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.
As Paul wraps up this letter to Timothy, he gets succinct about what it means to follow Jesus. He does this at the end of a lot of his letters. It’s an interesting study to go through and only read the last chapters of Paul.
After so much training about how to build and lead a church, Paul brings it all back to following Jesus. No matter what all knowledge Timothy has or what wild trivia other want-to-be leaders have, the point is following Jesus with a sincere faith. The deposit for Timothy to guard isn’t the group of people or the fancy building – it’s his very own faith and hope in Jesus. It’s the same thing Paul mentioned back in 1 Timothy 4:14–15,
Do not neglect the gift you have…Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.
Timothy’s identity in the church isn’t Paul’s apprentice or church leader. Timothy’s identity is that he is a Christian that also is learning from Paul and leading a church. Do you see the difference? Everything that Timothy is doing is not revolving around his ascent to leadership. Everything that Timothy is doing rests on his following the only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Any other activity is secondary.
It’s obvious how relevant this is today. Whatever vocational activity, or even a simple hour serving at church or on a sports field, is affected by what our stance with Jesus is. He is the Author and Foundation of all things. When we recognize that and live like that, whatever else we do will become stable.
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