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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives. Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 3:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday December the fifth. I'm Mark. I've got my Bible, I've got sermon notes, I've got, I have a great note from yesterday's sermon and I've got some stuff for daily ball ring that'll help you as we keep the spiritual momentum from Sunday rolling into the week. Let's get started. Yesterday I began a mini-series entitled The Essentials and we're talking here about the essentials, the essential characteristics of our heart that we need so that the word of God will bear fruit and continue to bear fruit. We're talking about the kind of attitudes and characteristics that we need to have so that we can obey the gospel and we can continue to be a Christian and follow Jesus the Christ. And that began yesterday with humility and I'm gonna share with you a quote from CS Lewis. CS Lewis is one of my favorite authors. He uh, lived in England. He wrote the Chronicles of Narnia Mere Christianity, screw tape letters, the Great Divorce, a ton of other great stuff. Really a clear thinker just did a great job of thinking through difficult subjects and had a wonderful way of phrasing himself. So from time to time you will see various social media memes and uh, tweets and other kind of things that will say something to the effect. This is about humility. That humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. And that quote will be attributed to CS Lewis. It is a great quote. Humility's not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. That's a great quote, but it is not from CS Lewis and those of us who love CS Lewis. That just drives me crazy to see stuff attributed to him. There's about 10 quotes that get attributed to him on social media that he did not say in fact, uh, that was actually said by Rick Warren in his book, the Purpose Driven Life. But what CS Lewis did write about humility is far better and I'll just share that quote with you. It's kind of a long quote but really is helpful when we think about humility. Uh, Lewis said this, do not imagine that if you met a really humble man that he will be what most people call humble nowadays. He will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person who's always telling you that. Of course he is nobody. Probably all you'll think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him, it will be because you felt a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility, he will not be thinking about himself at all. If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud and a biggest step it is to at least nothing would. Whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceded, it means you are very conceded indeed that from your Christianity book three chapter eight, hope that helps you as you continue to think about humility. I love this series. I think it really works well at this time of the year and I think it's gonna be helpful to all of us. I'm looking forward to Sunday. We'll talk about, we'll talk about repentance, but right now we need to talk about Timothy. Let's do some things in daily Bible reading To start the week. We are in first Timothy chapter five and we are gonna complete first Timothy chapter five. We begin reading in verse 17 all the way to the end of the chapter verse 25. And what the apostle is doing now is moving from the care of widows to how we treat the elders, how we treat the pastors. And this paragraph contains some very practical instruction both for them and for the congregation. I think there are five principles here. There's appreciation versus 17 to 18 fairness versus 19 to 20 impartiality. Verse 21. Then there's a caution versus 22 and 23 and some, some information about discernment and versus 24 to 25. The tie here is the word honor. Widows are to be honored, elders are to be honored and honor here is not pinning a medal on someone's chest honor, here is money. It is paying them. That's something we don't think a lot of. Verse 17, let elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor. We oftentimes pay the preacher, I enjoy that very much. That allows me to do this kind of thing, but maybe we ought to give more consideration to full-time shepherds who are worthy of double honor they are being paid. That could be appreciation plus support or it may mean double what widows are being paid here if God cares. Verse 18 for animals. How much more for the shepherds of those animals as you work down through here? I don't think there's a lot that's hard to understand or hard to work with. Maybe the difficulty is the abrupt shift in verse 23. No longer drink only water but use a little little wine Maybe maybe some are talking about purity verse 22 and urging some sort of aism. I'm not entirely certain about that. I would say this from verse 23. This verse often been used to justify social drinking, but of course this is a verse about medicine. It is not about the recreational use of alcohol. Finally, verse 24, the sins of some people are conspicuous going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. One writer said this is the iceberg principle, namely that nine tenths of a person are hidden from view. That is why Timothy must give himself time in which to form an accurate assessment of people's character. That's an important note. How often do we quickly judge a book by its cover and as a result we miss it entirely. See you tomorrow will be in first empathy chapter six. Welcome to Tuesday. Our reading today is the first 10 verses of first empathy chapter six. The first two verses really go with yesterday's reading. The linking word there is honor again. And then beginning in verse three, we get a glimpse of the problems going on at Ephesus. The opponents, the false teachers. They are teaching a different gospel and a lot of that seems to be caught up in a bunch of discussion about nothing. Verse four, an an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quals about words which produce envy and dissension and slander and evil suspicion. We need to think about that kind of fruitless discussion. Paul is revisiting a topic that he brought up at the beginning of first Timothy. You see first Timothy chapter one verse four and also verse six. Same kind of idea there. Vain discussion or meaningless discussion. Some translations have, maybe you're wondering what would constitute a meaningless discussion, a fruitless discussion. And I, I think a couple of ideas here would help us. First, are we talking about something that's gonna make a difference? Is, is this something that has practical effect in our lives? So for example, arguing about a man's fate who is in the middle of the desert and he wants to be baptized but there's no water that that's fruitless because that has no effect upon you or me. We're not in the desert. I would also say that fruitless discussion is the kind of thing that cannot be resolved. Did Adam and Eve have a belly button? I don't know. And you don't know either. And there is no way for us to know. So the discussion, we just go on endlessly without there ever being any resolution of that. But maybe the other thing that would be said about that is it's the kind of discussion that creates friction. Verse five, instead of leading to contentment verse six, it's something that moves us away from contentment in what God has told us and what we know from scripture to end up in some kind of conversation, some kind of discussion that is of no real value. The answer to that is that we be involved in sound doctrine and that is what first Timothy has been about nearly from start to finish. In fact, one writer said about our reading today, looking back over verses three to five, we note that Paul has given us three practical tests by which to evaluate all teaching. We might put them in the form of questions, is it compatible with the apostolic faith that is the New Testament? Does it tend to unite or divide the church and does it promote godliness with contentment or does it promote covetousness? Those are great questions. I like that a lot and maybe a really good application here is to our conversation in our zoom Bible study on Tuesdays and in our Bible classes on Sunday and Wednesday, you stick your hand in the air and you're gonna ask something. Maybe that's a good place as you're thinking, I've got a question, I've got a question. Maybe that's a good time to ask. Is this going to lead to fruitless discussion? Is this something that's important? Is it something that's going to be able to be answered definitively? Is this going to lead us closer to God and and lead to contentment in God's revelation? Is this going to help us be united? Those kinds of things are the kind of things that we wanna talk about. Speculative matters that just end up with everybody having an opinion. Opinions are like noses. Everyone has at least one then of what value is that and and I try to watch as a Bible class teacher that we don't stray into fruitless discussion. And of course I'm counting on the class to help me by not asking things that are going to get us into fruitless discussion. Uh, please note then finally verse 10, for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil underlying in your Bible and in your mind it's the love of money, not money. Money's just a thing. It's how you use it and how you feel about it, your attitude towards it that will determine whether it undermines your spirituality or you actually as Paul will talk about verse 17, 18, 19 in tomorrow's reading can be something that can lead to greater spirituality in pleading the Lord. We'll talk more about that tomorrow as we complete for chapter six. See you on Wednesday. Welcome to Wednesday. And on Wednesday we finish one Timothy. This is for Timothy chapter six, verses 11 to 21. There is a huge emphasis here on perseverance, staying the course, continuing to flee evil and pursue good. And as you look at verse 11, but is for you old ban of God, flee these things. Remember that in the Old Testament, man of God refers to people like Moses and Samuel and David and Elijah and Elisha. So that is pretty tall cotton for Timothy to be standing in. And I think Paul is saying, Timothy, you need to be different than these men who are troubling the church. Be a man of God. Take whole fight. Verse 12, the good fight of faith. So be involved in the confrontation, uh, in a careful way that is necessary to stop error and teach the truth. That's the theme of first empathy. And then I love this, take hold of the eternal life to which you are called eternal life. Biblically speaking is not just all in the sweet by and by. It is not something that we only receive once we die judgment day. And all that goes with that. Eternal life is now eternal. Life is a present reality. And that is why Paul says to Timothy, take hold of it. Jesus talks about it in a similar kind of way in John 17 verse three. In other words, the life with Christ, being in Christ, walking with God. That is real life and we can live that now, not just waiting for later. Obviously eternal life is not being fully realized now in this mortal body the Paul talks about in first Corine 15, that flesh can't inherit the kingdom of God. There's some things about that that we wait for and that we yearn for. But don't get caught up in thinking that Christianity is all for later. Christianity is for now. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called. Do that. Now. In fact, the term for take hold here is a very strong term. It is the term that's used when the soldiers grab Simon of Cyrene and say, Hey you, you carry the the cross. They just grab him. Get it. Get both hands on it. Grab the life of a Christian, the life of a disciple right now. Part of that then would be these instructions for the rich in verse 17, 18 and 19. Notice that the rich are not told to sell everything you can be rich and please God, it's what you're doing with your riches that are going to make the difference. And then finally there is a charge, uh, greeting at the end verse 20 and 21. But that greeting is a little bit different. Usually Paul will end his letters with a word of encouragement, maybe even uh, the prayer of Thanksgiving, some kind of tology praising God. There is none of that here. And the only other place that's like that is Galatians where there's serious trouble and lots of false teaching going on. And I wonder if Paul is at the bottom of the page, Papyrus is expensive in Paul's world. You wouldn't just grab another piece so that you could jot a few more lines. And I wonder if Paul has filled the papyrus with all this discussion of the false teaching going on and what Timothy is to do and how to handle himself and how to handle that. And it just crowded out some personal notes that he probably would like to have appended, but now there's just not a whole lot of room. But he is done and he has helped Timothy and he has helped you and me as well. Tomorrow another epistle to a young preacher. We start Titus, see you on Thursday. We are reading Titus today. It is Thursday and we're reading Titus chapter one today. You may wonder why we jumped second Timothy and that is because we are reading these epistles in chronological order and this is the next epi that Paul wrote. I wish I could tell you more about the when and the how and the where. We don't don't know a lot about this. This comes again after Paul has been released from Roman prison in Act chapter 28. We are not sure where Paul is. Verse one, I'm sorry, verse five of today's reading says, this is why I left you in cre. When did Paul go decree? We do not know the answer to that specifically. Paul is very close to Titus. He refers to him as his son in the faith, Titus one in verse four. And Titus is a very trusted lieutenant in Paul's service. In the service of the gospel irate him as one of the most underrated figures in the New Testament. He does not seem to have the timidity that sometimes Timothy seems to show. Paul trusts him in some difficult circumstances and situations to help the church, particularly here in Creek. As we all read about in the book of Titus, one of the most difficult things for me this year has been to come up with these very short summaries so that we can answer the question, how does today's reading illustrate the theme of this epistle? And that's just been a huge challenge and sometimes along the way I've had to tweak it. And if you have a better theme for Titus or for that matter, for any of the books that we've read, please make sure you share that. But I'm going to use in Titus, this is what I'm going with. Stop error and do good. Now, that's very similar to first Timothy where it was stop error and teach truth. But the emphasis in Titus is not as much on teaching as it is on doing good. If you underline in your Bible all the illustrations, all the verses that talk about doing good, being good, being kind, good works, you're gonna see that this is a big emphasis in this book. This book is more about Christians living maybe than it is so much about Titus teaching, although that is certainly a big part of it. And that begins with the qualifications for elders. In verse five, one of the ways to solve the troubles in Crete is for them to have the right kind of leadership and poll gets down to business very quickly. There are some differences here between the list in Timothy and the list in Titus. We talked about that some in Timothy. I don't feel obligated to try to merge these lists and make everything be equal. Both Timothy and Titus had opportunity to be with Paul in person. He could easily flesh out and talk about