WHAT ARE YOU PURSUING?
Lord Jesus, you are indeed my only Sovereign, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Accept my praise and thanksgiving today.
Read 1 TIMOTHY 6:11-21
Final Charge to Timothy
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.
Grace be with you all.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
As we come to God’s Word today, may we be reminded where our treasure lies.
Paul indicates what is necessary to pursue (v 11) in the fight between covetousness and contentment. The list has echoes of his plea to the believers in Ephesus to ‘live a life worthy of the calling you have received.’1 What is apparent is that these weapons for the good fight of faith are very different from the destructive ones of a typical battle.
Having rejoiced in the hope of eternal life on confession of Christ as Lord, Paul breaks out into praise (vs 15,16). It is as if the wonder of the glorious gospel prompts continual praise from Paul. Having acknowledged the majesty of God, Paul reiterates the theme concerning wealth. Paul’s advice for the rich is to use their wealth for good, which is a noteworthy contrast to the command of Jesus to the rich young ruler to give all his wealth away at once.2 There is much to ponder here as we consider the commands of Scripture. For the rich young ruler his wealth had clearly become his idol and needed to be cut off completely, yet here we observe a plea for generosity and sharing, rather than a laying down.
Paul closes the letter by personally addressing Timothy (v 20) in a manner that some feel he’d have written himself rather than dictating to a scribe. Nonetheless, the grace Paul extends in closing is addressed to all. The ‘you’ is plural, indicating that throughout the letter Paul has been looking beyond Timothy to the believers he served. Wonderfully, this letter has been preserved and that grace has been extended to us as well. The letter began with an extension of grace3 and so it ends. In all of the warnings, encouragements, and instructions which have filled the letter, may we too know ourselves enveloped by the grace of God that is offered to all.
‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’4
Father in heaven, thank you for the grace you give so freely and generously that enables me to know and serve you. May that grace be so evident in me that others are drawn to you.
1 Eph 4:1,2 2 Luke 18:18–30 3 1 Tim 1:2 4 Matt 6:21
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