“To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions…
“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.” 1 Timothy 1:2-7,18-19
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Paul is infused with love for his son in the faith, Timothy, and for their Savior, Jesus. His heart, conscience, and faith are inextricably connected to the vibrant truth and power of Jesus, who is love Himself. This love that won him is his compulsion and aim. It charges his drive to spread good news, amidst a range of false teaching, societal myths, and vain discussions, that is laced with energy through its words and message. (1 John 4:8)
Charge: Electrify; to fill or furnish fully; to impose a task or responsibility on; to command, instruct, or exhort with authority.
Without love as our charge, we are spiritually limp, lifeless. Our vision is limited, our focus self-ward, our passions earthly. But once plugged into and charged by the vitality of Jesus, by the truth He embodies and speaks from His word, our whole life takes on fresh meaning and vivacity. We are compelled to proclaim clearly the gospel in contrast to falsehoods all around, even as we are led to charge others to do the same.
Has holy desire and urgency for proclaiming God’s truth grown lethargic? What doctrines and speculations issuing from the world have we allowed to creep into our minds, distracting our affections, numbing us to the Word, and distorting our understanding? In an emotion-incited culture, have we begun to fear humans more than the Lord, and thus squelched desire for and limited intake and development of wisdom from above? If there is anything that preempts our passion to share Jesus’s love and make Him known, our loves are disordered. (Proverbs 9:10; James 3:17)
“A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill;
Oh, may it all my pow’rs engage
To do my Master’s will!
Help me to watch and pray,
And still on Thee rely,
Oh, let me not my trust betray,
But press to realms on high.” ~Charles Wesley (1762)
Father, keep my heart pure, my conscience clear, and my faith sincere. Compel me by Christ’s love to charge others effectively regarding Your gospel, to the end that You be received, known, and loved.