other things that they needed to know about. Maybe the thing to notice is once again, it's all about being above reproach. Verse seven. That seems to be the overriding concern. People both in the community and in the church need to know that this person can lead because he walks with God. I will give you one other note. Verse 12. Paul says that the CREs are always liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons. And that gives us a little bit of a pause. Wow. Paul, how can you say that perhaps Paul is saying that with a twinkle in his eye because that's what Creon say about themselves. Maybe the same way us Texans would say something about being rednecks or uh, always wearing cowboy boots to everything. Sometimes we poke a little fun at ourselves and Paul May be doing some of that there. Or it may be that Paul is applying that to the false teachers who are causing problems in Crete. But Titus chapter one gets us started in a book that emphasizes stop error and do good See you tomorrow as we finish the week and we'll, and we'll be in Titus chapter two. It is Friday, you made it to the end of the week. And we're reading Titus chapter two today, all 15 verses lots of notes. Because this chapter is just full of practical material. It begins with teach what accords with sound doctrine. That is in contrast to the false teachers that Paul dealt with in Titus chapter one. But when you look down through here, older men, older women, young women, young men, you see all that's going on here. It becomes apparent in a hurry that there is a all, there is always to be a connection in doctrine and in living. What we believe must change what we do. And so Paul now begins some very practical discussion about how we are to live. And if you're paying attention, you'll see the emphasis on self control used three times. Verse two, verse five, verse 12. It's also used of the elder in Titus one in verse eight. Self-control is a big emphasis for Paul in the book of Titus, and he is emphasizing that Christian women and Christian men, old young, need to live in a self-controlled kind of fashion. Couple of other notes here, verse four says that women are to love their husbands and children. Verse five, to be self-controlled, pure working at home. Some translations have render that keepers at home and that has led to a lot of mistakes about the role of women. We need to keep her at home. That is not, not what the text says. This text is talking about the role of a woman in the home. It is not a prohibition of wise being also professional women working outside the home, having some kind of career. That is not what Paul is forbidding here. One writer said, what is affirmed is that if a woman accepts the vocation of marriage and has a husband and children, she will love and not neglect them. That's where this is going. And please give careful attention to verse 11, 12 and 13, that the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in this present age as we wait for our blessed hope. Sometimes people will say that we don't talk enough about grace and that may in fact be true. We need to talk about grace and we need to emphasize grace. But sometimes when people say that they don't realize that a full discussion of grace includes what grace teaches us, what grace trains us when we're talking about renouncing, ungodliness and worldly passions because we want to live for the Lord. That is a discussion of God's grace doing those things, renouncing, ungodliness and worldly passions. Living self control and upright and godly lives would be meaningless without the grace of God. So the discussion of grace is much more than just what God has done for us. It is how we respond to that. And Titus 2 11, 12 and 13 helps us think in those kinds of ways, particularly because we are God's own people, a people for his own possession. Verse 14, that is a very Old Testament kind of expression that is helping Titus and the Christians in CRE see themselves as the people of God, the new Israel of God. I really wish that we could, I don't know, wave the magic wand. Maybe pull the piece of paper out between Malachi and Matthew. Stop talking so much about Old Testament and New Testament, all the things that interrupt the flow, the continuity of scripture. I wish that we could eliminate those because there is continuity. It's one story all the way through God redeeming for himself, a people for his own possession. And you, Christian, you are part of that. Paul says, because we have been redeemed by Jesus the Christ. There's our reading in Titus chapter two. Appreciate you following along, reading along with me today. That's the podcast then. Thanks so much for listening to all of this. If you like the Monday Morning Coffee podcast, we certainly would appreciate it if you would share this with a friend and if you would, leave us a review. So until next week, may your coffee be delightful. May your Friday be wonderful and I pray the Lord will be with you today all day. I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark. For more information about west side, you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat.is that's upbeat with two P'S UPP, B E A T, where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday,