The New Testament reading for Thursday, April 27 is:

1 Timothy 5

Instructions for the Church

5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, [1] 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden. (ESV)


[1] 5:9 Or a woman of one man

English Standard Version: Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

New Testament Pastoral Commentary for 1 Timothy 5
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
I have a confession to make. As a cyclist, I'm too much like a fisherman. You know how fishermen are; they've always got a story about the big one that got away. They always know how to make the one they caught weigh a little more, or seem a little bigger. Well, unfortunately I tend to do the same thing. If I rode 27 miles I like to say I rode 30. If I climbed 1067 feet I like to say it was 1100 feet. If I averaged 15.6 miles per hour I like to say I did 16. I always average up, never down. Truth is, I like to stretch the truth, especially when I think it makes me look better. Stretching the truth, especially in things like cycling and fishing seems pretty harmless. But the truth is much more important when it comes to God. Four times in his Pastoral Epistles, Paul warns against "myths." In 1 Timothy 1:4 Paul urged Timothy to command certain men not to teach false doctrine or devote themselves to myths. In chapter 4 verse 7 Paul says: "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales." In 2 Timothy 4:4 Paul warns against those who "turn aside to myths." And in Titus 1:14 Paul tells Titus to rebuke rebellious people who are teaching things they ought not to teach so that they will "pay no attention to Jewish myths." Many of the religions of mankind are nothing but myth, made up stories about false gods and superheroes. What makes our Christian faith unique is the fact fact that it is firmly grounded in historical events that represent God's work in human history for our salvation. The Bible is not just a collection of spiritual or wise sayings. It's not just a bunch of laws or rules. It's not just tales about the supernatural realm. The facts in the Bible can be and have been checked against history and archaeology. The things God has done through his people Israel to bring us a Savior, and the things Jesus has done to accomplish our salvation are real. They actually took place, and we can stake our faith on them. That's why it's so important that we don't turn aside from the truth to myths, whether they be "godless myths" that deny the truth of God's Word or "Jewish myths" that claim we must be circumcised or obey certain laws in order to be right with God. Have you ever heard someone say, "I don't know what the Bible says, but I think..."; that's what we need to avoid. We need to stick to the facts of how God has made Himself known to us in His Son and how He has acted in history for our salvation. We need to stick to God's Word. Then we'll be standing on solid ground.