Protect pt 4; our OWN

PROTECT pt4. OWN.

O Timothy! keep that which is committed to thy trust,” (1Tim 6:20).

We’ve been taking a closer look at the 7 things we ought to protect.

This next one is about protecting our OWN, which is to say, our own household.

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1Tim 5:8).

It may seem axiomatic to provide for the needs of one’s own household and family, but that is not self-evident to all.

We’re charged to guard our own family.

If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed” (1Tim 5:16).

Beginning with the passage in Timothy, we’re to provide for the older members of our own family. These may or may not be members of our immediate household, meaning they may or may not be living under the same roof.

“House” in the bible could refer to family as well as those living within your home (cf. 1Tim 3:4-5). We as individual members of the church have a responsibility to care for our aged parents.

Next, we see that Husbands, as leader of the home (1Cor 11:3), have a responsibility to care for his wife. For this we’ll read all of Ephesians 5:23-33.

“23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

The two main take aways from this passage is first, that the husband is to care for His wife as Christ does the church. Second, this marriage relationship is a physical symbol of Christ and the church. If you’ve ever wondered why God is so concerned about who can marry, this is why.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph 6:4; cf. Pr 19:18; 22:6; 29:17).

Additionally, we have a responsibility toward the children who are our own. While it’s certain that we are to care, feed, and provide for our children’s physical needs, it is vital that we especially provide for their spiritual growth and nourishment.

A word about widows and orphans. It’s presumed that the local church collective has a responsibility to care for ALL Widows and Orphans. That is a mistake. The church collective in a location can only provide for the needs of saints (Making Saints Mat 28:19, Teaching Saints Matt 28:20, and helping needy Saints 1Tim 5:5-16; Acts 11:29; 1Cor 16:1,2; 2Cor 8, 9).

Individual members of the church can help out the worlds needy as they have opportunity as discussed in a previous article (Luke 10:33). Even here in 1Tim 5:16 we see the distinction made between the collective group of Christians in a location and the individual member of the church. “Let not the church be charged.”

Parents, you ought to pay careful attention to provide for your children in the event you should pass away before your children are grown. It would be a great shame if our children are moved to live and be raised by non-Christians because of the laws of the state. In this way, the church can care for orphans of Christians who’ve died, leaving behind their children.

Spencer

7 things we ought to PROTECT

O Timothy! keep that which is committed to thy trust,” (1Tim 6:20).

Paul’s letter to Timothy focuses on the work of the young evangelist and his need to remain faithful to God and His word.

At the end of the letter is the command, “KEEP that which is committed to thy trust.” Another word for keep is to ‘guard.’ W.E. Vines defines this word as, to watch, i.e. be on guard (literally or figuratively); by implication, to preserve, obey, avoid: — beware, keep (self), observe, save.

Paul is primarily speaking about the word of God. By implication it would also include whatever else is commanded for us to protect.

This got me searching the scriptures for other things we should protect, keep, guard.

First, we are authorized by command and example to PRESERVE our PERSONAL life. While Paul was ready to die in Jerusalem (Acts 21:13), if it could be avoided without denying the faith, he was authorized to PRESERVE his life. Upon learning of a plot to kill him, Paul was able to thwart that plan (Acts 23:11-30). This led to him to continue to preach as far as Rome (Phil 1:21-26).

Second, we are commanded to use and not to waste our RESOURCES. An example of waste through disuse is with the 1 talent servant. “Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury” (Matt 25:24-30). In our passage, Paul told Timothy to command the rich, “that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1Tim 6:17-19).

Third, we are commanded to care for our OLDER relatives who can no longer care for themselves. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1Tim 5:8-16). Another example is found in the care of Naomi by her daughter-in-law Ruth.

Fourth, we are to protect our TIME in this life. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15-16). TIME is fleeting and precious. “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jas 4:14). We see this in the example of the urgency to be baptized of those that heard the gospel. “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:33). “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized” (Acts 8:36; cf. Rom 13:11; 2Cor 6:2)?

Fifth, we are to make a covenant with our EYES to protect our heart. “I made a covenant with mine eyes” (Job 31:1). “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov 4:23; cf. Mt 12:34; Mar 7:21).

Sixth, we certainly must protect CHILDREN. Jesus Himself warned, “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18:2-6; cf. Mark 4:42-44). Yes, he was inclusive of protecting the child of God, but that only strengthens the point of protecting the innocent life.

Seventh, most important of all, we must protect our TREASURE in Heaven. We have guards, locks, and safes to protect our earthly treasure where “moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” (Matt 6:19). This treasure is temporal and temporary and cannot help us in the judgment, but rather witness against us, “Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days” (James 5:3).

Jesus said, “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt 6:19-20). We can take our treasure with us to heaven if we’ve laid one there. This is definitely included in the command to Timothy, “KEEP that which is committed to thy trust.”

Spencer is an evangelist for the Franklin and Juniper St church of Christ in Borger, Tx.