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.
1 Timothy is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the younger disciple Timothy. It was a sort of passing of the mantle, from an experienced and devoted follower of Jesus to a new enthusiastic leader of another new thing – the church. Much of it explains the ways one might get sidetracked from the job at hand. In the above passage, however, Paul explains that Timothy should flee from all distractions and “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” Paul was handing over something he had spent his life serving. He wanted to make sure Timothy understood the magnitude and the responsibility. Paul gave a lot of instructions in the first five chapters of this letter, but he sums it up by telling Timothy to pursue these things and “Fight the good fight of the faith.”
Paul had a lot of info to share, just as you would if you handed off a great treasure to someone new. But it is the essentials in these verses that Paul wants to emphasize. It’s as if he said, “Do all this stuff and avoid all this other stuff. And if you remember only one thing, it’s this: Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. If you do these things, everything else will work out.” Have you ever heard the statement, “If everything is important, nothing is important”? It’s about focus. Focus on what you know to be true and righteous. All else will follow. Today, as Christmas ends and we look forward to the new year, what will get your focus?
Holy and loving God, You are the creator of my life. You are my strength and my rock. You are all I need. Today, I give my heart to you as an offering. Take it and shape it to be a heart like yours. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a mind to understand all that you will teach me. Create a hunger in my soul for more and more of you. May nothing else satisfy me more than your love and grace. Give me a spirit of humility. If there is anything in me that keeps me from hearing your voice, reveal it to me. Cleanse my heart and renew the spirit within me. Transform me, Lord. Show me how to live each day in obedience to the Holy Spirit who lives within me. I offer you my entire life, this day and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.