1 Timothy 1:3-4 Controversial Conversations

“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work–which is by faith.” 1 Timothy 1:3-4

Evidently some people in Ephesus were teaching false doctrine and debating myths and genealogies. Paul tells Timothy to stay and command the people not to do these things. It was not just an urging or asking, but a command to stop.

People have their own personal beliefs on many different things. Many will have an extreme interest in one subject or another. There are some who know every little bit of information about the Star Wars movies before they even come out. They can tell you the who, what, why, where, and when of every movie.

Others can tell you all about a singer or group, or maybe some television show. Still others love to debate politics and what should or should not be done. Some, in the church, will debate (argue) various doctrines.

When people talk about these various things, they will hold very strongly to what they believe. They focus most of their time on that subject. It is all they talk about.

The problem is that often it creates controversy, especially in politics and doctrine. These studies and talks do not promote Jesus and salvation. It is not putting God’s work first. It does not advance the kingdom of God at all.

Devoting yourself to any of these things or something else that is not of God, is a waste of time and effort. These things are meaningless.

Why spend your time studying every detail of a movie? Or debating what should or should not be done in politics?

Take the time to tell people about Jesus. Talk about what God has done in your life. The details of the Bible are so vast that you could study them a lifetime and still not know it all. God’s love is so great you could give a speech for eternity describing it.

Think about what your conversations are about. Do they promote Jesus? Or do they promote the things of this world?

I pray today that God will be a part of all of your talk; that your talk will promote the kingdom of God; that your conversations will point people to Jesus; and that many people will see Jesus through you.

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Acts 13:51 Keep On Moving

“So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium.” Acts 13:51

Paul and Barnabas had been traveling around preaching the gospel message to the people of different cities. In one of the cities, the Jewish leaders of the temple stirred up the people against them. The leaders did not want the gospel message preached. They wanted to stay with the traditional ways of the temple with the Law of Moses. Paul and Barnabas pointed out that they were sent to all people. They then dust off their feet and move on to another city.

The dusting off of the feet is a symbol that they did not want any responsibility with the people there. They were saying that they had tried and were rejected and so the people of that city were left on their own.

If you are willing to tell everyone and anyone about Jesus, there will come a time when some will reject your message. They will try to run you out of the area. Some believers will take that personally and try to fight back. Debates will rise and discussions will never end. The focus will change from being saved to something else. It will lead to a dead-end of no value.

Paul chose to not have anything to do with the people. He let them go. The Holy Spirit was probably guiding them in this action, though the Bible does not give that information.

There comes a time when someone is witnessing to a person, that you must stop trying and move on to someone else. Allow God to bring someone else into their path to be a witness. You have done all you can do. It is time to move on.

Do not allow yourself to get trapped into endless debates and arguments with a non-believer. There is still hope for every person, but it may not finish through you. You may have just planted the seed, it will be someone else who has to water it, and God has to make it grow in the person. You do not have to be the one to do all the steps.

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you as to when to speak about Jesus to someone and when to be quiet and move on. Be willing to move on when needed to, someone else needs to hear about Jesus that is open to it.

I pray today that you will be led by the Holy Spirit in your witnessing; that you will not be trapped in worthless debates; that God will use you to reach many people for Jesus; and that God will strengthen you to be His witness.