Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
1 Timothy 6:11-16
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before[d] Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
As a child I had the privilege of participating in martial arts. Taekwondo specifically was one of my favorite sports I enjoyed, and through it I was able to travel all over the world participating in different tournaments. One of the key lessons I learned in my time training and competing in sparring tournaments from my instructor was how I had to be active and constantly moving when I was in the ring. There was no benefit for me to simply just stand around, passively allowing for my opponent to tee off at me while in the ring. If I was passive during my sparring match, I was going to lose. I needed to be on the offensive. Following that game plan was going to lead to a victory in the ring.
The apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6 encourages his young disciple Timothy to have the same outlook when it came to his faith in the Lord. The call was for him to be on the offensive. In verses 11-13 of chapter 6, Paul uses several active verbs to emphasize and encourage Timothy in his faith journey. He encourages him to flee from temptation which he specifically speaks of in v. 3-10. He also calls for Timothy to pursue and to fight!
The Lord gives us the same call in our life to have active faith! You and I are not going to grow in our relationship with the Lord by being passive believers. If we are just to stand around and allow for the wind and the waves of culture to toss us to and fro, you are not going to grow. We have got to have an active faith. What does that look like for us?
- Flee these things- Paul spoke to Timothy about fleeing the temptation which comes in your life.When temptation comes in the moment you and I are not strong enough to just flirt around with it. We WILL fall. You and I have to flee. Consider two characters in the scripture, Joseph and David. Joseph: when temptation came in his life with Potipher’s wife, he fled. King David, on the other hand, lingered in it by taking an extra look at Bathsheba and found himself in a major mess. Don’t flirt with temptation, flee from it.
- Pursue- We are called to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness. We pursue these godly qualities in every area of our life. Now as we walk with the Lord He grows these characteristics in our life. However we must be active in our pursuit of Jesus and growing in these areas. Christian growth does not happen by osmosis. It takes work. It takes discipline. It takes cutting out things in your life, along with setting up things in your life to help that pursuit. What needs to get cut out of your life to aid in your pursuit of these things? What disciplines and Godly rhythms need to be added to help in your pursuit?
- Fight the Good Fight- This refers to the day in day out discipline of walking with the Lord. We are called to be disciplined as Christians. How is your prayer life? How is your time with the Lord in the scriptures? Are you meditating and memorizing scripture? Do you fast? Incorporating these spiritual disciplines help us contend for the faith/fight the good fight.
Because of the Gospel we have been able to take hold of the eternal life which has been made available through Jesus Christ. Here is the truth though-we are called to continue to follow the Lord! In order to do that though we must have an active faith. Flee from temptation, pursue the things of the Lord, and have the discipline to fight and contend for the faith! This morning choose to take the wisdom of Paul to Timothy and apply that wisdom to your life! Choose to have an active faith!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, thank you for your love for me! Help me today to possess an active faith. Help me to see that when I am passive in walking with you, that is when I do not grow. Help me to flee temptation as it comes, to pursue you, and fight the good fight of faith today. In Jesus’ name, amen!