Timothy, as Paul suggests, has a “newness” that Paul wants him to overcome. Paul points to Timothy’s “youth” as the grounds of the possibility of others dismissing or looking down on Timothy. Youth itself, for Paul, is not a symbol of virtue. In other words, being young does not mean that one is good, innocent, or free from the responsibility of doing good. Accordingly, Paul communicates that Timothy is responsible for others not dismissing him by commanding Timothy to “let no man despise your youth” (1 Tim. 4:12). Youth, newness, or ignorance, for Paul, are not excuses for anyone to behave like a child. Paul expects Timothy to work hard to live righteously and contemplate God’s words to counter such “youth” (2 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 2:15 2 Tim. 2:22). Although “being young” introduces some challenges, these challenges are no excuse not to attempt to overcome them. Youth (whether it is newness to the idea of God or newness to the faith) is not the end; it is instead like a step one should work hard to overcome.
“Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me, and behold…”(Amos 7:1). Here, God personally interacts with the visual faculty of Amos and wants Amos to “see” something so that he [Amos] can tell others. This verse is intriguing because it might make one ask, what would the Lord God show me? In this passage and others, there are many instances when God shows people not only their sin but also its consequences.1 Perhaps, some other questions one can ask are “Why does God show people their sin and its consequences” and “What does God want me to see?”
Ezekiel writes “she [Aholah] doted on her lovers…and her mind was alienated from them” (Ezek. 23:5; Ezek. 23:17). Here, God points out the sin of inordinate love. However, what makes the love of Aholah excessive? To be sure, it is wrong to put one’s whole trust in humankind. However, Aholah lusted after the Assyrians for a reward. In other words, she used humans as a means for her benefit. Inordinate love uses humans instead of purely loving them.
The bitter fact is that the “reward” for using humans in this manner disappoints Aholah.1 The bittersweet fact is that God loves Aholah before she lusted after the Assyrians. However, Aholah’s “whoredoms”2 disappoint God. One might ask, then, what kind of love is ordinate and right? However, before asking this question, it is more useful to ask did God use humans as a means for a reward? Can humans reward God? When God receives love from humans, how does he benefit? When one asks these questions and discovers the answers, then one can begin to understand ordinate and pure love better.
Jesus says “she of her penury1 has cast in all the living she had” (Luke 21:4). The widow who Jesus is referring to did not give everything but sacrificed her life by giving. One must note that before she gave, this widow did not have enough to live. In other words, the widow gave away something that was not even enough to sustain her life. Therefore, this widow2 did more than give everything; she gave her life away. One must, then, wonder why this woman would give in this way? What did she hope to accomplish by such giving?
References: Matt. 25:14-30
Paul expresses that human nature is “subject to vanity,1 not willingly…” (Rom. 8:20). This statement means that human nature must obey its frailty or lack of health and strength. This delicate nature is not by the will of humans. All humans begin life with such a weak nature, which is to say that, no human has a powerful human nature. If this is so, then what is the purpose of human nature’s weakness?
Paul expresses that “it is [his] eager expectation and hope…” (Phil. 1:20). Paul passionately desires and looks forward to something. This desire comes from Paul. Paul is personally eager, which is to say that, he inwardly and enthusiastically waits (Psa. 62:5); he waits for something that will bring him personal happiness (Prov. 10:28). Paul also writes in Romans that his very nature1 “waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:18-19). Here, again Paul expresses an eager expectation of a future reward and blessing. A passionate eagerness wraps Paul’s very Being.