Morning Study: 1 Timothy 1:5

This morning I met with one of our youth leaders. We decided to study 1 Timothy together. It's a favorite and it is time to revisit this book. We didn't get past verse 5 within an hour and a half! We pitched a tent and camped here: "..that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith." Verse 5. There is so much in this one verse, I couldn't not share.

Filled with love. What is love, exactly? Flip to our 1 Corinthians 13 to be reminded once again. If I am to be filled with love, I will be patient when the middle school girl continuously interrupts others during small group. I will be kind when asking her to wait her turn to speak. I will not boast about how awesome I am, making sure they grow a desire to be me. (Because obviously I am so awesome). I will remember that youth ministry {actually, life} is not about me. I will not be self-seeking in our conversations, always talking about what I want to talk about - but instead, always listen, always ask questions {this helps us process things}, and always point towards Jesus.

While being filled with love, the doing part should be the overflow of a pure heart. Not for my own gain, not for my own ambition, not for my glory...but with a pure heart pointing towards Jesus and giving him glory. A pure heart has no hidden or secret agenda. I should also have a clear conscience - not one bombarded with bitterness towards someone, frustration from whatever happened today, or any sort of yuck clouding my heart and head. And a genuine faith! Not a fluffy, "life is perfect, life is easy," faith. Not a faith that I only claim on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings. But a faith that permeates my being, penetrates every decision and thought, saturates my world. A faith that steers me towards Jesus and towards desiring His will. A faith that puts off my old way of life and claims myself a new and valuable creation. A genuine faith is difficult, heart wrenching, and full of selflessness. Oh the constant battle with selflessness! A genuine faith is freeing. You walk in freedom. Galatians 5:16 says "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves."

When I am not taking the time to rest in the presence of the Holy Spirit, when I do not read His word which feeds this Spirit..I cannot be guided by it. When I am not allowing myself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, I am so much more prone to giving in to what my sinful nature craves ---> boasting, looking for my own glory and credit (I am so good at this!); turning the conversation towards me and my opinions (and this!); not listening, only talking (I'm really good at talking..); not thinking before speaking and being rude; being easily offended; all of these things are the opposite of love and when I do not feed the Holy Spirit, I cannot be guided by Him.

So, fellow brothers and sisters. May we be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith. A faith that we stand firm in, every single day. A faith that brings us to repentance without shame. A faith that accepts grace that Jesus covers us with. A faith that boldly and courageously loves others, even when no one else does. And may we always remember that we are saved by grace, and we cannot take credit for this (Ephesians 2:8).

Happy day! Be blessed deep within by the love that has inspired you to follow Jesus.