the “raging pagans”.  In Luke 4, we are told that after Jesus preached in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth that the congregation wanted to push Him off a cliff because they did not like His sermon. They did not like it because Jesus said His fellow congregants were like the Gentiles, i.e. sinners.  Their self-righteousness was exposed. They became a mob and I think a mob is the angry aggregate of the self-righteous.  Today with all the “super-pastor” mega stars, it is hard to imagine a congregation wanting to kill  a pastor…or before that, throw him out:  but these super-pastors preach what a sinner wants to hear, not what they need to hear.  I have been told to leave a congregation because of my preaching, so I somewhat know the feeling.  What is it about pastors that some congregations want to stop their ministry as they did Jesus Himself?  Pr. Paul Kretzmann from his commentary on St. Luke 4 gives a reason for the attempt to stop true preaching of the Word:

 As long as faithful pastors speak in a general way in their preaching and admonishing, they have peace and are even praised. But if the same men dare to point to individual sins, they are accused of unjust criticism and condemnation. For it is a peculiarity of the truth that it embitters and makes enemies where it does not work conversion. There is no worse censure for a pastor than that which was spoken of one concerning his position in his congregation: We do not hurt him, and he does not hurt us.  

In 1 Timothy 6, the Apostle Paul warned Timothy about the love of money being a root of all kinds of evil (vss. 2-10).  He then exhorts Pastor Timothy to  “flee these things” and  “…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”  Next verse:

“Fight the good fight of the faith.”

It is clear that the reason pastors preach Law-less sermons is  financial: a good pay package.  I too have been guilty of this. If the pastor does “not rock the boat”, he can keep his job.  This is not the good fight to fight for the salvation of many.  A forgiven sinner is called to preach the Word to forgiven sinners for their sanctification.  A pastor is called to preach Law and Promise to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comforted.  Without a fight, a struggle, we surrender to the world, the flesh and the devil.  Pray for your pastor that like Paul and Timothy they preach what you need, that is, the Bread of Life, not what you want, but also to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18).  If needs be: fight the good fight  with your pastor if he is preaching Law-less sermons, which will mean, hollow  feel-good bromides masquerading as Gospel.  For every Christian this also means speaking the truth in love in admonishing a brother or sister in Christ  with the very attributes Paul encourages Timothy to pursue:  righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness!

 If the pastor is feeding you his religious opinions or simply political statements, then ask to be fed the Word of God.  Paul instructed about “bishops” which literally means from the Greek, “overseer”. A pastor/bishop is called to give oversight but not to overlook wrong and transgression and so overlook sound doctrine. The Apostle Paul’s charge to his brother in the Holy Ministry is clear and it is also a charge to the whole Church:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: