Today there are a host of products that will help you to stay focused (five-hour energy drink, Red Bull, or my favorite Mountain Dew) — we are a society that is obsessed with staying awake and focused. Paul in the early church is concerned that Christians would not have this same devotion to alertness. Not only should we be awake and alert, but we must also concern ourselves with what we concentrate our time and efforts toward. He says to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:3-4 “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons notÂ to teach any different doctrine,Â 4Â norÂ to devote themselves to myths and endlessÂ genealogies, which promoteÂ speculations rather than the stewardshipÂ from God that is by faith. (ESV)” Â Timothy is charged in these verses with staying in Ephesus in order to (1) prevent different doctrines from being taught and (2) to prevent the people from devoting themselves to things that promote “speculations.” These are discussions that do not lead to the “stewardship from God.”
What is the “stewardship of God” that comes by faith? The Christians that are at Ephesus (and everywhere else for that matter) are to devote themselves to the Gospel. A Christian’s focus is to stay laser focused on “the stewardship” given to them by God, and how we live out and proclaim this gospel. We are not to get caught up in any speculations that may cause division over these far secondary issues. Â We are to be absolutely united in sharing this responsibility that is of eternal importance.
Remember leader, our job is to keep God’s people focused on right doctrine and their stewardship of the gospel in their lives. We are not to be led away into endless discussion about “what ifs” or speculations that have no way of determining truth or proper conclusions. It’s ok not to know how many angels can dance on the head of a needle, or how the dinosaurs fit into Noah’s Ark. The real question of a Christian’s speech is, “how does this glorify God and expand His gospel to mankind? There seems to be people in the church at Ephesus who love to sit around and debate, but do little to share to gospel to the lost world around them. In fact, Timothy, has to stay and “oversee” the church to make sure that these individuals don’t derail it from why it was established in the first place.
The text seems to indicate that devoting oneself to foolish things, and listening to foolish teaching promotes wrong behavior. So be careful where you allow your eyes, ears, and heart to go, for all of these things affect our faithfulness to the stewardship given to us. May we remind each other regularly of this responsibility, and not allow our discussions to get away from the sound doctrine of the Bible, and how the gospel can be spread throughout the world.