But you, a man of God, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in His own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. 1 Timothy 6:11-16
In a recent conversation with a friend about celebrity vacation homes in Aspen, Colorado, she said, “Some of the houses are to die for!”
“To die for” is a phrase we hear quite often, usually referring to something that is desirable or extremely attractive. Exotic vacations, extravagant clothing, or even mouth-watering desserts are among some of these items. However, it is a really exaggerated expression because I doubt many people would choose to die for those exact things if they were presented the offer. I wonder what we would truly die for, and why we’d choose to do so.
Jesus Christ came two thousand years ago to die, not for something, but for someone. You. Me. And all mankind. This “dying for” is drastically different than the way we informally use the phrase. There was no enjoyment, only pain. It was not something He longed for and wished He didn't have to go through. He came to die for our sins so we could reconcile with our Father in heaven. It was a pure sacrifice that He did not have to embrace but He chose to do out of grace. As receivers of that grace, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we respond with gratitude that drives change in our lives and tugs us away from our sins.
I sometimes wonder how I can be someone Jesus would come to die for. When the day comes for me to meet my Lord face to face, would He call me a good and faithful servant? In the book of 1 Timothy, Paul gives us the formula to fight the good fight. By pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness until our Lord returns, we will victoriously battle the fight that God has given us in this life.
Let us practice “to die for” by:
- Praising God for the gift of salvation and the privilege to fight for Him in this world; and,
- Asking God to equip and help us use Paul’s formula to face this fight