Following Hard – I Timothy 6:11-12

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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While I was growing up on the farm, we had dog that loved to chase rabbits. Many times I saw him running for all he was worth after a rabbit that was trying to elude him. The rabbit would swerve back and forth, change directions on a dime, and sometimes go deep into a hole burrowed in the field. Undeterred, our dog relentlessly dug until he could reach in and get his prey. No matter how difficult, he was single-minded on obtaining his objective.

Paul’s instructions to Timothy were to both flee and follow. He wrote: “But thou, O man of God, flee these [carnal] things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…” (I Timothy 6:11-12). A man or woman of God, doing what they should do, will flee, like a frightened rabbit, from “the love of money” (vs. 10). Paul reminded Timothy that he brought nothing into this world and will take nothing material out when he dies. As long as he has food, clothing, and the pursuit of godliness, he is to be content (vss. 6-9). But a man or woman of God also must follow hard after several things. We must pursue “righteousness” (vs. 11). This word means an equity of character, or doing right. “Godliness” refers to devoutness, seeking to be holy, or like God in conduct. “Faith” means a persuasion, conviction. or constancy of belief. We should be like a dog pursuing a rabbit in seeking to obtain these qualities as a consistent part of our character. But we also need more. We must pursue an agape “love,” meaning an unconditional affection, for others. Paul told the Thessalonians they were “taught of God to love one another,” but they must seek to “abound” in this love and do so “toward all men” (I Thessalonians 4:9; 3:12). We need “patience,” meaning endurance, rather than fainting in our seriousness about living for the Lord. The servant of the Lord also needs “meekness,” which means gentleness in all situations. If we have these qualities, we can then “fight the good fight of faith” (I Timothy 6:12) in truly living for Christ, and lay hold on the importance of eternal life given to us.

We pursue many things in life: fun, a mate, monetary gain, friendships, security, and more. However, as a child of God, we must be as relentless as a dog chasing a rabbit in our pursuit of these godly qualities.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."