Living The Good Life Timothy J. Peck July 1, 2004 1 Timothy 6:6-19 Are you living the “good life”? In your more reflective times, are you happy with the lifestyle you’ve chosen? Throughout the centuries the educated and uneducated alike have asked themselves, “What is the good life?” Is it the examined life? Is it the life of pleasure? Is it the “high life” promoted by a beer company? In 1 Timothy 6:6-19 Paul describes the “good life” for us from God’s perspective. 1. Fighting the Good Fight (1 Tim 6:11-12a) To describe this good life, Paul uses the word picture of a fight. This “good fight” is one that’s fought with faith, not with guns or grenades. It is a life that pursues righteousness, godliness, faith, love and endurance. This cluster of character qualities brings a sense of contentment far beyond what worldly wealth can bring. Paul’s point here is that we live the good life by focusing our energy on our spiritual progress. The word picture of a fight is an apt metaphor, for this spiritual progress often comes with intense effort and against opposition. We only have so much energy each day. At the end of the day, we’re tired, drained from all the energy we’ve poured out. Yet how much energy have we investing in our faith? We’re fighting the fight of success, fighting the fight of upward mobility, fighting the fight of raising our kids, but are we fighting the good fight of our faith? It’s like having a big bucket and several rocks and a pile of gravel. You want to put both the rocks and the gravel into the bucket. If you put the gravel in first, you don’t have any room left for the rocks. But if you start with the rocks, then you can pour the gravel in and there’s room for it. The rocks are the big things, the important things in our lives, while the gravel are the less important things. Start with the rocks each day, and you’ll find that you’ll have room for the gravel. 2. Giving the Good Confession (1 Tim 6:12b-16) Paul’s second way of thinking about the good life is that of a good confession. Paul reminds Timothy of his own confession of faith, perhaps reminding him of his baptism or some other spiritually significant experience. Then Paul helps Timothy look back at Jesus’ confession before Pontius Pilate. Christ’s confession cost him dearly. Following Jesus means making our own confession, just as Jesus did. Here we find that we live the good life by swearing our allegiance to Jesus no matter what the cost. How can you give your own confession to those around you? Have you identified yourself as a Christian to your coworkers? Have you shared your convictions with your friends? Confessing your faith in Jesus is the path to the good life. 3. Laying a Good Foundation (1 Tim 6:17-19) Earlier in the chapter Paul directed his attention to people who wanted to be wealthy (vv. 6-10), warning them of the dangers of greed. However, here in vv. 17-19 he focuses on those who are already wealthy. This section applies to all of us who hear these words, because by global standards we are among the world’s most wealthy. People who are well off financially are commanded to engage in three actions. First we’re told not to be arrogant. Some people believe that wealth is a sign of God’s favor and poverty a sign of God’s curse, so they think God likes them better than he likes people with less. But the Bible tells us to be humble instead of arrogant. Second we’re told to not find our sense of security in our possessions. Instead of finding our security in what we have, we’re told to remember that God is the one who gave us what we have. Finally, we’re told to share what we have with others. The command in v. 18 to “do good” is pretty vague, so Paul explains it with the command to be generous and to share. In other words, doing good in this context is using our money and our possessions to bring blessing to other people. It’s investing our money in what God is doing. The result of this will be laying up treasure for ourselves. This echoes the words of Jesus Christ in his sermon on the mount, when he told his followers to lay up treasures in heaven by giving away what we have to bless others. We live the good life by investing our resources generously in God’s work. On January 1, 2002 twelve European countries officially switched their currency over to the Euro. No longer do these countries use the lira, the franc, the mark, and so forth, but all twelve nations now conduct their business with the Euro. The German government used shredding machines to destroy its old banknotes. The Austrians turned their schillings into 560 pounds of compost. We too will face a currency switch one day. When Christ returns again, our currency will switch from our earthly currency to heavenly currency. And heavenly currency isn’t the Euro or the dollar, but it’s what we’ve invested in God’s work. Those who are rich in this world who don’t begin exchanging currency now will find themselves poor in heaven. This is not to say our giving earns us our salvation, but it is to say that God calls us to live a life of giving here on earth, especially if we’re well off. Living the good life has nothing to do with how much money one makes. It’s about fighting the good fight, giving the good confession, and laying a good foundation. This is a life that’s available to anyone, no matter what their net worth. _________________ Sermon brief provided by: Timothy Peck, Pastor, Life Bible Fellowship Church, Upland, CA Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.