1 Timothy 1:3
“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia…” (1 Timothy 1:3)
The apostle bids his beloved son in the faith to abide at Ephesus. Having left that city for another, Paul pled with Timothy to stay.
Let us consider this very important issue of staying.
- Ephesus was a wicked city full of idolaters, yet Timothy was to stay.
- Ephesus was a city with many people who were opposed to the gospel, yet Timothy was to stay.
- Ephesus was a city in which there was a riot in opposition to the gospel, yet Timothy was to stay.
Many times pastors today get the fever to move. Their bags often remain half packed, and a running account may be kept with the moving company. The grass appears to be so much greener on the other side of the fence. Brother, I encourage you to not have a roving eye, but to stay.
Often we find ourselves fighting against deeply entrenched traditions that actually hinder progress in the work of the Lord. Brother, I encourage you to be patient and to seriously consider staying.
Sometimes we find in the church that there are harmful issues that are many decades old, and we consider that it may be easier to move on to another place. The reality is that there could be much of which you are unaware at the new place. Therefore, brother, I beg you to contemplate staying.
At other times there are doctrinal problems that exist in a church and it seems as if we will not be able to root them out. Once again, the words of the apostle are so wise: “I besought thee to abide…”
The trials of being a pastor are often wearing, and one often feels depressed, discouraged, and quite alone. The Master who has called you is with you. Do not give us. Unless you are absolutely certain that Christ has bid you otherwise, STAY.
Should you choose to stay, you may very well get to baptize some of those who now give you the most heartache. You may be blessed to lead their children to the Savior. It may be that you see many children born, and then find that you are blessed to begin to see them saved and baptized.
Should you choose to stay, it is very possible that you are blessed to live graciously before the people and to win them to the way of holiness. In the midst of it all, you will probably find that you have made some of the best friends that you could ever have.
The reward is not to the comfortable, but to the faithful. Therefore I encourage you to stay.
These are but a few of the reasons that we should not easily give up and move on. Brother, I beg you to stay!
Addendum (Brother Michael Thornton):
Stay… Because there is a charge to keep, vs 3, 18, 19 Because there is a faith to build, v 4 Because there is a love to live, v 5 Because there is a gospel that frees, v 11 Because there is a faithfulness that is entrusted, v 12 Because there is a grace of abundance, v 14 Because there is a pattern to be followed, v 16 Because there is a King to be honored, v 17