Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guard what God has Entrusted to you

1Tim. 6:11-21 NLT
    11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. 13 And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 15 For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. 16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen. 
   17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. 
   20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. 21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. May God’s grace be with you all.

Apostle and Teacher Paul gives some wise advise to Pastor Tim-- and to us today for living life in Christ Jesus. In previous verses Paul described the problems caused by loving money. He describes the ways evil can creep in and destroy our testimony before others. So he warns Paul to run away from such evil and, instead, run after righteousness. That would include a power from God to overcome our fallen human nature so that we can exemplify a godly life that includes faith, love, and stick-to-it-iveness (perseverance).

Apparently, there is a sort of a 'fight' in which we must engage called "the good fight.'  Apparently the gift of eternal life given us through God's grace is something we need to hold tightly. We must not be carelessly tossing it about lest it slip from our grasp. Paul's command about holding tightly to our eternal life was a command given to Timothy and all believers, not merely a suggestion (v14). We are to persevere until Christ is finally revealed again to assume direct rule over earth and the rest of creation.

We have a teaching role to fulfill where wealthy persons are concerned. We should help them to realize that their wealth is meant by God for them to be a blessing to others as God would lead. This, of course, applies to wealthy believers, not unbelievers. Wealth, as we have already seen, can drag people down from their Christian faith and complete trust in God to provide. You can help a wealthy believer to pray with them about how God might want them to use those resources "to do good" (vs 18-19).

The final caution is to simply trust in God and decline any invitations to debate godless foolishness or challenges to the Christian faith. Unless the Lord leads you to do so, you are not to become God's apologist. He can take care of himself. You will know when you should speak against a railing atheist. Most of the time arguing with them only urges them on.  It will be better to pray for them and pray that you are able to live a Godly life in their eyes, in spite of their unbelief. If a church member is teaching false doctrine you must correct them immediately-- but gently in love however. We cannot tolerate false doctrine taught in our churches. We are committed to the truth and helping to prevent others from wandering away from the faith (v 21).

Your servant in Christ's love

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