ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS SELF-SUFFICIENT God has no needs, cannot improve and does not change. We, on the other hand, as created beings rely completely on God for our every breath.
1 Corinthians 4:7
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
Acts 17:24-25 The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
Praise God for His Self Sufficiency
Reflect on God’s self-sufficiency by considering your own dependence. Make a list of all the things you have that you did not receive. You can’t. Everything you have (food, strength, oxygen, consciousness, personality, relationships…) all come from God. You need God, but he is fully self satisfied and self-sufficient. Speak words of praise to him because he is self-sufficient.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for your friends who do not know Jesus. Ask God to strengthen your friendships and give you opportunities for gospel conversations.
1 Timothy 5 New Living Translation
Advice about Widows, Elders, and Slaves
Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. 2 Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.
3 Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. 4 But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.
5 Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. 6 But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives. 7 Give these instructions to the church so that no one will be open to criticism.
8 But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.
9 A widow who is put on the list for support must be a woman who is at least sixty years old and was faithful to her husband. 10 She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?
11 The younger widows should not be on the list, because their physical desires will overpower their devotion to Christ and they will want to remarry. 12 Then they would be guilty of breaking their previous pledge. 13 And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t. 14 So I advise these younger widows to marry again, have children, and take care of their own homes. Then the enemy will not be able to say anything against them. 15 For I am afraid that some of them have already gone astray and now follow Satan.
16 If a woman who is a believer has relatives who are widows, she must take care of them and not put the responsibility on the church. Then the church can care for the widows who are truly alone.
17 Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”
19 Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is confirmed by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church; this will serve as a strong warning to others.
21 I solemnly command you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the highest angels to obey these instructions without taking sides or showing favoritism to anyone.
22 Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
23 Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.
24 Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later. 25 In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. And the good deeds done in secret will someday come to light.
Paul gave Timothy some practical counsel related to a specialized set of needs in his church. This group was classified as “widows.” They are not just those women who had lost husbands, but those who had lost husbands and met other requirements that would allow them to be placed on the church’s “widow list.” The list could seem made up/arbitrary, but it was situationally determined and practical in nature. The church had limited resources, and in addition there were certain women who were technically widows but who for a variety of reasons should not have been put on the list. Putting women on the list in a wrong fashion was bad for them as well as the church. When you read this letter remember you are reading an actual letter from a mentor to a protegee. Timothy needed to know how to deal with actual, practical situations in a real church. There was no room for theory and idealism. Paul was helping pastor Timothy by giving him practical advice, learned over many years, in order to free Timothy up to his primary calling which was to teach and preach. Of course this doesn’t mean taking care of people with needs is unimportant. It just shows how vitally important the Word of God applied to our lives is. Service is good, growing in the knowledge of the truth is essential.