Focus on fighting the good fight of faith by eliminating the noise that keeps you mired in discontent.
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1 Timothy 6 (ESV)
1 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants
regard their own masters as worthy of all honor,
the name of God
and the teaching
may not be reviled.
2 Those who have believing masters
must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers;
rather they must serve
all the better
since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches
a different doctrine
and does not agree with
the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the teaching that accords with godliness,
is puffed up with conceit
and understands nothing.
He has an unhealthy craving
and for quarrels about words,
which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,
5 and constant friction among people who are
depraved in mind
and deprived of the truth,
imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain,
7 for we brought nothing into the world,
and we cannot take anything out of the world.
if we have food and clothing,
with these we will be content.
9 But those who desire to be rich
fall into temptation,
into a snare,
into many senseless and harmful desires
that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money
is a root of all kinds of evils.
It is through this craving
that some have wandered away from the faith
and pierced themselves with many pangs.
11 But as for you, O man of God,
flee these things.
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
who gives life to all things,
and of Christ Jesus,
who in his testimony before 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.
17 As for the rich in this present age,
not to be haughty,
nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches,
but on God,
who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
18 They are
to do good,
to be rich in good works,
to be generous and ready to share,
19 thus storing up treasure for themselves
as a good foundation for the future,
so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you.
the irreverent babble
and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,”
21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.
Grace be with you.
1 Timothy 6 Summary
The final chapter in Paul's first letter to Pastor Timothy is nicely summarized in v6:
godliness with contentment is great gain...
In other words, being content with what you have materially allows you to focus on building yourself up spiritually instead of chasing the wind as it was described as we read Ecclesiastes a few weeks ago.
This godly contentment allows you to:
Honor your employer (v1-2)
Detect those peddling different doctrine (v3-5)
Protects you from wandering away from the faith as you crave the love of money (v10)
Paul uses aggressive language as he commands Timothy (and us) to have this sort of contentment, telling us to flee things that seek to drag you back into the trap of constantly wanting more. If Paul's advice to Pastor Timothy is to flee rather than to stay in tempting situations until he builds up the internal fortitude to resist them, how much more do people like us need to flee the things that tempt us!
You're constantly bombarded by noise, and most of it is unhealthy and distracting. How many times a day do you check the news or social media feed that ends up getting you riled up and angry?
The instruction that Paul gave Pastor Timothy two millennia ago seems even more relevant for us today:
Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge...” (v20)
How much irreverent babble and contradictions of knowledge are you scrolling through and streaming into your life each day? Is all of this noise making you more or less content?
Shut it off.
Instead, spend that time you were mindlessly scrolling guarding the deposit trusted to you (v20) as you pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness (v11).
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Father God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see (v15-16)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength needed to fight the good fight of the faith and to take hold of the eternal life to which you've been called (v12).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: