October 31, Saturday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, is an updated version of his blog first posted on June 21, 2014.  Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A New Paradigm of How Others Are to be Perceived” 

1 Timothy 5:1-2

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, [2] older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity (ESV).

I grew up with the idea that we are to respect our elders. There were times when that wasn’t always easy, but I felt submitting to the authority of older people was just a natural part of life. Perhaps, because I’m older now and I wouldn’t mind being on the receiving end of that respect, I happen to think that’s a good idea. And so does the Bible.

In today’s passage, Paul tells Timothy to be careful when correcting older men and older women in the church; he is to have respect for them as he would for his own parents. But here is where the Bible is so radical, for it doesn’t stop there. Not only does Paul tell Timothy to respect his elders, but he goes on and tells him to treat those who are younger, both men and women, as though they were his own brothers and sisters.  

Christianity gives us a new paradigm on community, on how to regard one another. There is respect, of course, but Christianity goes further and calls us to love and treat each other as members of the same family. And in this sense, Christianity offers us an alternative and even a subversive society. We don’t just respect someone because they have earned it by virtue of their old age or by some other merit, but we respect and love both older and younger people simply for the reason that we belong to the same household of God. 

Take a moment and consider your involvement in your local church? Do you have more of a consumer mentality or do you see your church members as your very own family? How is or how would you like this to be expressed? Perhaps it will be you responding to that often-advertised Help Needed for Children’s Ministry, or it will be in the way you serve through the ministries of music or administration, where you serve with humility and eagerness. For some of us, it might mean that we are to extend grace and forgiveness to someone who has hurt or offended us. 

Prayerfully consider how you can express love to a fellow Christian in a practical way today.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the access I have to You.  Help me to believe the message of peace and love and thus to enter into peaceful and loving life in You.  Also, help me to have oneness, not just an absence of hostility, with those in my life.  It is only possible through You.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Ecclesiastes 2-3

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