The thing we most need from every generation, is godly men and women. Yet sadly, you rarely see a passion for God boiling over in this generation. You will struggle to find a godliness in young people that just oozes from them. There are some, and I praise God for them. But there are not enough! And to be honest there isn't enough in every generation!
Where are the people who are godly and pursue God with a great passion? Are you be one of them? Are you now a man or woman of God?
How can we make this our pursuit? How can we be men and women of God? Well in 1 Timothy 6:11-12, Paul shows what a "man of God" must do.
1. Flee from sin (particularly the love of money)
1 Timothy 6:11 says, “But you, man of God, flee from all this”. We need to flee and run away from something as men and woman of God. What is it?
Well v9-10 have just said that “people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
So, verse 11 firstly tells the man of God to flee from the love of money and desire to be rich. Why is this so important for godliness? Well we see several reasons are given in verses 6-10:
Possessions are an empty pursuit, but godliness is not. This is because we cannot take possessions with us when we die (1 Timothy 6:6-7).
The desire to be rich quickly takes over and brings temptation. It is a trap that causes us to fall into foolish and harmful desires (1 Timothy 6:9).
A desire to be rich brings ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9).
The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).
The craving for money has caused people to wander from the faith, show they never believed and pierce themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:10).
But we know that it is not just money that we must flee, but all sin. 2 Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee the desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” This is referring to all sinful desires, and in particular those we have when we are young.
We need to flee all sinful desires as men and women of God. And we need to flee before we can then follow and be ready to serve God. 2 Timothy 2:19b and 21 says “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness… If a man cleanses himself from the latter (wickedness), he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”
If you are caught in sin and a pattern of wickedness, you can’t serve God, and you will never be able to be powerfully used by God. In fact, you can’t even truly confess Jesus as your Lord if you aren’t turning from wickedness as verse 19 says. If Jesus is the Lord of your life, you must turn from all that dishonours him. And to be a godly and passionate servant of God, you must flee from sin!
2. Follow passionately after godly character
1 Timothy 6:11 goes on to command these things from the man of God: “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness”
We need to run away from sin, but here we have the things we need to chase after as men and women of God:
Righteousness – This is where our conduct is pleasing to God and in line with His commands, which is only possible by the Spirit.
Godliness – This portrays the general duty we owe to God. We are made in his image and are to be like him.
Faith – This is a deep trust in God and utter dependence on him. Faith in Christ is how we are saved and it is key to becoming godly.
Love – We are to love God above all and with all. And we are to love to the point where we consider others more significant than ourselves.
Endurance – This can also mean steadfastness and patience. We are to persevere in good works, endure in hardship, expect Christs return and be patient for that day and in all of life.
Gentleness – The Bible often calls us as Christians to be gentle. This involves being kind, tender and caring toward others.
Paul calls the godly person to pursue these things. Follow passionately after these things, to make them your life focus. What do you pursue in life? What do you most long for and desire to have? Is it these things?Well the man or woman of God needs to follow passionately after these things.
3. Fight in the battle of faith
Paul then tells the man of God to “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).
What is the fight of faith talking about? Well it is being willing to struggle and suffer as you share the gospel and serve God. And it is also being willing to not give up believing, unlike those who have wandered from the faith (1 Timothy 1:18-20, 4:1, 6:10, 6:21). If you are to be godly, you must endure in faith! Fight to keep faith! Be on guard that you do not wander from the faith.
Do you realise that you are in a war, a fight, a battle. You are in a battle against the flesh, this world, Satan and his devices that are aimed to destroy the possibility of any having faith in God. 1 Timothy 4:1 says “The Spirit clearly says that in later times, some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
And must we fight the good fight of faith. Well we do it by fleeing sin and pursuing godly character as we have seen. And the last part of verse 12 shows another key way. “Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
The idea of "take hold" is to make it your own (see 1 Corinthians 9:24, Philippians 3:12). We are to work hard and take hold of the prize of eternal life (1 Timothy 6:19). We aren't to be passive in seeking eternal life. We are to take hold of it, do everything we can to pursue and seek it. But as we do this, we know that like Timothy, God has called us to eternal life and given it. Our struggling for it shows that he has given it to us and that His Spirit is in us taking hold of it.
Will you be a man or woman of God?
Will you pursue godliness with all your might? Nothing is more important! This is what this generation needs more of, what Gods wants for His service and what this world desperately needs.
o We don’t need smarter young people.
o We don’t need more popular young people.
o We don’t need better looking young people.
o We don’t need young people with great careers.
o We don’t need young people that grow up to have nice families.
o We don’t need young people with an abundance of possessions.
o We don’t need young people that fill their lives with movies, gaming, sport or some hobby.
No we need GODLY young people! We need young people that will flee from sin and all its evil desires. That passionately pursue righteous and godliness. We need young people that will fight hard for faith, endurance and eternal life.
Will this be you? I pray that it would be, for God’s sake, for your sake, for your future family’s sake, for this future generation, the church and for the world. This is what is most needed from you! Will you pursue it? Or will you be trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge you into ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9).