October 25

1 Timothy 5

Paul instructs a young pastor on dealing with widows in their culture, different generations of men and women, association with carnal Christians, Timothy’s personal health, and treatment of church leaders.

Paul says in verse 17 that elders, those leaders who deal with the spiritual needs of people, are worthy of double honor, meaning double the pay. In verse 18 he quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 which speaks of the cruelty of working an animal without allowing it food, commanding the people to take care of their animals. Paul also says a laborer is worthy of his wages, meaning a pastor or associate pastor is working to serve the church and should be paid. It is cruel to work a person and then have them live without their basic needs being met. It is the responsibility of every Christian to tithe and give to their local church. To work someone and not pay them for their time involves motives of selfishness, neglect, irresponsibility, rebellion, control, manipulation, and abuse. Let’s make sure we care for those precious pastors that God established over us and honor them for their spiritual authority and service to people.

Jeremiah 14-16

The sword, famine, and pestilence make up a three-fold judgment that is mentioned 15 times in Jeremiah. Would a good God allow such trouble and heartache to happen to His people? The answer is “yes,” but not without purpose. Even with their pleading in Jeremiah 14, God will not relent from judgment; however, in chapter 16, we see that God is already planning their restoration.

Would a good God allow the Holocaust? He did. Satan wants to try to keep God’s prophecies from coming to pass, and Satan was behind doing away with 6 million Jews. As a result of the Holocaust, the Jews scattered further into Asia, Europe and Middle East. God has a purpose in the Jews being scattered, and He has a plan for their regathering in end times.

Would a good God allow the church to go through persecution? Yes, He would, and He does. Jesus prophesied it to His disciples, telling them that they would suffer and be killed for His name’s sake. Does He allow hardship? Yes, the world, nature, governments, and even carnal churches have been affected by sin.

Why would God allow such terrible hardships? One, He gave the authority of the Earth to mankind, allowing human beings to make decisions and live with the consequences of their decisions. Two, Adam gave Satan entrance into the world, giving a spiritual enemy a legal right to rule on the planet and trouble the human race. Three, as a people, we have sinned against God, and we bring judgment on ourselves.

Can God care for the humble men and women of faith in times of trouble? I believe He can. The Bible is filled with examples, such as Daniel in Babylon, Joseph in Egypt, Elijah’s widow in the drought. One thing we do need to remember is that this world is not our home. It is a temporary dwelling, and it is our responsibility to represent Jesus Christ until He comes. Let’s continue to keep our eyes on Him, believing Him for our peace and prosperity.

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