The Pastoral Epistles
I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon are Pastoral Epistles. They are written to a local church, two local preachers, and one friend. They are full and rich with teaching, truths, doctrine, practice of the Church, and practical instruction for Christian living. Here are just a few brief thoughts this morning:
1) LOVE is the THEME- I Thess. 1:3 "labour of love"; 3:12 "to increase and abound in love one toward another"; 4:9 "for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."; 5:13 "to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake" To name some. The New Testament if full of this one grand principle... that we as believers are to love one another. How strange we would have to be told over and over, and yet even today, we must be told over and over. It would seem that love is foreign to us, but it is to the flesh. Selfishness is the rule of the flesh, but the spirit is to promote love and must root out that selfishness in our relationships. Love is the theme!
2) Wait Patiently! II Thess. 3:5 "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ." II Thess is about waiting for Christ's return. We are told to wait patiently, and yet be working till He chooses to come back for us. In this book it says that if a man doen's work, neither should he eat. Some people were loafing as they waited for Christ's return, and the Holy Spirit lets Paul tell us to work till He comes!
3) A Trust to Keep. I Tim. 6:20 "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust," This book is written to a young preacher, and man who is Pauls "son in the ministry". Paul gives him wisdom and instruction concerning ministry, the church, and keeping himself on tract. It is a wonderful book.
4) Saying Goodby II Tim. 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." In this book Paul says his farewells. It is the last one he will write. He warns about the times of apostacy ahead in the last days, and tells us to look to the inspired Scriptures for the answers. He is alone in prison, and is thinking of Timothy and what to say in this last letter. Read it again with that in mind.
5) Titus 1:2 "which God, that cannot lie, promised..." What a great truth! God cannot lie, so whatever He has promised is secure! Realize that today as you go through life. God's promises are sure, you can build your life on them and not be disappointed. Hope you have a great day, tomorrow is Sunday!!
Pastor Mike Mutchler
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