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Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You

16 March • Saturday of the Fourth Week in Lent


1 Timothy 6:1-21

1 Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that 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, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy 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. 8 But 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. Pursue 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 of God, 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, charge them 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. Avoid 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.

Meditation

 

Christian discipleship is a rest (Proverbs 3:4-7) and a struggle (“Fight the good FIGHT of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” verse 12; “wage the good warfare.” 1 Timothy 1:18b). The Christian salvation is Already and Not Yet—Already saved, being saved and will be saved!


1. Take Hold of Eternal LifePaul calls Timothy to “flee these things”, likely with reference to the “desire to be rich” (v.9), “the love of money ... a root of all kinds of evils” (v.10) described as “craving” (v.10), “the uncertainty of riches” (v.17) leading to being “depraved in mind and deprived of the truth” (v.5), to “fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” (v.9).


INSTEAD “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness,” (v.11b)


“GODLINESS with CONTENTMENT is great gain” (v.6), cf. (v.5 monetary gain through “godliness”). True “godliness” is “to set ...hopes ...on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share ... taking hold of that which is truly life.” (vv.17b-19 c.f. v.12)


2. Guard (Proclaim) the Deposit Entrusted (v.20; 2 Timothy 1:14; Colossians 1:28)Our model/standard is “Christ Jesus who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate, made the good confession,” (v.13b; “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19). Jesus is also our Master/ commander who gives to every Christian disciple the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20, 24:14). Paul gives this imperative to Timothy and to each of us, “Teach and urge these things.” (v.2b).


In 2 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul’s last epistle, he gives the solemn rejoinder, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing [1 Timothy 6:14b] and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”


As God’s man or woman (v.11a), we must not only repent and receive Christ Jesus as Saviour (“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life.” John 3:36), we have also to enthrone Him as Lord/Master, with “Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may presenteveryone mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:27b-28).


Prayer

 

Heavenly Father, help me to let Jesus be my Saviour, Master, Standard and Christ (Baptiser in the Holy Spirit) following and obeying Him through the five means of grace, the Word, Prayer, Fellowship, Sacraments and Witness, that daily, I may deny myself and take up my cross, follow and obey Jesus, helping to complete and perfect the Bride of Christ for Jesus’ Return. Amen.


Action

 

Learn from Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:1) through God’s Word, to be content regarding material possessions but discontent regarding the unfinished task of evangelising the lost (“The Lord ... not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9).


Revd Canon Dr Louis Tay

Auxiliary Priest

St Andrew’s Cathedral

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