Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3402

Jump Start # 3402

1 Timothy 1:5 “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, and a good conscience and a faith without hypocrisy.”

  Passages such as this are so pointed and plain, that one cannot possibly miss the point. There is a purpose of teaching God’s word. There is an endpoint. There is a goal. And here, the apostle reveals it to us. The goal is not to build up the numbers in the congregation. We worry about attendance numbers. Other than the opening pages of Acts, where we read about the number of conversions, the rest of the New Testament doesn’t focus on that. Which of the churches Paul wrote to was the largest? Was the Ephesian church larger than the Philippian church? Those things seem to matter to us. When I travel, the most asked question is, “How large is your congregation?” I’m never asked, “How strong is the church there?” or, “How faithful is the church there?” No, people want to know about size. That wasn’t the goal of our instruction, Paul said.

  There are three expressions that are embedded in our passage. Each of the expressions have qualifiers on them.

  The goal is love from a pure heart. Love that will seek the lost. Love that will help others. Love that longs to be with the Lord. And, just where is the source of that love? It comes form a pure heart. Not a fake heart. Not a heart that is going through the motions. It’s real. It’s honest. It’s pure. It’s genuine. It has no other desire than to please the Lord. There is no pretense. There is no hidden agenda. It’s not about self, but it is all about God.

  The goal is a good conscience. A conscience that is not good is plagued with guilt, regret and remorse. A good conscience produces good motives. A good conscience is honest. A good conscience sleeps well at night. A good conscience embraces forgiveness and grace that “our instruction” teaches.

  The goal is a faith without hypocrisy. A faith that is the real deal. A faith that loves the Lord. A faith that doesn’t look around to see if others are watching. A faith that is as strong when alone as it is in a crowd. A faith that longs to please the Lord.

  And, just how does one get that love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a faith that is genuine? It comes from our instruction. That’s what the apostle was aiming at. Those three things, added with the qualifiers, is the target.

  I wonder if we have somehow lost the purpose of our instruction. Could it be we are trying to produce nice conservative Republicans rather than disciples of Jesus? Could it be that we are trying to build budgets, pay off the building, and a number of other things, while forgetting the most important thing.

  Heart. Conscience. Faith. Pure. Good. Without hypocrisy. That’s the aim. That’s the goal. That’ll make servants. That’ll get you through storms. That’ll help you though the night. And, what leads up to our verse today is warnings about strange doctrines, speculations, myths and endless genealogies. Chasing those rabbits will not bring about heart, conscience and faith. They will not be built upon what is pure, good and honest. Myths, strange doctrines, and speculations, are wrapped around lies and the egos of the speakers. Nothing pure there. Nothing good about them.

  Goal. Purpose. Direction. Aim. We don’t just teach because we have to. We don’t preach just because it’s Sunday. There is a goal. There is a purpose. There is a direction.

  In the heart of each person assembled, love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a faith that is true. Love is outward. Conscience is inward. Faith is upward. Combined and tied to the word of God they make a true disciple of Jesus. It’s not one, it’s all three. And, when those are missing, we need to do more instructing.

  That’s how it works.