by Darren Pope
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‘Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness’ (1 Timothy 6:11b).
With my eyes glued to the screen, I watch as the ball spins round and round. One by one, the balls drop into the canister. What are the chances my numbers come up tonight? Entranced as each ball comes out, my chosen numbers appear and align as the suspense builds to a screaming crescendo. Woohoo, I’m rich! I never have to work again!
Well, okay, so I’ve never had a go at any type of lotto to know this exhilaration, but imagine having all your debts paid. Winning must feel awesome. Wouldn’t it be nice!
As Paul writes to Timothy, he comes from a life experience of struggle, bad decisions, violence, failure, unbelief and ignorance. Paul knew what it was like to absolutely stuff things up and crave an easy avenue to make it all go away. Paul’s insight is that he was a broken man, and the only thing that restored him was the gift of grace. Paul was deeply grateful that God had come to him, embraced him, forgave him and loved him unconditionally. As Paul writes to Timothy, he gives him a challenging poke and brings this trove of experience to his words. As Timothy’s faith mentor, Paul shares from the depths of his experiences to fervently encourage him in his life journey.
We are fallen, too, folks, so it’s only natural that we are going to keep messing it up every day and crave an avenue to make it all go away. Will it be hard? Will I get it wrong? Will I fail? The struggle is real, and it’s the way we roll, so, yes – but fight the good fight of the faith. Each of us has the same assurance that God comes to us, embraces us, forgives us and loves us unconditionally. This fresh start today allows us to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
Do I need to wait for my number to come up to win God’s unconditional love, mercy and grace? No chance! God’s treasure is free, real, enduring and reliable.
God – the blessed and only ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see – to you be honour and might forever. Amen.