Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Youth: Search for a Meaningful Life

 1 Timothy 6:11-14
11 But you, a man of God, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
What do diets, exercise programs, marriage, and the Christian life have in common? The answer – it is fairly easy and even fun to begin, but it’s not so easy to hang in over the long haul. The Christian life is not a hundred-yard dash; it’s a marathon, starting well is easy; finishing well is another matter. One of the toughest things that can happen to a Christian is to lose motivation. We live in a world full of distractions. Sometimes when we say we are living for Christ, but in reality, we are living for our family, their comfort, which in turn is another way of living for ourselves. Some of us have run out of gas, lost our way, got hit by deep trials/temptation, or got discouraged. So now, instead of seeking to stay close to Christ, we seek to stay close to worldly materials. Instead of giving generously, we spend resources on ourselves. Instead of time with Christ, it is binge-watching on Netflix/Disney+ and other streaming services. Instead of serving others, we invest most efforts in pleasing ourselves. If you are seeking to search for a meaningful life, a Christian life we should own the instructions of Paul to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:11-14

In the final section of this letter, Paul tells Timothy and us how to go the distance. In verse 11, we see Paul first address Timothy as “man of God”. What is so special about “man of God?” Timothy found himself in a difficult situation, he had to confront the false teachers who had arisen among the Ephesian leaders by refuting their errors and by teaching the truth. The title “man of God” is a customary designation given to great leaders of Israel. We see in the Old Testament of men like Moses, Samuel, Elijah, David and few prophets referred to as “men of God”. “Man of God” means a man who belongs wholly to God, who follows God’s Word in every aspect of life. In order to search for a meaningful life, we should strive to be the “man (woman) of God”. We are called to live a life of certain dignity and aura that shows God’s presence. Our lives should be entwined with God. 

Paul not only calls Timothy, a man of God but also gives four commands to follow. These four things are essential in our journey to find a meaningful life centered in Christ. First the man of God “flee from all this.” Paul commands Timothy to run away – from the false teachers, the wayward lifestyle that would lead to greed and materialism. We see the term flee used in the Bible to denote a believer’s correct response to temptation. Some might think fleeing would be a coward’s way out instead we should be resilient and strong. Like the book, Art of War by Sun Tzu stated, “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.” We should know our enemy, Satan will throw many temptations our way. In order to overcome the temptation, we should know ourselves better and know our weaknesses. When we know the temptation is too much to resist we should flee from it, just like how Joseph ran away when faced with temptation from his master’s wife. A gambler need not try to prove himself by going to a casino and resisting. The wiser choice is staying out of the casino in the first place. 

Second, we find Paul commanding to pursue. When we flee from temptation we should pursue God at the same time. We should continue to pursue a character that is Christ-like. Pursue is to strive after, drive, search for, hunt for, to seek, to catch. Paul tells Timothy which six qualities to pursue, “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.”  To pursue righteousness means that we should do what is right in the eyes of God. To pursue godliness means we should live in the likeness of God. To pursue faith, we should depend solely on God’s Word as a guide and rely on God’s character alone. To pursue love means we should sacrifice ourselves for others, just as Christ unconditionally loves us. To pursue endurance means we should persevere and withstand trials and temptation. Finally, to pursue gentleness means we should be kind to others, be humble, and dependent on the Holy Spirit.   As Christians, it is our duty to take initiative to seek out ways to be righteous, to love others, to increase our faith, and to show gentleness. 

Third, we find Paul commanding to “Fight the good fight”. Timothy is to fight for the truth of God’s Word. We are instructed to fight against the physical/materialistic attractions of the world and against the lies of the enemy. Satan has so many weapons in his arsenal: the media, internet, entertainment, peer pressure, alcohol, drugs, etc. Not all are inherently evil, but Satan uses them as evil weapons to hurt our walk with God. In this fight, the very best weapon is prayer. We don’t have to fight on our own. Just like Gotham City has “bat signal”. We have prayer to get help from God. When we are faced with temptation, we can pray these simple words, “God help me”. God will send us the help and the resolve we need. The very process of turning to God and saying those words will help us resist evil and fight Satan’s advances. 

Lastly, Paul commands us to take hold of eternal life. We are to be future-minded. The knowledge of and hope of eternal life should motivate us to live a certain way. The promise of paradise encourages us to fight against temptation and not to give up. It should inspire us to pray more to God and develop a relationship with Him. If we strive to be a man or woman of God, flee from temptation, pursue Christ-like qualities, fight the good fight and take hold of eternal life, we find the recipe to have a truly meaningful life while we are here physically on Earth, despite all the trials and tribulations that may come our way. 

 Lord, we seek your guidance as we search for a meaningful life in this world. Help us to overcome the trials and temptations we come across in our daily life. Hold us steadfast to your teachings and enlighten us to take hold of our promise of eternal life. Amen

Thought of the day
 Salvation is not a thing in the past, but something you need to live out each and every day. When you use your hands to grab onto the things of God, you cannot at the same time hold on to worldly desires. Our hands can only cling to one thing at a time

Roshan Varughese

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