November 27

1 Timothy 5-6, Psalm 21

Many laughingly discuss their struggles with road rage. My father died at the age of 93 and was driving until the age of 90. He was a kind and beautiful man. One day, when he drove to our house from Brooklyn, he along with my brother who was with him discussed how he is frequently yelled at on the road. He was getting older, his reflexes were slower and he would hear from drivers a fraction of his age things like, "old man get off the road", or "you don't belong behind the wheel, old man." It broke my heart to hear this older, respected man that I loved, reduced to nothing on the road. This has made me much more aware of how I treat others and react on the road. That person is someone's child, spouse and parent. We will see in today's reading how to treat others, but also those less fortunate than yourself do not get a free pass, they need to be honest and in good standing.

Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 5:1-2, "Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger woman as sisters, with all purity." There is much contained in these verses about looking upon others lovingly and giving as Jesus would and not taking as the world does. Love gives, lust takes for oneself. My wife and I often go to Italy. One particular hotel seems to have many older, rich, unmarried men in relationships with very young women. Obviously, they are not seeing these younger women as sisters. He goes on to describe the responsibility of children towards their widowed mothers in 5:8, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." Concerning our parents, do we treat them as we ourselves would want to be treated? Paul then describes what a widow needs to be, to be taken care of by the church in 5:9-10, "...she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work." People do not get assistance simply because they are poor or old. How they live their lives in relation to others and God, matters.

We live in a society without responsibility. A friend of mine was about to do a delivery on twins and frustratingly confided in me how bothered she was that this woman was playing the system. Knowing the rules this delivery would enable her to get a government paid 4 bedroom house, since all of her children were by different fathers and therefore did not have to share the same bedroom. We live in a society in which many try to play the system for dishonest gain and many who have, greedily hold on with no care for those in need. Paul describes what not to be concerning younger widows in 1 Timothy 5:13, "And besides they learn to be idle, wandering from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not." So, those in need have a responsibility to be leading lives pleasing to God despite their circumstances. Paul also reminds those who are in a position to help in 1 Timothy 6:7, "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." Those who can help, should with a grateful heart. The situation should not be difficult if everyone simply submitted to God and yielded to the power of the Holy Spirit. The world's solution and the government's answers lack personal responsibility. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster