Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

It’s Like a Jungle Out There!

10 September 2023

A hiker walking through the jungle

7 days, 5 books, 3 or 4 writers.  Where do you start writing your blog?

 

The good news is that though there might be several writers, there is only one author and that author is consistent in His message to us.  As Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:5: “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere heart.”  And every part of the scripture we read this week is underpinned by those themes.

 

Old life/new life is the starting point.  Paul himself testifies to the grace of God in saving him: he was the worst of sinners, but because Jesus came to save sinners, Paul was shown mercy and Jesus’ unlimited patience could be shown through Paul’s life (1 Tim 1).  That is quite a conversion story!  And we should be encouraged by this – no matter how bad we used to be, we have been turned around in Christ.  But not only us - anyone who believes!  That is a great reason for us to be consistent in prayer, isn’t it?  That offer of salvation and a completely new life is available to anyone.

 

The next theme I’d like to mention is setting a good example.  Look at Psalm 108.  David sets a good example – praise and thanksgiving.  Paul too, in Philemon, where he pleads with Philemon to accept Onesimus and offers to make restitution for any costs he might have incurred due to whatever Onesimus had done.  And in fact, Paul teaches Timothy about what behaviour to expect in ‘God’s household’ in 1 Tim 2-4.  Colossians 3-4 also.

 

Despite the efforts and diligence of church leaders, sometimes things go wrong in churches and this leads to another theme: difficulties.  Most of 1 Timothy and also Jude deal with how to cope when people challenge the teaching and authority in the church.  And in both books, this is a deliberate challenge.  It’s a serious matter and that is why both of these books were written.  Even if you aren’t a church leader, have a look at these books to learn what to do and what to avoid. 

 

And finally, despite some very serious teaching this week, there is one more theme – prayer and thanksgiving!  Jude 24-25 and Psalm 107 are just two examples.  See what others you can find as you read the Bible this week.

 

So hopefully you’ve seen what is on God’s heart for daily living in the world.  It might sometimes feel like a jungle, but we’re not in the jungle alone.  Our Father is with us, and has gone ahead of us, providing lots of practical teaching in the Bible.  Many different writers, but one author.  And returning to 1 Timothy 5: “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere heart.”


Photo of Gill Hayes

Gill Hayes

Core Leadership Team
GoChurch Manchester