But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. ~1 Timothy 6:11-12
Lifeguards are individuals trained in rescuing people who are at risk of drowning in the water. Their duty is to monitor and be alert to anyone who shows signs of distress while in the water. They are trained in rescue and first aid application. This morning, we see three lifeguards that can prevent us from drowning in bad decisions.
We see the temptation.
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts.” Paul was warning Timothy and the believers at Ephesus against the sin of covetousness, and, specifically, the love of money. He was warning them that if riches and money are your primary goal in life, you will be controlled by the desire for worldly gain. When we commit the sin of covetousness, we have broken the tenth commandment. The love of money is the root of all evil. When the love for more money becomes our god, we lose our desire for spiritual things, cut corners in our business and financial dealings, and live for acquiring and doing things that are material in nature. Paul said that it is not only a temptation, but also a snare or trap that will hurt us and drown us in destruction and perdition. Those who have been ensnared following after wealth have “erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
We see the tactic.
Paul tells us three tactics that we must follow in order to avoid falling into the money trap. First, we must flee these things. Run from lustful desires. Run from chasing money, financial gain, and covetous desires. He did not say that having money, making good investment choices, or working hard for promotion is evil. He was saying that when the desires control what you do and want, and then it is time to run. Second, we must follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. We must give ourselves wholeheartedly to virtues and practices that identify us as men of character and spirituality. Third, he said to fight the good fight of faith. Fight the temptation for status, keeping up with other people, and living for self. Fight the devil by putting on the whole armor of God and having a victorious prayer life.
We see the tenure.
“That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In order for us to be failsafe from the treacherous waters of covetousness and love of money, we must keep this commandment without fail until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Just as a lifeguard always has his eye out for anyone in danger, we must be constantly in compliance with the commandment to flee, follow, and fight. Paul said to keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable. In other words, do not be accused or charged with this sin. Make sure you stay in sight of these lifeguards of the heart and faith so that you do not become ensnared and wind up drowning in destruction and hurtful lusts.
Lifeguards watch us for our safety. Follow the order of these spiritual lifeguards until the coming of our Lord!
Have a safe God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 9-12