TEXT: 1 Timothy 4:1-6
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
Ray Fowler said, “Your whole life should be lived in conscious reverence and respect towards God with thanksgiving, consecrated to him by the word of God and prayer.”
Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, “Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.” Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, “We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.”
God has created many things on earth for our pleasure. Last week we saw that we are to receive God’s blessings with thanksgiving. Here are two more things we should take note of from this passage concerning the things that God has made available for our enjoyment:
Second, we are to receive blessings with the Word of God. Our passage says, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” There are many verses in the Word of God that warn us against libertine excesses in our earthly pleasures. For example, Ephesians 5:18 says “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Proverbs 25:16 says, “Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.” On the other hand, Paul told Timothy to “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” Kevin Pierpont said, “Here we have teachers convincing their followers to be careful what they put in their mouths. But what did Jesus say? He said the food we take in doesn’t make us unclean. For a teacher to command his followers to abstain from certain foods when Jesus has clearly stated that all foods are clean is to disregard the Word of God. Check everything by the book. See for yourself how a given teaching compares to the Bible.” Whenever we are given the opportunity to do partake in these earthy pleasures, we should not use man’s rules to guide our decisions. We should depend upon the Bible as our guide to what is right and good.
Third, we are to receive blessings with prayer. Prayer sanctifies things that are not considered to be holy by man’s estimation. Even everyday things like eating and drinking are pleasing to God if we do them in a prayerful spirit. Prayer also guides us to know what things are expedient for us to do in that moment. Praying over food is especially testified to in the Bible. Deuteronomy 8:10 says, “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.” Matthew 14:19 says, “And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.” John Gill said about our passage 1 Timothy 4:4. “And thus our Lord Jesus Christ, at meals, used to take the food, and bless it or ask a blessing on it. And so did the Essenes among the Jews, and the Christians in Tertullian’s time; and the practice is highly necessary and commendable, nor ought it to be disused.” God is with us always, so that even common things are sanctified through the word of God and prayer. Prayer must be brought to every action, so that our actions are blessed.
Ray Stedman said, “See everything coming to you as a gift that you have no right to, but it is yours by the grace and mercy of God. Thanksgiving is a recognition that you do not possess anything in yourself, that everything comes as a gift from a loving God. When you do that you recognize two wonderful things: First, that God gave these things to our race for our enjoyment and enrichment. He did not give them that we might practice denial of them; he wanted us to have them. When you take everything as a gift of God — your life, your breath, your family, your friends, your clothing, your food, your circumstances, your trials, your pressures, your problems– and thank God for them, then they are rendered safe. You no longer are the king on the throne, dictating to the rest of the world how to behave; you are a humble recipient of the gift from the Father’s hand.”
We ought to reject legalistic teachings that condemn things that God has created for the enjoyment of mankind. At the same time, we must honor God and be thankful when we partake of His blessings. We should not abuse what God has given us for sustenance and health through gluttony, drunkenness, and drug addiction. Nor should we abuse the sex that God provides for married couples through sexual sins. We ought to approach these things with the Bible as our guide and in an attitude of prayerful thanksgiving.
Martin Rinkart wrote:
Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mothers’ arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
to keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
of this world in the next.
All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven
the one eternal God,
whom heaven and earth adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.