I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:14–15, ESV
As Paul writes Timothy, we hear the desire of Paul to be with him and the people of Ephesus, but one of his greatest hopes was that they would be living in a god-honoring way. As a pastor, that is my hope and desire for myself, my family, and the congregations I serve. As the Church, we are all the people of God, and therefore we are called to live differently. As followers of Christ, our message is in our lives. Not that we must live perfect lives, but we are called to live lives set apart. We should not engage in things that are common in the world but stand against God. Not that we should sit on the street corners wagging our fingers and slinging curses at those who engage in behavior unbecoming of God, but we should not be afraid to speak a word against such things, particularly within the walls of our churches. We should not speak out in anger but with the love of Christ on our lips and the hope of salvation pouring from our mouths. We are meant to stand with our arms wide open, ready to receive any who turn aside and turn to Christ. We speak a message of hope and security. We come with Good News and the promise, not curses and condemnation. Our behaviors are meant to reflect Christ and not the jealousy, anger, or pride that is so prevalent in the world. Our lives are not a message of restrictions, but we are restrained from doing things that bring no benefit to our lives, and that will dishonor our Lord. We walk as those restored in the hope and life that Jesus Christ has to offer and renewed in the promise of eternal salvation. It is not out of judgment that we are called to act but out of compassion and love that seeks to bring others into Christ’s renewing embrace.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.