But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith…. (1 Timothy 6:11-12a)
One day the church doors are going to open and your casket will be rolled down the aisle. Family will stand there grieving and friends will file by to pay their last respects. What will they say about you? When people gaze upon my still form, the one thing I want most for them to say is, “He was a man of God.” I can think of no greater title. No better legacy could be left to our children, men, than that. Whatever else we leave behind, if those who know us best can say, “He was a man of God,” then we have lived a life worth living. Paul tells us how in 1 Timothy 6.
The man of God knows what to FLEE (v.11a). The expression “these things” are those discussed in verses 1-10. There are some things that we must steer clear of or they will ruin our testimony. What must we flee?
We flee a lazy aptitude (v.1-2). The man of God is a man of industry and integrity on his job. He gives a day’s work for a day’s wage. Men of God are certainly faithful to worship at the church on Sunday, but they are likewise faithful to work at the job on Monday. Scripture exhorts that whatever we do to do all to the glory of God!
We flee a lofty attitude (v.3-5). The man of God cannot be arrogant and egotistical—full of devilish pride. Such a spirit is marked by ignorance (v.3-4a), intolerance (v.4b), and impurity (v.5).
We flee a lustful appetite (v.5-10). As stated earlier we have a responsibility to be effective and excellent employees. Yet, we dare not become workaholics or idolaters. You can’t worship God and mammon. Real success is found in verse 6.
The man of God also knows what to FOLLOW (v.11b). It isn’t enough to be noted as to what you are against, but what you are for.
The man of God pursues “righteousness.” He is right with God through faith in Christ and right with others through forgiveness.
He pursues “godliness.” We reflect the character of God. People see Jesus in us.
He pursues “faith.”e HH The man of God is a man of faith. Faith comes from the Word and is expressed in prayer. Are you a man of the Word and prayer?
He pursues “love.” Love is the preeminent virtue. It is the great commandment—loving God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves.
He pursues “patience.” There is no magic pill to take to become a man of God. We must also display patience with others.
He pursues “gentleness.” We recognize that people are delicate—that they have sensitive feelings. We don’t run over people.
The man of God knows when to FIGHT (v.12). God has issued a call to arms.
We need to acknowledge the reality of the conflict. Some of us don’t realize there is a war. Satan is on the rampage because he knows his time is short. Our faith, our freedom, and our family are under assault. Wake up! Get up! Stand up!
We will then attain the reward of the conquest. There is a victor’s crown. Scripture promises a reward to the overcomer.
Many years ago I made a commitment to be a man of God. Today I renew that goal. Will you join me? Ladies, will you pray for the men?