Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
1 Timothy 6:12-14 exhorts Timothy, and all the rest of us, to "fight the good fight." This passage is often used in a sort of legalistic and moralistic way. We are told to be busy about the things of the Christian life, to involve ourselves in Bible study, church attendance, small groups, witnessing teams, cold call evangelism, wearing of Christian t-shirts and hats to draw attention to the Gospel, and maybe having an assortment of bumper stickers on our cars.
While those are not necessarily bad things to be engaged in, they are not what Paul is talking about. The good fight of faith is fought by holding to eternal life. It is fought by confessing before others that life is found in Jesus. It is fought as Jesus fought it, by asserting that Jesus is indeed the king of all, and that God's kingdom is the one that matters. And in verse 14 it is fought by living a life of purity as we await Jesus' return.
Paul is talking about the perspective we have, and that we allow others to see. He isn't talking about how many converts we can make, how many activities we can involve ourselves in, or how well we can support the Christian bumper sticker store. Rather, what we do is pour our hopes and dreams into the Gospel. We live with priorities bound up in eternity. We care for our enemies, as Christ cared for us when we were his enemies. We refuse to cling to our riches, as Jesus refused to cling to the riches of heaven. We tell people the truth because it's what they need. We bring hope to the hopeless, help to the helpless, and we do it because God is king of all. Even though it may cost us our life, we give our life freely to Jesus, knowing that it is only through him that we live at all.
Does this mean we end up in church a lot? Actually it does, but that's just a side effect of our priorities. Does it mean that our Bible gets read regularly and starts showing wear and tear after a while? Another side effect. Does it mean that people who know us will know that we are Christians? It certainly does. But they know of our Christian testimony not because of the bumper sticker on our car or the message printed on our t-shirt or baseball cap. They know because we have loved them as Christ loves them.
We fight the good fight, a fight that brings hope and help to those around us.
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