“In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
1 Timothy 6: 11-12a
1 Timothy 6: 17-21
One of my pastimes for a while was rock climbing. A friend introduced me to the sport and taught me. I had a harness, rope, protection (various pieces of equipment that secured me to the rock face) and climbing shoes, the soles of which were made of the rubber used for aircraft tires, so they really gripped. My major early problem was that I didn't trust this equipment, I wanted to trust myself. I would hold on to the rock with everything I could even considering using my teeth at one point! This tired me quickly and put me at risk on the cliffs; it was false security. It was also a desire for self-control. I had to learn to obey his instruction, to let go and trust the gear to find real freedom and enjoyment in true rock climbing.
In the closing remarks of this letter there are strong words for Timothy. He is to 'command' the rich and 'guard' his faith. Both directives have at their heart warnings against self-sufficiency and arrogance; trusting false foundations. They encourage ‘true life.’ The rich are not to falsely feel superior because of their wealth which in reality gives no lasting hope. Affluence can disappear in an instance and provides no answer to death and eternity. Instead they are to put their hope in God, enjoy the life He has given and bless others with their fortune (vs. 17-18). Timothy is to watch over his faith and responsibilities. He is to avoid self-promotion through 'godless chatter' and false truths which argue a superior knowledge to God (vs.20-21). These commands are given in love so that the recipients may enjoy the life God has given and ensure they have true eternal life (vs. 19).
This ancient letter is so relevant for us today. It warned the early church against false truths, trusting in foundations other than God and gave practical encouragements to the body of believers. The same issues and principles are at play today in different guises. Self-sufficiency is promoted and explanations other than God are offered. These cause a person to put their trust in themselves, wealth or knowledge to the exclusion of God; life, freedom and true enjoyment are not found in these sources. The sadness here is that God offers exactly this and the path to true living and eternal life. We gain this life by losing ours, trusting Him and being part of the Body of Christ. May we heed the warnings within, follow the encouragements and jump into the loving arms of Almighty God to receive this life. The means for such fulfillment are found in the gift of God recorded in the closing blessing of the letter, grace; may ‘Grace be with you all!’
To Ponder: What do you trust before you put your trust in God? What do you need to let go of to enjoy true living in Him; how will you do this?
Pray: Almighty God through your Son our Saviour you have opened for us a new and living way into your presence and life eternal. In your grace enable us to fully trust you, follow and obey you, that we may worship you in spirit and in truth. Keep our hearts pure and steadfast. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Praise: O Spirit of the Living God
Spirit Lead Me by Michael Ketterer & Influence Music
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.