Pastor John Rhodes
B. Examine Your Love
B. Examine your Love 1 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)
Paul charged Timothy to stop harmful teaching that was circulating among believers in the church at Ephesus. At the start of the letter, he sets out the goal for doing this. v5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
When you start a new task, it’s essential to know the goal. What is the end purpose being aimed for? We may not face the same issues as Timothy but, as Christians, we must have the same motive and outcome in mind – the powerful word, love. Let’s put our tasks under the microscope to see how genuine our love is …
1. Pure heart … from a pure heart….
Does your love comes from a ‘pure heart’? To have a ‘pure heart ’ is for it to be clean and undefiled, to not have mixed motives - for personal gain, to please others more than doing what is right in the eyes of God.
There is always an inner struggle when it comes to motives because we have a fallen nature. Preparing a message, I always struggle in prayer to have the right motives and attitude - to bless, to encourage, to exalt Jesus. My aim is to develop an atmosphere of faith and love in our church. So also with ordinary tasks – washing dishes, chores around the house, gardening; by not complaining but by praising God, wanting to bless others. We need to constantly examine our hearts to see if they are pure, clean filled with the love of God. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. v24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24). Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9). Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matt.5:8).
2. Good conscience .. and a good conscience …
Your conscience has accumulated evaluations, good & bad, from what you have done and experienced in the past. Bad experiences, or unreconciled items, give a bad conscience and make you feel guilty. Good experiences increase inner harmony and confidence for the future. Draw closer to God and he will reveal your inner motivesand clear your conscience. Warning, it can be ugly! Remember to receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
Paul strove to keep a clear conscience - Act 24:16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. Rom 9:1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—
3. Sincere faith … and a sincere faith.
Love that is from a ‘sincere faith’ is consistent with what you believe about other people and God. In other places Paul advised, Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Rom. 12:9), Love … always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor.13:6-7) Is your belief about God sincere & genuine or is it simply convenient and moulded by public opinion?
I was looking the internet for a gift for my grandchildren in Singapore and saw a microscope and I really liked it. But then I read the comments. It was out of focus, the wire was loose and it wobbles, and the glass component is dangerous for children. We need to check the inside, not just the appearance – test the genuineness of love. Is it coming from a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith. A pure heart is in present, a good conscience is from the past, and a sincere faith projects into the future.