Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 12:12 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “When in The Stillness.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Timothy 6:3-16 (NASB).
A Different Doctrine (vv. 3-5)
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
What does it mean to be godly? It means to walk with God, to live to please him, to be devoted to him, and to treat him with love, honor, reverence and respect. It means to have one’s life centered on and focused on God/Jesus Christ. It also denotes a life of holiness, i.e. being separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed into the likeness of Christ. The godly person is committed to obeying the Word of God, out of love for God. A godly person, as well, pursues righteousness. Yet, we can’t be godly of our own accord. Only by the saving grace of Jesus Christ, through faith in him, and through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit of God now living within us can we live godly and holy lives unto God.
So, whatever teaching or doctrine we adopt for ourselves to believe, it must be in conformity with godliness and holiness and with the teachings of Jesus Christ. This means that if someone is teaching you that you can believe in Jesus Christ, be delivered from the penalty of sin, and have the hope of heaven when you die, but that you don’t have to repent of (turn from) sin, that you don’t have to obey Christ and his commandments, and that God is pleased with you no matter what you do, they are lying to you. The Bible teaches us that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness and that he died to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (1 Pet. 2:24; Tit. 2:14). In other words, he died that we might live godly and holy lives.
Accompanied by Contentment (vv. 6-10)
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
We are not put here on this earth to amass great material wealth to spend on ourselves for our own pleasures. We are not to be busy about laying up treasures for ourselves on this earth, and building earthly kingdoms, but we are to be busy about laying up treasures in heaven, i.e. about doing what will bring honor and glory to God and praise to his name, and about that which will minister God’s love, grace and mercy to other human lives so that they, too, can come to know him, and so they, too, can experience salvation from sin and the hope of eternal life with God. This is not saying, though, that God will not bless some of us materially so that we can share those blessings with others, but that our focus in life should not be on what is going to pass away, but it should be on what is eternal and has value, not just for this life, but for the life yet to come.
So, instead of working hard to make lots of money in order to gain great wealth and possessions in this life, we should be about the business of our master in doing what he desires us to do in order to help build the kingdom of heaven, not earthly kingdoms. And, we should learn to be content with whatever station the Lord places us in, and we should not be envious of those who have more than we do materially, for the Lord will supply all we need, though not necessarily all that we want. And, we should always maintain the perspective that all we have is from God, and it is his to be used as he chooses, and it is not ours to hold on to, and that all that is of this material world is going to go up in smoke, so we should focus our attention on what is not going to pass away.
Pursue Righteousness (vv. 11-16)
But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
What does it mean to flee something? It means to escape; to run away from something. This is not passive. This is active. We are to flee evil desires, immorality, idolatry, and youthful lusts, as well as doctrines not conforming to godliness and the love of wealth and material possessions. Too many professing Christians, though, do not flee these things, but they toy with them, or they invite them into their lives, or through complacency and apathy, or laziness, they do not guard their lives against them, and so they work their way back into their lives. Yet, we must actively run away from these things and others like them if we are to live victorious Christian lives, and if we are to pursue righteousness, godliness, love, faith, etc. So many people who claim to be followers of Christ regularly give in to the lusts of the flesh because they are unwilling to run away from them and/or to cut out of their lives what leads them down the path of sin. And, so they live in defeat.
Yet, if we are going to pursue righteousness, holiness and godliness, we must flee all that stands opposed to these. The reason Jesus died on the cross from our sins was to deliver us from slavery to sin so that we might become bond-servants of his righteousness. Being “born again” means we are crucified with Christ, through faith in him, in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, to be lived to his righteousness. Old gone – new has come. Life comes from death. We can’t hold on to our old lives and have new lives, too. We must lose our old lives so that we now have eternal life with God (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). Yet, we don’t do this in our flesh, but this is the working of the Spirit in our lives in saving us from sin, as we yield (surrender) to the Spirit’s work.
When in The Stillness / An Original Work / September 26, 2011
When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.
While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.
Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.