But you, man of God… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 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. (1 Timothy 6:11-12)
Yesterday in church my Everyday Christianity class talked about First Timothy. It was the latest book in our “read through the New Testament” series, and probably one of the most misunderstood. It’s easy to get hung up on specific social commentary relevant to the Roman world (circa 100 CE) and, consequently, to forget the book’s rich collection of spiritual insight.
We talked about a lot of things, but for me the conversation about what it means to “fight the good fight of the faith” was the most challenging – and I mean “challenging” in a good way.
MONDAY: “Fighting the good fight” turns out to be a great thought for Monday morning, a day when a lot of us need a boatload of inspiration and encouragement to emerge from the weekend with a sense of motivation and direction.
It’s almost as if Monday surprises us – every week – and we have to deal with the fact that life is seldom an easy challenge to engage; and sometimes we’re tired before we even begin, and discouraged, and in a rut; and we think, “Well, shouldn’t it be easier than this?”
And here’s where faith works so well, because God doesn’t promise to make things easy, just wonderful. So we truly must apply the principles of the good fight, not just because life is worth the effort, but because this is exactly how things work.
ACTION: The text instructs us to, “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…” There’s nothing passive about that idea. We haven’t been introduced to this “New Life in Christ” in order to wait around for the blessings to come rolling in, delivered directly to our doorstep. No, we are told to, “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness…”
- “Take hold of…”
Is there a pattern here? A theme, maybe? An imperative to actually, and proactively, “Live into” what God intends for us to experience?
Of course there is. It’s the pattern of “the life that is truly life” (verse 19).
It’s a new week, people, another Monday, another “this is the day the Lord has made.” Time to “TAKE HOLD,” time to live like we mean it - DEREK