Running Reflection

The Verbs of Paul's Final Instructions

I have spent the last couple of weeks reading through the book of First Timothy in the New Testament.  I need to read through it again.  The Apostle Paul’s two thousand year old words of encouragement and instruction to Timothy, the young pastor at Ephesus, are some of the same words that I have needed to hear in my heart and life this past week.  It is amazing how the Holy Spirit does that.

I spent the bulk of my devotional time last week reading and rereading the last few verses of chapter six in First Timothy.  The subheading in that section of my Bible labels the Apostle’s comments as “Paul’s Final Instructions.”  Verses 11 through 21 of First Timothy chapter 6 are some of Paul’s last words to his friend Timothy, the church, the world and . . . to you and to me. 

Last words are important.

I noticed in my reading that Paul’s last words in verses 11 through 21 are not only words of wisdom and direction but they are also words of action.  Specifically, Paul leaves Timothy with nine verbs—

  • Run
  • Pursue
  • Fight
  • Hold
  • Obey
  • Teach
  • Tell
  • Guard
  • Avoid

Throughout the New Testament the words of Paul ring out in foundational Biblical truths and upon his words sound theologies have been built and traditional creeds constructed.  In Paul’s last words we see a call to action. Over the past week I have become convinced that these words of action are relevant to my life as one who serves as a leader in the church and ultimately as one who is a follower of Jesus Christ.

Last words are important—especially the Apostle Paul’s last words.  Over the next nine Sundays I will endeavor to post thoughts and reflections on the nine verbs that Paul uses in his final instructions to his friend, protégé and fellow preacher, Timothy.

I invite you to join me in a study of and meditation upon the Biblical passage of First Timothy 6:11-21.  I hope that this will be a time of growth for all of us as we consider the Word of God together and meditate upon its message throughout the week.

Here is the scripture passage:

I Timothy 6:11-21 (NLT)

11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. 13 And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 15 For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. 16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen.

17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. 21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness.

May God’s grace be with you all.

Scripture taken from © Copyright 1995-2008


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