Apr 17th, 2017
"Flee from the lusts of youth and follow after righteousness, faith, love, and peace with them that call on the Lord with a pure heart." The takeaway there is following after righteousness, faith, love, and peace. In the beginning of the scripture when it says to, "Flee from," it is flee, but the idea is to turn your back on. When you turn your back on something generally you put out of your mind. You stop thinking about it, turn away from it, and move in a different direction. So move towards righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
Among other things Paul is teaching Timothy that in order to advance in his Christianity and indeed in his ministry then he needs to abandon the un-tempered ways of his youth and embrace righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
Once again we find ourselves being told to choose righteousness, but wait, it gets better. Paul goes on to tell Timothy to pursue faith:
G4102 πίστις pistis pis'-tis From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
G26 ἀγάπη agapē ag-ah'-pay From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: - (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.
It's the inward drive you have to place another's well being over your own. It's the thing that causes your momma to go to the store and buy your Christmas presents in February. It's the thing that causes you to want to buy a gift for someone else; your child, or your significant other, the person you love. That is love as defined by the word agape. And finally, the last thing he tells us to pursue is peace:
G1515 εἰρήνη eirēnē i-rah'-nay Probably from a primary verb εἴρω eirō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity: - one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.
It actually means prosperity. If you want to go back to episode 4, we talked about prosperity and what that really means. It's not just money, that's the worlds idea of prosperity; we reject that. We don't believe prosperity is money, we believe it is SO much more than that. If you didn't listen to it or you don't remember it then go back and check it out.
Unfortunately; righteousness, faith, love, and even peace aren't very popular in today's culture. Prudence even has become a thing that isn't desirable; we've even made the word into an insult. We've shortened the word prudence to prude or prudish to insult someone. When in reality to be prudent, to make wise decisions, to be conservative, to follow after righteousness, faith, love and peace are admirable. My sister is and always has been one of the most prudent people I have ever met. We had this conversation once where the word prude shouldn't be an insult, it should be a complement. I am blessed by how she carries herself in these areas; the areas of righteousness, faith, love, and peace. She found a husband that values these things and they are quite the pair together. They study the bible together at home, and from what I can see from the outside they really drive each other to having better relationships with Christ. It's just a thing of beauty. I'm not saying my marriage isn't those things. I love my marriage, and I love my wife. My wife pushes me to be a better person, I wouldn't be doing this if my wife didn't give me daily drive to be a better husband, father, and Christian. That's why this exists, if it wasn't for her influence in my life then this ministry wouldn't exist. But, I digress...
Unfortunately even in Christian culture we see that pursuing these things are largely considered juvenile endeavors. "Awe that's the teenagers, that's what the teenagers do." For some reason we bought into the idea that as you get older it's O.K. to watch things that they show in rated R movies that you would let children watch. That you wouldn't let juveniles watch, that it's a mark of maturity to know when to curse. Or be able to listen to music that talks about reprehensible things. Paul paints the absolute opposite picture. It's the mark of maturity to turn your back on those kinds of things and follow after righteousness, faith, love, and peace. The challenge there for myself and for you is to re-evaluate. Are we following after righteousness, faith, love, and peace? Or, are we ignoring Pauls advice, and having a worldview that's opposite of what he says is maturity? Go back and look up the scripture, be a Berean.
Until next time...