These are difficult, uncertain, and challenging days. There are very few things you can depend on when you get up in the morning. Things shift all day. Between the political state of the world, unknown health threats, cosmic nature developments, and people’s free will, your list of dependables shrinks!
In these uncertain times, I’d like to explore some things written for your comfort and help from Scripture. These dependables were written during uncertain times by Paul. He is one of those guys who goes right to the point. Yet with his direct style, he weaves in compassion, love, and respect for everyone.
So how does Paul present dependables of life? How does he give timeless action steps, strategies, and resources applicable in any century? Right out of the gate, Paul suggests dependables that matter most.
Three Critical Dependables
God strongly promotes the need to make good life choices with your free will in the context He has created to set you up for success. This is your first dependable. With loving authority, He provides principles that nurture faith, build confidence, and yield goodness. His special plan for your life lets you choose thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions. You get to participate in making things better – or not.
God gives purpose and value to your life. He has given you all you need for life and godliness by knowing Him personally through Jesus (the God-man). Plus, He has also given universal principles through His Word which will never pass away. (Mt. 24:35) Further, God gave you promises. He stakes His reputation on His Word. God holds everything together even when people mess it up. (2 Pet. 1: 3-4)
God has placed high value on you and given you special purpose. But He doesn’t leave you to work it out with no help. God walks your life path with you. He shows how to engage His practical principles. He gives hope. God provides direction and encouragement for anyone who pauses to listen. (Ps. 46:10) He makes life meaningful with special interest in you.
Third (the biggie) –
The most awesome dependable – God is everything you need! He is the God who –
- Is all-powerful with no limitations – the only true eternal Being.
- Wisely and artfully created all things.
- Loves the world and YOU – so much.
- Stepped down to save you from sin, death, and your troubles. He intervened so you could be with Him forever through the God-man, Jesus Christ.
- Tenderly does whatever is needed to provide for you.
What Does This Mean?
Because God brings these dependables to you, because He did the unfathomable through Jesus on a cross and empty tomb, because He is building an incredible eternal future for you – Jesus is your hope. We can all use more hope. Jesus has taken care of the full scope of issues that would get in your way. You can have a safe life story, a strong life letter, a secure life e-pistle through His hope. This means your life can be one of the dependables.
How Is This Possible?
You can remain healthy, focused, balanced, safe, and pure in your heart. Why? Because the Lamb of God loves you and gave Himself for you. (Gal. 2:20) You can also avoid meaningless talk and popular, unhelpful trends. (1 Tim. 1:5-7) With resolve, you can side-step sinful behavior patterns. Jesus will help you avoid human traditions and basic principles of this world that contradict God’s original design of nobility for you. (Col. 2:8; 1 Pet. 2:9) You can steer clear of false doctrines, ungodly trends, and controversies. No matter what you hear in these unstable, uncertain times you are living in, Jesus has opened the way for you to plant yourself firmly in God’s love by faith. So, no matter what happens – you are going to be OK if you stay in Christ! That’s a key dependable.
To author a meaningful personal e-pistle – the life story you write each day – means applying your life to things that matter. It means avoiding thoughts, attitudes, words, and choices of a meaningless life.
Start by following God’s principles accurately, not loosely or sloppily. All your living each day is “advancing God’s work.” (v. 4, see below) Your individual “work” is a theme you can apply no matter what is going on in the world around you, no matter what your profession, despite overwhelming losses or obstacles, regardless of other’s choices. What you write with your life is important. Let it count!
Faith is at the center of your relationship with God. He rewards faith! Living a healthy life pleasing to God in this highly technical, intelligent “i-generation” flows through your faith in Him. You can enjoy God’s love, have a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. You can’t buy those dependables in any store and they’re not available on the internet. Get them from Jesus when you make Him your first, most, and best.
What “false teachings” in this technological generation do you need to walk away from? How will you make your life e-pistle count? Most important: have you made your dwelling place right inside God’s heart as you respond to the cross and empty tomb? God loves you – so much! Draw close to God. Gather up all these dependables and write your story so the i-generation sees the purpose of life!
Article developed from 1 Tim. 1:1-11.
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Many thoughts in this article are discussed in my latest book – More E-pistles For An i-Generation: Relevant in a Digital Age. It’s a wonderful sequel study that takes you successfully from Galatians all the way through Philemon!
The first book, E-pistles For An i-Generation: Relevant in a Digital Age, takes you through 1 and 2 Corinthians.
Paul’s epistles are fascinating, applicable, encouraging, challenging, and filled with hope.