1 Timothy 6:6-19

The good life means different things to different people. If you ask 100 people to define or describe the good life, you are likely to receive 100 different answers.

Recently, I found a copy of a book by Max Anders titled The Good Life: Living with Meaning in a Never-Enough World. From the back cover: “You were created to live the Good Life. Just don’t be fooled by imitations. Wealth…Purpose…Love…Power…There’s nothing wrong with desiring these things. In fact, God fully intends for us to have them. The problem is we too often settle for cheap substitutes. Instead of wealth, we take money. Instead of purpose, we pursue ambition. Instead of love, we accept sex. Instead of power, we want clout. Striving for the world’s definition of success only leads to a frustrating, unfulfilled grind. We think we’ll find satisfaction with our next acquisition or accomplishment. Yet no matter how much we have or do, it’s not enough. Happiness seems almost within our grasp, but always out of our reach.”

Allow me to pose three questions from our text.

Are you living in liberty through your focus? (vv. 6-10)
Irish missionary to India Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) warned, “Beware of what you set your heart upon, for it surely shall be yours.”

Christian liberty makes us free to be what God wants us to be. There is the danger of misusing our liberty as an occasion for the flesh. Paul the apostle warned about this in Galatians 5:1, 13.

It is easy to get out of focus in our daily lives. Paul shared the great conviction that brings life into proper focus when he wrote, “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Paul was freed from greed in the focus of his life. Here, Paul offered the cure for covetousness. He also wrote in Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” He explained in Colossians 3:5 that covetousness equals idolatry.

Are you living in line with your faith? (vv. 11-16)
Dr. E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973) explains, “Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God. Aligned to God’s redemptive will, anything, everything can happen in character, conduct and creativeness. The whole person is heightened by that prayer contact. In that contact, I find health for my body, illumination for my mind and moral and spiritual reinforcement for my soul.”

Regrettably, many believers live misaligned lives. Christian individuals and organizations need occasional realignment with biblical faith. Paul shared the importance of making “the good confession,” which is more than words; it means one’s walk and talk are consistent with God’s Word.

Are you living in light of your future? (vv. 17-19)
Charles Kettering (1876-1958) quipped, “We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there.” The decisions we make each day have eternal consequences.

Here we think about the glorious conclusion of a life well-lived. A well-lived life involves seizing opportunities to serve the Lord by generously giving as He leads. Paul advised Timothy—and all believers—to live in this light. In the use of time, talent and treasure we must ask, “Will the thing I plan to do glorify God and matter in eternity?”

Everything we do should be in light of eternity. We read in 2 Peter 3:11-13, “Therefore, because all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once prayed, “May we live here as strangers and make the world not a house, but an inn, in which we sup and lodge, expecting to be on our journey tomorrow.” May each one of us truly live the good life.

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