I want to love and serve people. That’s it.
It doesn’t matter if I’m coaching a leader, speaking to a crowd, or helping a young married couple buy their first house. My primary function is to love those people, to serve them well, and to do my best to reflect the glorious truth of the Gospel in all of it.
By God’s grace, that’s who I want to be and that’s what I want to do.
That’s my charge and if I could be honest with you, I think that’s every Christian’s charge. My problem is that I spend so much time trying to figure out what that looks like. I landed on this verse a few days ago and it gave me a nice little poke in the ribs.
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5 ESV
Purpose vs. Method
Paul imparts great wisdom to the next generation of leaders to take his place in the Church. His message to Timothy is one of focus in the midst of false teaching and rampant distraction. He does this by defining the purpose of Timothy’s ministry and requisite condition of his heart.
In a world of constant distraction, we spend too much time trying to figure out how to best function as disciples on mission. We lose sight of our chief purpose amidst the noise. Paul would have us focus on the reason for our discipleship and ministry as opposed to the methodology.
That purpose, or charge, is love.
Really? Love? Are we about to get mushy?
This isn’t the kind of love that we write about in poems or on Valentine’s cards. It’s so much more. This is the love that would cause God Himself to walk into history and suffer a brutal death by the hands of the very people whom He had come to save.
In our finite human words, we could never adequately express the beauty of the Gospel. We can, however, serve as faithful missionaries, used by God to guide others into that precious understanding.
Your mission field can be the office you’re sitting in right now, by the way.
So what do we do?
In order to walk in faithful obedience to this charge, we’ve got to focus on who God has created us to be. As we passionately pursue our identity in Him, our purpose will be made clear. That’s when we get to figure out “what” to do.
Over the next few posts, we’ll look at the identity aspects of this verse.
- A Pure Heart
- A Good Conscience
- A Sincere Faith
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