August 14, 2020
1 Timothy 5:1-5
Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers,  older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.  But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.  The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 

New International Version (NIV)
“I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God.”  Anybody remember that song?  We used to sing it in the worship service when I was a young person.  In so many ways the churches of my childhood became my family.  Separated from our extended family by the Atlantic Ocean, we found family in the body of Christ.  Now, as then, I need the church body in order to live the Christian life. 

Paul wrote to Timothy, a young pastor to instruct him in the right ways to relate to the church family.  Elders deserved respect as though they were Timothy’s father.  The younger men were to be like brothers to Timothy.  Older women were like mothers and younger women like sisters.  Family.  Relationships in the body of Christ are still very important.

In fact, since the time of the first church in Jerusalem, special concern has been offered to widows.  Remember in the ancient world, widows were often destitute.   Paul believed that their own biological families bore responsibility to provide for them.  But what if a widow had no living family members?  Then she was to be placed on a list of those the church supported.   We see this first in the distribution of food to the widows in the church of Jerusalem.

In this reciprocal relationship, the widow also ministered to the church because she had much to offer spiritually.  So Paul describes her as one well known for her good deeds, one who cared for children, showed hospitality, washed feet and helped those in trouble.  In each church I have served, I have known this person.  In fact, the church would not have been the church without them.  When I think of them, I smile and give thanks to God.  I’m glad I’m part of the family of God.  Aren’t you?  

Pray with me:         
Father, we weep with those who weep, so our hearts are broken by those who have lost a spouse.  Make our church and all churches into a loving, caring family.    Help us not to neglect our own families as we continue to care for the family of God.  Give us love for one another, revealed in mutual respect and compassion.  Show us someone in need today that we may show them your love, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:22-24
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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