Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What to pursue

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Timothy 5-6; Psalm 21

TO CHEW ON: "But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:11

It is more probable that we will succeed in reaching a goal if we focus on the positive (the thing or action we are striving toward) rather than the negative (the thing or action were are to avoid). Paul, after warning Timothy about the dangers of pursuing "these things" — he's been talking about the love of money — tells Timothy what to pursue:

Pursue [Strong's #1377) Dioko] means to press on. Figuratively it is used of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal.] In this context it is pursuit without the idea of hostility, to run after, follow after; to pursue or to seek after eagerly, earnestly endeavour to acquire. In plain words, to go after something with all one's might.

Righteousness: [Strong's #1343  Dikaiosune means in a broad sense to be in a condition acceptable to God. In a narrower sense it is used of someone who is just and gives each his due.]

Godliness: [Strong's #2150  Eusebeia  means to have reverence, respect and piety towards God.]

Faith: [Strong's #4102 Pistis refers to the conviction of the truth of anything; belief. In the NT faith implies a conviction or belief about man's relationship to God and divine things.] This includes the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. Relating to Christ, it is a conviction that Jesus is the Messiah through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the Kingdom of God. Toward men, it implies qualities of fidelity or faithfulness — we say we have faith in someone because he can be relied on.

Love: [Strong's #26 Agape is brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence.] For a practical description, read 1 Corinthians 13.

Patience: [Strong's #5281 Hupomone is steadfastness, constancy, endurance.] Patience (also translated "perseverance" in the NT is the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.

Gentleness: [Strong's #4236 Praotes refers to gentleness, mildness, and meekness.] A "Word Wealth" article in my Bible says about gentleness:
"A disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious, and that has the passions under control. The word is best translated "meekness" not as an indication of weakness but of power and strength under control. The person who possesses this quality pardons injuries, corrects faults and rules his own spirit well." New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1706
(All emphases mine)

What a list! Where to start?

If you're like me, the quality or characteristic that you're currently pursuing will change from circumstance to circumstance. If you're speaking with someone who argues persuasively against the existence of God, your faith may need shoring up. If you are having issues with a difficult neighbour, your attention will be drawn toward pursuing love. If you're living with a wilfull child, your focus may be on pursuing gentleness.

One thing is sure: If we give ourselves fully to these pursuits, we won't have a lot of time or energy left to chase after money, fame, power or any of "these things" about which Paul warns Timothy.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me focus on pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness in my life. Amen



Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Violet, I am really liking the Devotions you post. I appreciate the prayer and work you must be putting into this project. These are not just pretty stories, these are good, solid bites of scripture; like crusty, homebaked bread. I am being blessed by following this blog. I have subscribed and I am going to put a link on my blog.

  2. Thank you, Diana!! "Good solid bites of scripture" - I love how you put that. Your words are just what I need to hear today - bless you for reading, subscribing and for leaving a comment!


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