“God’s grace doesn’t require perfection, it only requires a yielding, accepting heart.”
Hello beautiful people!!
Happy Mother’s Day! Can you believe that it is already the middle of May, oh my goodness, it seems like time is just flying this year!! I am already done with my FOURTH book of meditation for 2018 and I am onto my 5th book in the Bible for this year’s goal!
If you are just now checking out my blog, welcome! I am so happy that you have found The Soulful Ways and I hope that you will experience God’s goodness through some of my posts. Like previously stated in my January, February, and March review, this blog post will be an overview of what I learned in the book of meditation for that previous month. I will give main takeaways from each chapter in the book, my favorite verse from each chapter in the book, and an overall “conclusion” of what that book meant to me. So, here is my fourth “Bible book review” of 2018. I decided to focus on Paul’s epistle of 1 Timothy, which is a very instructive letter to Timothy, a new and young leader within the church.
I decided to focus on 1 Timothy during the month of April because I really wanted to soak in God’s Promises and Truth’s. I really wanted to take the time to understand what it means to be a Christian in this culture and what it looks like to follow God’s Way, even when society is tearing you down. And as I was flipping through my Bible, I ran across 1 Timothy. Timothy, I feel, is similar to many of us college Christians in some of the things that he struggled with such as: trying to have good values, trying to discern God’s voice from his own, trying to not fall into the traps of society, and trying to be an overall balanced individual that shared the goodness of God’s love while still being young. And God did not make that easy on Timothy, however, He did show Timothy that just because he was young did not mean he could not lead people to Christ.
And this is why I want to share with you my love for 1 Timothy. This book taught me so much about staying in shape spiritually, praying earnestly, creating an example, and most of all, not letting age be a factor in sharing God’s Truth to all. I pray that after reading this “review” you will see that God can use ANYONE, no matter the age, race, socio-economic background, or past failures… He. Can. Use. Anyone. And He will, if they are A) willing, B) ready for a challenge, and C) ready for a radical change of life.
Chapter 1 – do not pass up grace offered by the Lord.
Favorite Verse in 1 Timothy Chapter 1 = 1:19 “…holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to faith.”
We must learn to understand the Lord’s truth, and cling to His promises. We can have the will power to stay away from anything that stops His perfect plan for us if we understand both how He views us and what He vows to give us. God’s work is perfect, and to stay in good spiritual shape we must stay disciplined with our studies of His Word and His power. Therefore, we have to avoid ANYTHING that keeps us from God’s best and from His work within us. We should always be concerned with understanding the Truth, obeying the Truth, and spreading the Truth. Let us stop focusing on creating an “image” because pictures are often deceiving. Instead, let us create an example of God’s goodness in our life.
Chapter 2 – learning to find your beauty in the Cross.
Favorite Verse in 1 Timothy Chapter 2 = 2:2-3 “…that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…”
If we learn to not only be honest with ourselves, but also honest with those around us, and in our relationship with God, we will feel relief and improvement almost instantly. We will feel relief in a sense of mending any tension with ourselves, others, or the Lord… And we will feel improvement because honesty is the gateway to success! We need to learn to pray earnest prayers to the Lord always and to be open with everyone (including ourselves). Letting others in and being honest with your current situation will always reap powerful results because it is the first step to healing. He knows us intimately and deeply, yet He still loves us. He knows our deepest desires and our deepest secrets, so tell Him. Come to Him fully open and willing, because He will weave out what is right and what is not necessary. No one is ever outside of God’s love, mercy, or salvation, and a new life is accessible to all people through the beautiful life of Jesus Christ and what He has done for us on the cross. Therefore, take the time to understand the Lord. Get to know Him and His one and only Son, and why they expected so much of you. Maybe, just maybe, you will realize that you are not so out of reach and that God is actually very close to you, waiting for you to let Him in so your true beauty can shine. Love, kindness, and acceptance are all traits that Jesus is waiting to hand over to you, if you would only accept all of the work that has already been done.
Chapter 3 – growing in faith by living your testimony.
Favorite Verse in 1 Timothy Chapter 3 = 3:9 “They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.”
We learn more about the Gospel and God by living it out, than by lectures. Although, church and sermons are very necessary to spiritual growth, take time to seriously study the Bible and find out what is right and true in the sigh of God. Make sure that your life screams the case of Christ in all that you do and to everyone, not just believers. Work daily to apply Christ’s life to your own, faithfully and thoroughly. We learn through living, we learn through attempting, and we learn through grace. Do not be afraid to fail. Always get up and try again. Keep your faith strong and His truth near and you will always act right, even if that action is being still.
Chapter 4 – staying in shape spiritually.
Favorite Verse in 1 Timothy Chapter 4 = 4:12 “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.”
We must learn to develop spiritually before we can ever flourish in other areas of our lives. God gives everyone special
gifts to be used, not abused. We must develop our faith in God and within His grace to see our gifts that we have been blessed with, and to use them to advance our well being, along with others. He gives us what we need to be successful, so we must take full advantage and have faith that He will guide us if our heart is pure. God can use anyone, regardless of age, status, and spiritual maturity… He just needs us to have faith in His timing and in His plans. Believe Him. Encourage others. Be willing. And stay TRUE to your faith, no matter how developed it is yet.
Chapter 5 – living the same life in public AND in private.
Favorite Verse in 1 Timothy Chapter 5 = 5:24-25 “The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them….In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever”
We should learn to treat others as if they are family members; boys as brothers, girls as sisters, elder women as mothers, etc. because they are a member of God’s family and it is easier to grow spiritually with OTHERS, together. Therefore, we cannot wait for other people to ask for service or advice. Instead, we must take initiative like Jesus, and always be looking for ways to advance the Kingdom, even when all appears good. We must do good always, in all situations, to all people, in both public and private, just as our King did in order to truly live out our godly duties. We must learn to practice what we preach, and reap what we sow, it will be rewarded. Neither sin nor good deeds will be hidden forever, so lets start living pure, 24/7, NOW.
Chapter 6 – distinguishing our earthly wants from our heavenly needs
Favorite Verse in 1 Timothy Chapter 6 = 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
As Christians and slaves to Christ, we cannot be slaves to desire. We cannot put our hopes in earthly things that pass; such as money, sex, careers etc. We must live RELYING on Christ, and His gifts that He provides us with access to as soon as we accept Him (love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, friendliness, etc.) We must be like Jesus in all that we do and then we will watch ourselves succeed. However, if we conform to the world, we will watch our life be a constant battle of ups and downs, simulating a roller coaster, that changes with the times, and never has the strength for what is to come. Jesus is forever, and the earth is temporary. Find your strength within Jesus NOW and watch yourself take on the struggles of the world with confidence and grace.
Book of 1 Timothy Conclusion: God is near. He is never too far away from any one of us not to be saved. All we must do is stay confident in the work that has already been completed on the Cross, stay diligent in getting to know Him and the Truth that He wants us to claim as our own, and stay passionate about living out our testimony boldly. Jesus paid the price so that we could live freely, and not be a slave to this world and societies ever-changing desires. So why not claim our story right now? God already has a plan for each and every one of us. Young, old, new believer, old believer… It is NEVER too late to start writing your story with the Lord as the main character instead of yourself. Learn to live out the goodness that He has already proclaimed for you, and realize that He is the only One who could ever know you inside and out, yet still have NOTHING against you. Cling to His promises. Recognize that your worthy of everything that His Word states. And live unashamed, being bold and confident in the life that the Lord is calling you too. He won’t let you down. He will only make you fearless in a world filled with doubt. Claim your story.
Remember, it is never too late with Jesus at the center of your life. He can also make you new, His love is never ending, and His graces begin everyday. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be willing to try something uncomfortable. Be open to stepping away from society’s standards so you can learn what a glimpse of Heaven is like. God’s goodness is everywhere. In Creation, in friendships, in work, and in you. You just need to own your worth and accept who you were created to be, and that can happen now. Today. At this moment. Be honest with God about what you are doubting, and He will help you accept that doubt today, and turn it into a testimony of success. You are worth it. And you are one step away from a new beginning.
With all that I am,