Running, fighting and holding tight

 

We complete our readings in 1 Timothy and take the opportunity of reading Paul’s brief letters to Titus and Philemon.

 

These letters of Paul touch on a number of real issues of relationships and mutual care in the daily life of a Christian congregation. A church is not some kind of Christian club, nor is it merely a group of like-minded people who try to get on with each other. Paul is trying to relate his Christian faith to the lively and sometimes hazardous business of relationships within a hugely diverse group of people.

Church is not necessarily a happy and homogeneous group of ‘saints’. We all joined in with our baggage of past experiences, and have to work that out in the context of trying follow Jesus together.

Maybe you can think of situations in your own experience that need to be reviewed in the light of faith. Don’t be afraid of taking the first steps to put things right where tensions and past hurts exist.

Read 1 Timothy 6:11-21

vv 11-12   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. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

This is a really active charge to Timothy; by including words such as run from … pursue … fight … hold tightly ,, he suggests that the Christian life is not one in which we sit back and wait for things to happen! Far from it; it is one of active involvement in the world and its many issues.

Don’t just hope that evil will not pull you down – get up and run from it.

Don’t just think of righteous living as a distant dream – pursue it vigorously. 

Don’t just trust that truth will win out –  fight to maintain it.

Don’t be half-hearted in Christian living – hang in tightly, you are in a battle.

This is so typical of Paul’s way of looking at following Jesus – you can’t be lackadaisical when it comes to faith because you are up against satan who is the enemy of your soul. This is the background to Paul’s list in Ephesians 6 of God’s armour for the battle.  Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. ‘ You can read the full list in Ephesians 6:11-17. We tend to overlook the nature of the Christian life; it is not for softies with a vague faith, it is a life of positive endeavour.

Monday 25th July Daily Notes from the Hub