Wake up. Go to work. Sit in traffic. Engage with members of your family. Eat. Go to bed. Rinse. Repeat. For many people, this pattern represents a good life (well, minus the traffic). Having a routine, a job, a family, and a steadiness about life is more than many can hope for. However, God imagines more for us and promises more to us. More than going through the motions, God promises a life, richly provided for by God, that takes “hold of the eternal life, to which [we are] called.”
Paul turns his attention from the folly of those who desire wealth to address Timothy himself: “But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.” Paul invites Timothy and us into a pursuit of “the life that is really life,” the life that exemplifies faithful living. “Real” life can take on many meanings. Caught up in a “seize the day” mentality that lacks grounding in community and compassion, some approach life with destructive and reckless fervor. Others “seize the day” with a passion for a deeper engagement with God and community. Faithful life is not about steadiness and routine. Faithful living involves our willingness to “do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share.” Faithful living lays a good foundation through reliance on God.
Faithful living is not easy. It does not manifest itself simply because we breathe. A faithful life challenges and compels us to “fight the good fight of the faith” and “keep the commandment.” Our responsibility to faithful living allows us to “take hold of the life that really is life.”
Merciful God, give us a zeal for faithfulness in living so that we may experience all that you have promised. Amen.
The Bible warns about the delusions that wealth brings, repeatedly directing readers’ attention to the poor and the destitute. Luke’s Gospel text culminates in Jesus’ story of the rich man and Lazarus. Only in the next life, when the rich man is rid of his riches, can he see Lazarus, now secure at Abra- ham’s side. First Timothy contains a series of warnings to pros- perous readers that having the basic necessities of life should be enough. Greed diverts attention away from the God “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” And against the best wisdom of all the nancial planners of Judah, Jeremiah purchases the eld at Anathoth. The prophet invests his money in the divine promise, in the outlandish conviction that God is faithful.
• Read Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15. Where do you see God’s prom- ises in your life? How do you act on them? What keeps you from acting on them?
• Read Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16. In what setting do you experience a sense of God’s shelter?
• Read 1 Timothy 6:6-19. With what do you nd yourself content?
• Read Luke 16:19-31. How do you maintain an ability to see those in need? How do you address those needs?
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