There are a few basic needs that I plan to never neglect. I don’t want to stop breathing or eating, even for a short period of time.
A few other needs are less important than food and oxygen, but I still plan to continue the practice. Sleep, exercise, and personal hygiene are valued practices I will continue.
Paul addressed spiritual exercises that must not be neglected. Let’s look at them today and consider their value to be as important as our most vital physical needs.
(1) Don’t neglect the public reading of the Bible.
Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching (1 Timothy 4.13).
We should not overlook the fact that people have to join together in worship in order to not neglect the public reading of the Bible.
It was Timothy’s job to ensure that someone read from the scriptures. The New Testament had not been written, so scripture was from the Old Testament.
Rudy Ross and I talk about the value of reading the Old Testament in today’s YouTube video. We hope you will make a practice of reading from both the Old and New Testaments.
A great beginning place is the Psalms.
(2) Don’t neglect the Spirit’s gift.
Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders (1 Timothy 4.14).
There is a story of a man who entered heaven and was given a tour of his eternal home. In one room of his new abode were many brightly wrapped presents.
The man asked his guide, “What are these?”
The guide answered, “These were gifts God wanted you to have on earth, but you weren’t willing to open them.”
One of God’s greatest gifts to humans is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let’s not neglect this awesome gift.
(3) Put into practice and devote yourself to God’s work
Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress (1 Timothy 4.15).
While in prayer this week, I have focused on loving God. I can’t “work up” a feeling of love for God, like the one I naturally feel for our grandchildren.
I remember that love is a verb and implies action. I may not have a touchy-feely relationship with God, but that doesn’t mean love is absent.
When we devote our lives to God and put into practice his purposes for our lives, we demonstrate our love for our Savior.
(4) Pay close attention and continue doing the next right thing.
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Timothy 4.16).
Rudy often speaks of “keeping a conversation” with God going all the time. Instead of thinking his own thoughts, Rudy includes God in them.
One of the best ways we can keep from neglecting the wonderful work God is doing with us is to follow Rudy’s example.
When we follow Paul’s admonition to Timothy, our lives will benefit and we will benefit others.
Rudy Ross and I talk about this passage today on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.