Monday, January 29, 2007

1 Timothy 6:11-12

11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight 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.

Paul is instructing Timothy to flee from all this. What is all this? In verse 5 he talks about men of a corrupt mind who have been robbed of the truth and who think godliness is a means of financial gain. This sounds a lot like the modern prosperity message. In contrast, Paul tells timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love endurance, and gentleness. I find the word pursue to be interesting. If I am pursuing something, it means I am diligent and unwavering. I press on, keep going, and do what I must until I get it. It drives me. I think of how I pursued my wife. I even wrote and sang love songs to her in my pursuit of her. Paul says pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love endurance, and gentleness. He doesn’t say to just think about these things or long for these things. He continues telling Timothy to fight the good fight. These are also aggressive words. They underscore the amount of seriousness and effort we are to put forth. Some would say that this is legalism and works oriented Christianity. But I say no. It is not just obeying a bunch of man-made laws and rules. The pursuit of righteousness, godliness, faith, love endurance, and gentleness is a natural component of a sincere love for God. It is who we are when we are in Christ. He is worthy of our pursuit and the fight!

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