NT Reading for week of Oct 16th

Context is critical in studying God’s Word. Many times we latch on to a verse or paragraph that speaks to our soul and disregard the surrounding sentences. What happens is that we can get only part of the story. We can also think the verse says something that it does not.
I saw for a number of years how Knute Larson would pull in a wider context in his teaching. I tended to be narrow and miss the fuller understanding of the whole context. We look for context in the surrounding paragraphs of a verse, then how that paragraph fits into a chapter, then how the chapter fits into a book of the Bible and finally how the book fits into the Bible.
My favorite example of missing the context is Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything though him who strengthens me.” I have at times used that as a sort of victory chant as if that verse was going to make me run the fatest marathon ever. :^) However, when we read the context of the surrounding verses (10-13) there is definitely a different push in that verse. See what it is.

Context is important in the first reading this week. 1Tim 6 has much to say about our lives and money. The verse that jumps out at me in this chapter is verse six, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” This verse is followed by some tough words to us about the dangers of the love money. Phrases like, “we brought nothing into the world …if we have food and clothing that is enough …those who desire to be rich fall into a trap …the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” As I read that whole section on money it seems as though the push is to get rid of all our things and only have the clothes our backs. Is that what the Lord wants? Are we ready for that?
But once again context is important. The strong words on our finances in verses five through ten is not the only things said about the topic in the chapter. This theme reappears again in the chapter in v17-19. Here the rich are told to: not to be arrogant …hope in the Lord and not $ …God provides everything (even stuff) for our enjoyment …be generous …lay up a treasure in heaven. Paul addresses the rich, therefore there still are rich people, even in the New Testament era.
So what does this whole context say to us? What is it saying to you about money?
Do desire to be rich? Being content with what you have; it is great wealth? The basics are all we need? Be generous? Hope only in the Lord and not in your money? Getting the whole context helps us to understand better what is God’s blueprint for our lives. We begin to understand the fullness and the depth of his desires. And can avoid dangers.

Here’s the readings for this week.

Monday the 17th — 1Tim 6
Tuesday the 18th —2 Tim 1
Wednesday the 19th — 2 Tim 2
Thursday the 20th — 2 Tim 3
Friday the 21st — 2 Tim 4

A stretching look at money and how we live with it is found the book Radical by David Platt. He pushes us hard on our view of money.

One Response to “NT Reading for week of Oct 16th”
  1. Dane says:

    Again this morning I see the importance of context. V16 is often quoted in our world of believers. I can get lulled into singularly focusing on that verse. But there’s more.
    The whole chapter and even the first few verses of the following chapter are built on a contrast. It’s like our old English class exercise…compare and contrast. (Sorry for the bad memory.) Here the contrast is about the people/treachers of the world and true spiritual teachers.
    False teachers: are lovers of themselves, ungrateful, proud, brutal, have form of godliness but no evidence, they take advantage of weak people.
    Look at Paul: faithful, lover of people, enduring, dealing with suffering.
    The point of all these comparisons is to push Timothy to cling to the teaching he has received from his grandmother, mother, and Paul. He must cling because there are many who will attempt to distract him and even pull him away from truth. And that’s a good word for us too.

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