One of the topics I studied as an Engineer was called ‘Critical Path Analysis.’ It was learning to prioritise tasks so that a process could be completed in the most efficient way. It was no good having all the kitchen units delivered to a new house until the roof was on or the wiring was set into the wall. Once you establish priorities and the order of construction you can have the equipment delivered in the right order. In family life you have to have some sort of priority for using one bathroom or else everybody leaves it until the last moment and then that becomes a ‘pinch point’ and everybody else is left hanging about.

Paul often writes about priorities in the Christian life. Get the right priority of love sorted out and then other things begin to fall into place in good order.

Don’t major on trying to sort out trivia, like where to put chairs in a room, major on love and caring for one another – you will then soon find that other things fall into place.

Read 1 Timothy 1:3-11.

v 3.  When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth.

The issue of ‘Truth’ has always been contentious. Jesus’ had a conversation with Pilate (John 18:37-38) about truth. ‘Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked.’ There is no record of Jesus answering that question! What seems so straightforward – ‘A statement that matches reality’ is far too simple for philosophers, besides which they go on to ask ‘And what is reality?’ Jesus Himself might have said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6) To teach the truth is to point to Jesus – so Timothy’s task in Ephesus was to keep on pointing to Jesus and stop people who would move off in a different direction forgetting the centrality of Jesus in their message. There is a sense in which it is possible to try to be too clever in preaching and teaching. The Christian message is the same old message as ever – it is about Jesus. That is neither boring nor repetitive. Learning about and reflecting on His grace and goodness in salvation, and then how to live daily walking with Him, is a never ending theme for preaching. But more of that tomorrow!

Monday 9th May Hub Daily notes